Five essays on Browns over Ravens.
There’s no point in hiding from it: Cheddar Bay is 24-0 in favor of the Browns today.
As we know from history this is the worst of warning signs. We’ll see today is this is a different Browns team — i.e., fulfilling of our hopes (at least for today) — or pretty much the same Browns (or Indians) (or Cavs).
I say different.
Anyway, really fast, here’s the five essays picking the Browns from this week’s Cheddar Bay thread.
Into Cleveland for their first road game of 2014 come the Baltimore Raisins who, apart from everything else (!!!), are a team that’s been running largely on reputation and fumes in the post-Ray Lewis era. Also a team that should have been righteously pounded by the Bengals in week 1 at home (gave up 5 first half scores, lucky they were all FGs), and a team that’s coming off an overrated nationally televised win (again at home) that they absolutely had to have against a declining Steelers group that’s as bad as its been in years.
And then of course there’s the fact that they come in with the Ray Rice coverup exposed as one of the most spectacular microcosms of everything that’s wrong with everything that we’ll ever see in sports. Everybody has read this, right? espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/i… Of course it’s hard enough to win NFL football games without this sort of thing going on.
I don’t think these Browns are great, or that there’s much hope of them ever being anything but a low-rent Jerryworld on Haslam’s watch, but even that would be a massive improvement and they’re clearly as solid as they’ve been since Mangini was in town. If the first two weeks of the season is any indication at all, they should be able to move the ball on the ground against the Ravens, and the Ravens don’t have the kind of playmakers to threaten this defense.
And the public is still about 70% on Baltimore here (!!!).
One of my best friends from college who’s from and lives in Japan is in Cleveland this weekend for work and we’re going to his first Browns game tomorrow, tailgating with the Borcases and @osuadamr and the “Hold the Pigskin” crew — http://holdthepigskin.blogspot…(who will also have a non-vegan grill running) — among others and whomever else wants to come through (hit me up on email or Twitter re: tailgate rules and regulations).
While there’s a chance, I don’t have much reason to expect I’ll be personally in attendance at any of my Picks of the Week for the rest of this season. I wasn’t expecting to do this so early but given all the above, it seems foolish to do anything but call this one my PICK OF THE YEAR, CMFBrowns +1.5 over Baltimore Raisins
Phil Taylor’s Revenge Browns +1.5 vs Ravens
My natural tendency when writing these essays it to get angry. Usually about a team, event, or person related to the city I’m going against. This can be often times be funny, and a winning strategy for some people, but it is not for me. Cheddar Bay is great because it’s an exercise to
better myself while trying to successfully pick football games. Instead of giving in to my developed talent for disdain in things, I am re-training my conscious mind to avoid negative people and energy. This journey to align my conscious self with my sub-conscious self so that I’m properly connected to the Universal mind must be reflected in my writing.
As for actual analysis of this game, the fact is Cleveland is now a tough place to play for visiting teams. The Defense can now draw real inspiration from the home crowd. Phil Taylor’s performance at Baltimore last year was one of the highlights of the season for me. He is going to play big. I see victory formation for Browns on Sunday.
***5. at Browns +1.5 Ravens.
* Guess what? Neither Steve Smith nor Torrey Smith are 6’7″ former basketball players likely to line up at TE or Y or Z or X positions to exploit impossible matchups with CBs. Coach Pett move flip Haden-Skrine-Gilbert to cover any and all of the Ravens’ WRs and
* Flacco is no Drew Brees when it comes to reading Coach Pett’s confusing sets both in cover and in Kruger usage.
* The Browns o-line and RBs are much better than anything the Ravens have seen and will gash. Hell Pitt had 5.5 yds/rush last week,, the Browns will do better.
* Dont be tricked into thinking the Ravens will run like the Saints did. Browns were scheming with 7 DBs to prevent the Brees air show.
* Also John Hughes is back this week after missing the first two games and is a run game upgrade over Winn (and Taylor and Rubin).
* The Ray Rice thing hurts many Ravens individually. He likely has nothing but friends in the locker room as being through camps and seasons and a Super Bowl creates a strong bond. Many of his teammates want desperately to speak on his behalf simply as a character witness would in a trial. But to do so is both futile (note the Dolphins who spoke supporting Richie Incognito) and a good way to light yourself on fire. It hurts each Rice friend individually to be so powerless. This is at best a distraction and not one likely to create an ‘us against them’ improvement of play on the field.
* Finally, the home field edge at the stadium is a coming thing. The renovations were expected to make it louder and seems to have. There is no parallel to fired up Browns fans.
* Candidate for pick of the year.
Essay: Browns +1.5
As a non-Browns fan, it gets lonely sometimes on this board. As I have little rooting interest, I don’t know where to get information or gauge the pulse of the team. However I’m willing to use the Browns to get ahead in Cheddar Bay competition. They’re coming off a big win against the Saints, a perennial contender. Baltimore is not impressing this year, Ray Rice situation notwithstanding, despite the big win against the Steelers. Cleveland can and should win this game, and with 1.5 points of help, it’s a solid pick.
I know less about spread betting than anyone, and it’s no secret that my picks are based a little on facts and a lot on feelings. I do know that I am becoming dangerously enamoured of these Browns, top to bottom. It started in 2013 with Brian Hoyer. I have a special place in my heart for St. Ignatius alums, and the fact that he’s made back to this point has put me hopelessly over the edge. (I almost became CleveLandThatILike after he went down last year, but that’s another story.) I love the philosophy of the FO and our “high school” coach picked up out of the remainders bin. I like that this team is a collection of nobodies that think they can. Superstars don’t fit in Cleveland unless they began here, like LeBron. This is the only way it’s going to happen for us. I don’t really care what the point spread is because those who set them constantly underestimate the Browns, especially at home.