Scouting report

November 07, 1999|By Mike Preston

Ravens run offense vs. Browns run defense

The Ravens had no problems running against the Browns in the first game and shouldn't have trouble today, especially with linebacker Jamir Miller (shoulder) slowed by injury. The Browns will put as many as nine players in the box, but the Ravens should be able to power straight ahead behind guards Jeff Blackshear and Everett Lindsay and center Jeff Mitchell. The Browns have the worst run defense in the league, allowing 169.1 rushing yards a game. - EDGE RAVENS

Ravens pass offense vs. Browns pass defense

Cleveland cornerbacks talked a lot of smack about the Ravens' receivers after the last meeting and said they couldn't be effective if a team pressed them the entire game. So far, they have been right. Expect cornerbacks Ryan McNeil and Daylon McCutcheon to jam receivers Justin Armour, Qadry Ismail and Jermaine Lewis at the line of scrimmage. Also, watch receiver Patrick Johnson. He could have a big game with a couple of long passes. - EDGE BROWNS

Browns run offense vs. Ravens run defense

Whether it's Terry Kirby, George Jones or Karim Abdul-Jabbar, the Browns won't have much success running, except on draw plays. The Ravens have too much muscle in the middle, where tackles Tony Siragusa and Larry Webster will do a good job of keeping guards Scott Rehberg and Jim Pyne and center Dave Wohlabaugh off middle linebacker Ray Lewis. - EDGE RAVENS

Browns pass offense vs. Ravens pass defense

Cleveland has the worst pass offense in the league, while the Ravens have the third-ranked pass defense. The equalizer will be quarterback Tim Couch, who occasionally makes big plays with his scrambling ability. The Browns have one legitimate receiver in rookie Kevin Johnson, but the Ravens have to be aware of fullback Marc Edwards and running back Terry Kirby out of the backfield. - EDGE RAVENS

Special teams

There is not much difference between the teams here. Both punters, Chris Gardocki of the Browns and Kyle Richardson of the Ravens, have had good seasons, with Richardson leading the league in landing punts inside the 20-yard line with 24. Cleveland's offense has been so weak that kicker Phil Dawson has attempted only six field goals, converting four. The Ravens are averaging 8.0 yards and allowing 7.9 on punt returns, compared to 7.1 and 8.0 for Cleveland. - EDGE EVEN

Intangibles

Although the Browns beat New Orleans last week, it would be an embarrassment for the Ravens to lose today. The Ravens also need to break a three-game losing streak. But the Browns have the greatest motivation, with 73,000 fans cheering because they hate Ravens owner Art Modell for moving the franchise. - EDGE BROWNS

Prediction

Brian Billick was right. The Ravens will get "homered" in Cleveland. Couch will make a play at the end of the game to pull the upset. Browns, 10-9. - EDGE BROWNS

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