The Baltimore Ravens had almost two weeks to recover from their Week One debacle, and can now focus on the division rival Cleveland Browns on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.
The defending champions gave up a record-tying seven touchdown passes to Denver and Peyton Manning, and began their season with a 49-27 loss. The Ravens defense also allowed 510 total offensive yards, while quarterback Joe Flacco fired off two interceptions.
Things were relatively even until the third quarter, when Manning unleashed three consecutive touchdown passes, and Baltimore could only manage 10 points in the second half.
Forced to throw, Flacco went 34-for-62 for 362 yards and two scores, but running back Ray Rice was largely ineffective with 12 carries for 36 yards and a touchdown. Rice did have a team-high eight catches for 35 yards.
Even with the Broncos missing Von Miller due to suspension, Flacco was sacked four times, and hit another eight total times. He could be in danger of taking more punishment against Cleveland, with offensive tackle Michael Oher playing on an injured ankle. The veteran lineman is listed as probable for Sunday.
Cleveland is also licking its wounds after a rough season opening 23-10 loss to Miami, with second-year quarterback Brandon Weeden throwing three interceptions, and the offense going 1-for-14 on third down. Last year third down was especially troublesome for Cleveland, as the Browns converted only 30.7 percent of their attempts.
Weeden’s top target was Jordan Cameron, who posted nine receptions for 108 yards and the Browns only touchdown.
The Browns will need more from second-year running back Trent Richardson, who had all of his team’s rushing yards with 47 on 13 carries.
There is some relief coming for the Browns defensive front, with rookie Barkevious Mingo set to make his debut after sitting out last week with a bruised lung. He will be limited after joining practice on Thursday.
The game begins at 1 p.m. ET and will be broadcast by CBS or watch a live online stream by purchasing NFL Game Access here.
Betting Odds: Baltimore is favored by 7 points.
Over/Under: 44 points
Prediction: Baltimore 24, Cleveland 7