WJZ  AT SPRING TRAINING: Sports Director Mark Viviano will have the latest from the Orioles in Sarasota tonight at 5, 6 & 11 p.m. on WJZ | Orioles Win Over Blue Jays, 5-0 | Orioles News | Spring Training Photos

TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: Cleveland Browns At Baltimore Ravens

Cleveland Browns
Baltimore Ravens
(credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Quarterback
Brandon Weeden is trying to help the Browns turn their franchise around and he has shown the ability to read defenses, find open receivers and take heavy shots from the defense and keep on playing hard. However, he does not seem to get much help from the rest of the offense and the burden of directing the Cleveland offense is a huge one.
Winner Joe Flacco is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, and he has had consistent postseason success including last year’s Super Bowl triumph. However, the makeup of the Ravens have changed quite a bit and Flacco has to carry the Ravens and not just lead them. He’s got a much different assignment than he has had in the past.
Offense
Trent Richardson has the talent to give the Browns a credible running attack, but he has not done that to this point in his career. He was held to 47 yards in Week One vs. Miami and did not look special. Jordan Cameron caught nine passes for 108 yards, but he is not a special talent. The Browns hope former Dolphin Davone Bess can keep drives alive with third-down receptions.
Winner The loss of Anquan Boldin – traded to San Francisco – is a huge one. The Ravens still have solid receivers in Torrey Smith, Brandon Stokley and tight end Dallas Clark, but they will have to be spectacular for the Ravens to be successful this year since the defense is not what it had been. Ray Rice is an explosive running back.
Defense
Winner The Browns are going to be a feisty, tough team on the defensive side, but that does not mean they have enough skill to survive a 16-game season. Defensive back Chris Owens hustles and hits hard and he is coming off an eight-tackle game against the Dolphins. MLB D’Qwell Jackson had six tackles and three assists and is quite underrated.
The Ravens were scorched in the season opener by Denver, so they will try to rebuild from that embarrassment. They are not as bad as they looked against Manning, but the days of having one of the best defenses in the league appear to be over. The Ravens need Terrell Suggs to emerge as their leader because of his ability to come around the corner and dominate the game.
Special Teams
The Browns are considerably weaker on special teams than they were in previous years. The loss of Phil Dawson is bound to hurt them since he was perhaps the most consistent placekicker in the league. Billy Cundiff is just an ordinary replacement and he seems bound to let the Browns down before long. Spencer Lanning averaged 45.0 yards per punt in Week One.
Winner One of the reasons the Ravens were able to win the Super Bowl was from the steady play they got from their special teams. Justin Tucker was a big step up from the previous kickers they had, and he started the 2013 season by making both of his FG attempts. Sam Koch is a solid punter who averaged 50.7 yards in the season opener.

The Winner Is

(credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Winner Baltimore Ravens
3 out of 4

The Ravens are not the Super Bowl team they were a year ago, and the early part of the season will require a major adjustment. However, they should be near their peak form in their home opener against a team that is a long way from contending in the AFC North.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. 531270539BW00073_Divisional ALCS - Baltimore Orioles v Kansas City Royals - Game Four
    Worse Playoff Exit: Ravens Or Orioles?

    The Ravens & the Orioles took their seasons to their respective tournaments & had Baltimore sports fans looking for the big prize in both sports. Unfortunately both teams came up short.

  2. Members of the New England Patriots celebrate with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in Super Bowl XLIX. Recording artist Katy Perry performs onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show.
    Was Super Bowl XLIX Or Katy Perry’s Halftime Show More Exciting?

    I don’t usually watch Super Bowl halftime shows. But when I do, it has Katy Perry. How did her performance measure up to the game?

  3. New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick talks to the media during a press conference SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 19: Running back Marshawn Lynch #24 of the Seattle Seahawks on the field before taking on the San Francisco 49ers in the 2014 NFC Championship at CenturyLink Field on January 19, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
    Worst Media Interview: Belichick Vs. Lynch

    Bill Belichick and Marshawn Lynch have been known to give interesting answers during media interviews. We take a look at who gives the worst interview between the two.

See All Tales of the Tape
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,722 other followers