Welcome to our live blog of this week's Ravens home opener against the Cleveland Browns! The Baltimore Sun Sports staff will be providing live updates, commentary and analysis of the game.
We'll have Ravens blogger Matt Vensel pop in before the game and during halftime for a quick Ravens Q&A, and we'll be getting updates from M&T Bank Stadium via Twitter.
If you want to join the conversation, submit a comment using the "Make a comment" link!
We asked users earlier on Twitter if they had any predictions for today's game. Here are some responses:
Hi all - I'll be moderating today's live blog/chat and adding some updates on the action.
Anyone else think this is perfect weather for a football game? I'm pretty jealous of all those folks at M&T Bank Stadium today.
Good afternoon, Ravens fans. I'm here at M&T Bank Stadium watching both teams finish up their pre-game warm-ups. Anyone got any questions for me to help me kill the time?
Hey Matt - While we collect more reader responses, can you tell us what you think is the one most crucial thing Ravens fans should look for today?
Michael, I think the thing most folks will be looking for is how the defense responds after allowing seven passing touchdowns to Peyton Manning last week. A lot of people, this guy included, have said that the Ravens defense will be much better this season. And I still feel that way, but they have to go out and show it. I think playing the Browns will help. Quarterback Brandon Weeden threw three interceptions last week and had three in two games against the Ravens last season.
Abysmal? That seems like a stretch to me. I think he did OK. The first interception was a heck of a play by Chris Harris, but the second one was a head-scratcher. That being said, I think Flacco will play well. He's 10-0 all-time against the Browns and has had some big passing days. The Browns have a very good defense, though, so it won't be easy. They will blitz a lot and could limit the damage done by Ray Rice. It will be up to Flacco to read the blitz, find his hot reads and burn the Browns for coming after him.
Matt, how much improvement - if any - should we expect to see from the Ravens receivers today?
Michael, it's really hard to say. Getting another week to practice with Flacco should help guys like Dallas Clark, Brandon Stokley and Marlon Brown, but I need to see them play well in the games. Clark and Ed Dickson struggled with drops and Stokley still looks like a guy who was on his couch a few weeks ago. I think Brown could be in for a nice game statistically because Torrey Smith will draw Joe Haden and Cleveland's No. 2 and No. 3 corners aren't good. That's your fantasy football tip of the game.
Surprises? I'm not sure there will be much surprising. They have an aggressive new defensive coordinator in Ray Horton could come up with some clever blitz schemes, but it's pretty hard to surprise a team you see twice a season. If you're asking if the Browns have a chance today, I think they do. Their quarterback is not very good, but they have an underrated defense that could keep them in it.
And as you see, my colleague Jeff Zrebiec just tweeted that Flacco's wife just gave birth. Flacco will play today, but you can't help but wonder if it will be on his mind today.
I'm not quite sure what all they have planned, but they have a black curtain over the ring around the stadium that lists their division champions and stuff like that. So they'll pull it down and 2012 will be added next to their 2000 Super Bowl title. Outside of that, though, I'm not quite sure what they'll do.
Any thoughts on what Jordan Cameron's impact will be today, Matt? He played well in Week 1, and the Ravens secondary struggled.
The Ravens allowed Broncos tight end Julius Thomas to get in the end zone twice, and you can be sure the Browns took note of that. Cameron had a big game against the Dolphins last week, and with Browns wide-out Josh Gordon still suspended, I'm sure Cameron will be a big part of the Cleveland game plan today.
Any last questions for Matt before we let him get back to the action at M&T Bank Stadium?
Thanks, Scott. We'll be tweeting during the game and those tweets will be pumped in here if you aren't on Twitter. Enjoy the game.
OK, gotta run. Enjoy the game, guys.