It wasn’t pretty, but in the NFL it doesn’t have to be. The Browns’ 13-10 win over the Detroit Lions is just that, a win.
It didn’t come without a little bit of controversy in the form of quarterback Baker Mayfield refusing to meet with the media after a mediocre performance that included him being booed by the home fans. Mayfield did speak with the media on Monday.
Mayfield continues to play through a series of injuries that have obviously affected his performance on the field and fueled speculation that he should take a seat in favor of Case Keenum and heal.
The Browns welcomed the return of running back Nick Chubb from the COVID-19 list and might have been talking about a loss had Chubb not run for 130 yards, including the crucial yardage as they were running out the clock.
The defense did its part against a Lions team playing with backup quarterback Tim Boyle and a penchant to self-destruct.
With the exception of Mayfield, who seems to add another painful body part in every game, the team is returning to health. Running back Kareem Hunt and right tackle Jack Conklin have returned and are expected to play Sunday night against the Ravens in Baltimore.
It’s also possible that wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones and linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, who left the game against the Lions with an injury, could play against the Ravens.
The Browns will play the Ravens in back-to-back crucial AFC North games around next week’s bye and those two games will say a lot about where the Browns’ season is heading.
Here’s how our Browns coverage team expects Sunday’s game to turn out:
Steve Doerschuk on Baker Mayfield: Get Baker Mayfield out of there while he can still stand; the case for Keenum at Baltimore
Steve Doerschuk (7-4)
Game prediction: Ravens 24, Browns 17: There’s a trusty proverb about throwing the records out the window in a rivalry game. Former Browns fan John Harbaugh, 21-3 against Cleveland, tore up the memo.
Marla Ridenour (7-4)
Game prediction: Ravens 24, Browns 21: Part of me believes the Browns match up well against the Ravens. But at this stage, I’m not sure the Browns’ defense can hold up against Lamar Jackson.
George Thomas (6-5)
Game prediction: Ravens 17, Browns 14: I’d be happy to be wrong about this one. We’ll see if the Browns defense, partially schemed up to stop Lamar Jackson, can do the job.
Nate Ulrich (7-4)
Game prediction: Ravens 27, Browns 17. The NFL seems to be as unpredictable as ever, but the Browns have not been scoring enough lately to make me believe they’ll win in Baltimore.
This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens: Staff Predictions