A roundup of NFL experts' picks for Sunday's game between the Ravens and Cleveland Browns:
* Don Banks of SI.com believes the Ravens will win by two touchdowns.
Ravens 27, Browns 13: The Ravens aren't as bad as they looked over the course of the last 40 minutes of the game in Denver, but Peyton Manning in the zone can do damage to your self-esteem. The Browns came up small once again in their home-opener, and quarterback Brandon Weeden is immediately under pressure to prove he's not headed for bust-ville (as opposed to, say, Canton). Denied their party last week by a scheduling conflict with the Orioles, the Ravens will probably hang their Super Bowl banner and try to get the bad taste out of their mouth at Cleveland's expense. Baltimore's homefield advantage remains one of its most trusted assets.
* Mike Florio and Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk also predict a victory for the Ravens.
MDS’s take: The Ravens gave up seven touchdown passes to Peyton Manning in Week One. I feel reasonably confident saying they will not give up seven touchdown passes to Brandon Weeden in Week Two. The Browns’ offense looked pretty bad in the opener and will continue to look pretty bad in the second game of the season.
MDS’s pick: Ravens 21, Browns 7.
Florio’s take: Brandon Weeden is no Peyton Manning. He’s also no Eli Manning. And he may be no Cooper Manning. Besides, with 10 days to prepare and a superior team on both sides of the ball, the old Browns will get to .500 as the new Browns stake out more familiar territory at 0-2.
Florio’s pick: Ravens 34, Browns 17.
* The Sporting News' Vinnie Iyer's "Lock of the Week" is the Ravens beating the Browns.
Joe Flacco and the Ravens have had a long time to recover from Peyton Manning's shellacking, and they should be pumped for their home opener as Super Bowl champions. And oh yeah, since Flacco and coach John Harbaugh have led the team, it has never lost to the new/old Browns (10-0), with an average scoring margin of 13 points. The same Browns who just lost by 13 at home to the Dolphins. It's an NFL homecoming game. Ravens 27, Browns 10.
* CBS Sports' Pete Prisco also believes the Ravens will win, but he thinks it will be close.
Ravens 21, Browns 13: The Ravens will have had a long time to stew over their opening-night loss to the Broncos. They looked battered after that one, but I see them bouncing back here. The Browns struggled on offense against Miami, and that continues here. Baltimore gets back on track.
* NFL.com's Elliot Harrison expects the Ravens to win in a blowout.
Cleveland usually plays Baltimore very tough ... that's why I'm predicting a blowout. Actually, my sense is that the Ravens -- particularly their defense -- will be extremely fired up to put kickoff night in Denver behind them. New Browns coach Rob Chudzinski is going to get this deal turned around eventually -- just not in Week 2 against an angry Terrell Suggs-fueled pass rush that will aim to do what the Miami Dolphins did to the Browns in Week 1: collapse the pocket around Brandon Weeden. So Chudzinski will have to "max protect", which means either leaving tight end Jordan Cameron in to block more or choosing not to send the backs out. Figure on the latter scenario, as Cameron was the most heavily used target in the passing game last Sunday (nine catches for 108 yards). What a bright spot for the Browns he's becoming.
* Yahoo Sports' Frank Schwab and Les Carpenter pick the Ravens.
* All seven USA Today analysts expect the Ravens to win, and Jim Corbett uses his "Lock of the Week" pick on them.
* All 13 ESPN analysts predict a win for the Ravens.
* Phil Simms and Cris Collinsworth, picking for Showtime's Inside the NFL, also take the Ravens.
* All five NFL.com Around The League analysts expect the Ravens to win.
* CBS Sports' Denny Burkholder and former professional wrestler Jake "The Snake" Roberts each predict a victory for the Ravens.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun