What a remarkable story the Browns wrote this season. After finishing 0-16 in 2017, the Browns have shown vast improvement and currently stand at 7-7-1. While they were eliminated from the playoffs last week, they will likely play hard this week to secure a winning record. The difference makers this year have been rookie QB Baker Mayfield, who has led the team to 5 wins in the team’s last 6 games. On the season, he has passed for 3,349 yards for 27 TDs and only 11 interceptions. That puts him in the running for Rookie of the Year honors. The league’s 4th worse defense (388.3 TPG) could use some help, but this is a team on the rise.
The Ravens (9-6) control its own fate. A win in this game and they win the AFC North and a spot in the playoffs. A loss and they would need a loss by Pittsburgh, which plays later at home against the struggling Cincinnati Bengals. In winning 5 of its last 6 games to get into playoff contention, the Ravens have been solid on defense, giving up just under 17 PPG. That includes 11 PPG in the last two games against Tampa Bay and San Diego, two good offensive teams. The difference on offense during this 6-game stretch has been another rookie QB in Lamar Jackson. Over those six games as the starter, he has account for 1,401 yards running and passing with 7 TDs and only 2 INTs.
Prediction: The Browns are playing a big rival for pride. The Ravens are playing for its life. Both teams have been playing exceptionally well, but the Ravens have a decided edge on defense. With both teams playing hard and the Ravens ability to stop the pass, this could be a low-scoring game. Play the under 41 (Final score Baltimore 23-14)