Sunday's Week 3 game against the Browns ought to feel like déjà vu to Ravens fans. Last season, the Ravens went into a Week 3 home game against Cleveland with a 2-0 record -- but a dearth of defensive turnovers.
In fact, the Ravens totaled just two turnovers last year in wins over the Chiefs and Chargers to start the season. This year, they have created just one turnover in two games, a fumble recovery by Dawan Landry that led to a touchdown against the Jets on opening night.
Placing heavy emphasis on getting turnovers, the Ravens whipped the Browns, 34-3, on Sept. 27 and picked off four passes last year. In that game, the Browns benched Brady Quinn (one interception) at halftime and Derek Anderson came on to throw three more.
Turnovers often come in bunches, and given Cleveland's injury-racked lineup, there could be an avalanche on Sunday.
Which is not to say this necessarily will be a rout. The Browns made a concerted effort to improve their defense – in particular their tackling – in the offseason and they seem to have done that. They lost to the Bucs by 3 points and the Chiefs by 2 in the first two weeks, but held 14-0 leads in both games.
What to make of this meeting?
The Ravens have won four straight over the Browns, and that's the longest winning streak for either team since the series was renewed in 2000. But there is a rivalry element that could keep the Browns in the game longer than they should. If it happens, it will be because of the Browns' improved defense, not because of their floundering offense.
In the end, it likely comes down to the fact the Browns still haven't resolved their quarterback dilemma. Seneca Wallace is a great change-of-pace quarterback with a stronger arm than injured Jake Delhomme, but he's a career backup and figures to have a difficult time on Sunday. The Browns have to hope that Delhomme, with an ankle injury, doesn't have to take the field.