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The Baltimore Ravens after Week 2

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Football8Following that tough opening week loss at Denver, when Peyton Manning emphatically announced himself as an MVP frontrunner for the 2013 season, the Baltimore Ravens were looking to get back on track this week with a much more appealing home game against the Cleveland Browns. It seems as if people keep suggesting that the Browns are no pushover every year, and there are certainly signs here and there of improvement. But all in all, this was a good time for a weaker opponent on the schedule, as the Ravens needed to get back on track quickly.

So, how did Baltimore fair on Sunday? Well, it wasn”t quite the pretty or decisive wins many home fans would have liked to see, but a win is a win, and the Ravens managed to get by the Browns 14-6 thanks to a stellar defensive effort, improving to 1-1.

For what was ultimately a defensive showdown, Joe Flacco had a respectable game, contributing 211 yards and 1 TD on 22 of 33 passing – his mind likely on the birth of his child, which took place just about an hour before game time, according to . Ultimately, however, the game was marked more by defense and injuries. Ravens fans await a ruling on the fate of Ray Rice, who exited the game with a strained hip flexor during the 4th quarter, and Cleveland QB Brandon Weeden – who, incidentally, was sacked 5 times – .

All in all, it adds up to what was a pretty ugly game in Baltimore on Sunday. But again, a win is a win, and this week”s victory over Cleveland was a good sign for the Ravens moving forward.

Next up is a home date with the Houston Texans in what should be another closely contested game. The Texans are off to a good, but not great, start, with their own star runner (Arian Foster) struggling about as much as Rice. If you”re into betting on games, this one could be close to a toss-up, but keep an eye on the BetFair online gambling exchange for updated backing odds as the game moves closer. Obviously, a lot depends on the health of Ray Rice, but given the enormous improvement in the Baltimore defense between weeks 1 and 2, we”re giving the Ravens a slight early edge for the upcoming Houston game this coming weekend.