Tonight’s Thursday Night Football Showdown features a division battle between the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens. This game is sure to be one filled with fireworks and excitement…said no one ever. Let’s be honest, aside from the cities of Cleveland and Baltimore, if this game was on Sunday it would probably get no more than 45 seconds of coverage on the NFL Network’s RedZone Channel.
Luckily, there are a few other storylines, and thanks to Fantasy Football, we do actually have a reason for watching what could be a dreadful game.
The AFC North has been the let down of the league this season with zero teams over .500 at the moment. The Ravens and Steelers are tied with 4-4 records, but because of Baltimore’s victory over Pittsburgh last weekend, the Ravens own the tie-breaker. Cleveland has had some horrible luck with injuries, but have been unable to secure a win in 2016, in fact, their last win came on December 13, 2015, against the San Francisco 49ers.
However, the week 2 matchup between the Ravens and Browns was a very interesting contest. The Browns led 20-0 before a blocked extra point led to two points for the Ravens en route to a 25-20 come-from-behind victory.
I’m sure the Browns remember that and what team doesn’t want to play spoiler. This is your classic Trap game. The Browns are 0-9, and the Ravens have a big matchup with the Cowboys next week. Many teams fall fatal to the trap of overlooking the opponent in front of them. This game certainly has that potential.
Of fantasy note—Corey Coleman is back from injury and looks to build on his breakout game against the Ravens the first time the two teams met (5 receptions, 104 yards, and 2 touchdowns). Mike Wallace of the Ravens has mustered up back-to-back 100-yard performances and will complete against a pretty soft Browns secondary.
I expect Crowell to get plenty of touches who posted 122 yards on the ground against the Ravens in week 2 but should face a tougher test this time in Baltimore.
Can the Browns give Hue Jackson his first victory of the season? At least Cleveland can take solace in the Cavaliers.