CLEVELAND - Week nine of the 2013 NFL season has the Cleveland Browns hosting the reigning Super Bowl champion and AFC North rival Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Kickoff is set for 4:25 p.m. The pregame events will have a patriotic touch. The Browns will host members from each branch of the military and 22 individuals will be sworn into the Army. In addition, a Marine identified through the Wounded Warrior Project will be honored on the field and participate in the Browns pregame introductions.
It's the second and final meeting of the 2013 season. The Ravens won the first meeting back in week two at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore 14-6.
This is a very important game for both teams. The winner gains a game in the AFC North standing thanks to the Cincinnati Bengals 22-20 overtime loss on Thursday night in Miami to the Dolphins.
The Browns are trying to avoid being swept in the season series by the Ravens for the sixth straight season. The Browns have lost the last 11 meetings between the two teams. The Browns last win over their division rivals was a 33-30 overtime decision back on November 18, 2007 in Baltimore. The last Browns win over the Ravens here in Cleveland was also in 2007, a 27-13 decision.
The Browns look to end their current three game losing streak on Sunday as well. The month of November is very important to the Browns because all three of their games this month are against all of their AFC division rivals, so the Browns have a chance to get back in the playoff race.
Jason Campbell will make his second consecutive start at quarterback on Sunday afternoon. Campbell saw action late in the first meeting back in week two after Brandon Weeden left the game with a thumb injury. The Browns will look to get its running game going with former Ravens running back Willis McGahee. Wide Receiver Josh Gordon will look to be a key to a successful day for the offense. Gordon did not play in the first meeting because he was serving his two game suspension.
The Browns defense will look to get plenty of pressure on quarterback Joe Flacco and look to shut down the Ravens running game lead by Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce. In the passing game Flacco will look to go deep early and often to one of the NFL's leading receivers Torrey Smith.
The Ravens defense is a lot different than in previous years. Its longtime leaders Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are no longer with the organization. Terrell Suggs is one of the top pass rushing linebackers in the league and will present a tough challenge on the end for both Browns offensive tackles Joe Thomas and Mitchell Schwartz.
The Ravens are coming off of their bye week in week eight. Baltimore has lost their last two games before their bye week, a home decision to the Green Bay Packers and on the road at Pittsburgh.
The Browns will hit their bye week after Sunday's game. The Browns enter Sunday's match-up with a 3-5 record, the Ravens are 3-4.