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Facing the Enemy Week 16: Ravens vs Browns

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In Week 3, Steve DiMatteo of the Dawgpound Daily predicted that the Baltimore Ravens would beat the Cleveland Browns. Well 10 weeks later, it seems not much has changed. Steve still thinks the Browns can’t win this game, but there are some positives to his team. Check out this week’s interview to see what he’s happy about:

1. How surprised are you with RB Peyton Hillis this year?

“I wouldn’t say all Browns fans were floored that Peyton Hillis would produce, but I don’t [know] if anyone could have predicted how well he’d play in his first season in Cleveland. The man pretty much saved the offense from being anything but historically bad and has worked his way into the Pro Bowl conversation. With his style of running (which is, essentially, to run anybody and everybody over), it’s amazing that he has been able to take on such a large workload. So yeah, we’ve all been floored, but it’s certainly a welcome surprise.”

2. What can you say about the progression of QB Colt McCoy compared to the other rookies in this league?

“With the exception of Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy appears to be making the most seamless transition into the NFL when it comes to rookie quarterbacks. He’s been nothing short of impressive, and has earned the right to start next season. A rookie quarterback who gets playing time can go either way, but McCoy has managed to lock down the position, at least for next season. He’s got a number of qualities that have been absent from Browns quarterbacks for a while now, and it looks like he’ll grow into a fine NFL quarterback. We’re just hoping that can happen in Cleveland.”

3. Who/What is the biggest thing that is holding the Browns back from winning games?

“Essentially, it’s still a lack of overall talent. This team just does not have the depth to hang throughout the course of the season, but it also comes down to coaching. I’m still a big advocate of keeping Eric Mangini around for another season, but something has to be done about the offense and this team’s inability to play above bad teams. Whether that’s Eric Mangini or talent, this trend has to stop if the Browns are going to move to the next level.”

4. Ravens QB Joe Flacco is 5-0 against the Browns; what must Cleveland do in order to get their first win against Flacco?

“The defense cannot – absolutely cannot – play like it did last week against the Bengals if the Browns want any chance of winning this game. A player like Ray Rice will run roughshod over the Browns if the defense continues to play so poorly. The Browns have to get stops – even with Colt McCoy, this offense can’t exactly beat anyone in a shoot-out just yet. Peyton Hillis and the offensive line will need to control the clock and tempo of the game if the Browns want to win.”

5. Game predictions?

“The Browns aren’t a team that gives up, and they’ll hang in there against the Ravens, but Baltimore has bigger aspirations this season and I don’t see them slipping up this late in the game. Ravens win, 20-13.”