Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens: Predictions for Sunday’s Week 1 game


Jeff Garcia scores a touchdown against the Ravens the last time the Browns won an opening game. (John Kuntz, The Plain Dealer)The Plain Dealer

BALTIMORE — It wasn’t so long ago we weren’t sure if there would be a Browns-Ravens game to predict this week. Now, we’ve made it. The Browns will open their season at an empty M&T Bank Stadium against the defending AFC North champions and the reigning MVP, 23-year-old Lamar Jackson.

This marks the second consecutive season the Browns will debut a new head coach, as Kevin Stefanski takes over.

Here’s some trivia for you: The last Browns season-opening win came against a Baltimore Ravens team who had won the AFC North the year prior before losing their first playoff game to the Titans and were starting a 23-year-old at quarterback.

In the battle between the No. 1 overall pick in 2018 in Baker Mayfield and the last pick in the first round in Lamar Jackson, the reigning NFL MVP once against reigns victorious. Jackson got ‘a million times better’ in the words of Mark Ingram, and he’s too much for the Browns in the opener.

A long day for a team that could not have a worse opponent for an opener.

Kevin Stefanski has done almost everything right so far. Now he just has to coach a game. Expecting some Browns hiccups in what very well might be the toughest game on the schedule.

Want to know a secret? Unless Baker Mayfield turns the ball over a ton or the defense looks completely lost, we’re not going to learn much about the Browns from this game.

If the only things that happened were the things everybody expected to happen, sports would be pretty boring.

While watching the Chiefs pick up right where Patrick Mahomes left off last season, I realized Baltimore is going to look very similar. Meaning, the Browns don’t stand a chance in Week 1.

The Browns look OK in their first game, considering a shortened offseason with new coaches, new schemes, no preseason games and plenty of injuries to the defense, but just not good enough to beat Baltimore.

New Browns face masks for sale: Here’s where you can buy Cleveland Browns-themed face coverings for coronavirus protection for adults and youth, including a single mask ($14.99) and a 3-pack ($24.99). All NFL proceeds donated to CDC Foundation.

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