Week 4 promises that an important divisional rivalry will be renewed on Sunday, as the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns will square off for the first time in 2019, fighting for positioning within an AFC North long dominated by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Before we reveal why the Ravens are the safe bet to stay in first place, let's get you some details on how and when to tune in:
How to watch
The Browns may have entered the 2019 season with more hype than any other team, and that was at least partially justified considering how explosive quarterback Baker Mayfield looked under coach Freddie Kitchens at the tail end of 2018. Early this year, however, Cleveland has been one of the least explosive "contenders" in the NFL. The Browns defense has flashed playmaking ability, but Mayfield and Co., even with weaponry like Odell Beckham Jr. and Nick Chubb, have mightily struggled to do the same behind a weak O-line and spotty Kitchens play-calling. After falling big to the Titans in Week 1, they got away with a slow start in a Week 2 win against the Jets, then battled their way to the wire against the Rams in Week 3.
The Ravens, meanwhile, have been nothing if not explosive. Most people figured Baltimore would at least be fast in 2019 after seeing how the coaching staff used QB Lamar Jackson upon his replacing of Joe Flacco under center in 2018. But the Ravens have been far more than just fast so far. With a defense littered with veteran experience, such as that of safety Earl Thomas, and an "O" led not only by Jackson's legs -- and those of Mark Ingram -- but by Jackson's deep-ball launches to rookie burner Marquise Brown. Baltimore stomped all over the hapless Dolphins in Week 1, discarded of the Cardinals in Week 2, then fought to the end in a close defeat in Week 3, when they were up against maybe the only team more explosive than them, the Chiefs.
Everyone's still waiting for the Browns to come to life, and as long as Mayfield is under center, you have to believe they can do better. But until Kitchens proves he's capable of managing both the team and the offensive play calls (or, better yet, until the Browns prove capable of giving Mayfield time to throw), it's tough to believe they have a sustainable enough attack to go blow for blow with a fireworks show like Baltimore. This is a divisional matchup, which means a lot of factors can be thrown out the window. And yet, at home, with a close defeat to a Super Bowl contender still fresh in their minds, the Ravens seem awfully primed for a statement win against their rivals.
Check out CBSSports.com for even more predictions on this game and the rest of Week 4, including from Pete Prisco and Will Brinson.
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