Cleveland Browns: Week 15 predictions against the Baltimore Ravens

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 10: DeShone Kizer /

What are the Cleveland Browns’ predictions for this week?

The Cleveland Browns host the Baltimore Ravens at 1 PM on Sunday. Cleveland is still winless on the year, sitting at 0-13. Baltimore is in the thick of the playoff hunt, vying for a wild card spot at 7-6.

Last week, the Browns blew an opportunity for the first win of the season, falling to the Green Bay Packers 27-21 in overtime. The Ravens lost a shootout to the Pittsburgh Steelers 39-38 on Sunday Night Football.

Without further ado, here are this week’s predictions.

1. Like in Week 2, quarterback DeShone Kizer struggles with turnovers.

Last time Kizer faced the Ravens, the outcome was certainly not what he desired. Not only did he miss nearly half the game due to a migraine, but he also suffered potentially his worst outing as a pro.

More from Factory of Sadness

He completed less than half of his passes, threw three interceptions and lost a fumble. Cleveland lost by two scores, but the game could have been much closer.

Baltimore currently leads the league in interceptions with 20 and rank inside the top 10 in sacks. They have been great at forcing fumbles as well, currently tied for seventh in the NFL.

The Ravens will be without cornerback Jimmy Smith, who was having a great season before tearing his Achilles a few weeks ago. They also were just torched by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers.

However, the Browns are not the Steelers and Kizer is not Roethlisberger.

Kizer has struggled under pressure all year long, and Baltimore will likely try to make things uncomfortable for the rookie from the get-go. If the Ravens can get home and hit the rookie, Kizer is going to commit a few turnovers. He has shown no signs of fixing his biggest problem of the season, and chances are slim to none he figures it out against a tough Ravens defense this week.

2. Without Smith, the Ravens secondary lets wide receiver Josh Gordon get loose.

It is remarkable how quickly Gordon has returned to his former self in his two games this season. He has seven catches for 154 yards and a touchdown while dealing with Kizer’s erratic quarterback play.

Gordon looks like the exact same player that led the league in receiving yards back in 2013. While Baltimore has the third-best passing defense in the NFL, that was with Smith on the field.

Cornerback Brandon Carr struggled tremendously with Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown last week, surrendering 11 catches for 213 yards to the star wide out. Opposite him is Marlon Humphrey, the rookie from Alabama who is still getting acclimated to the NFL.

It is fair to assume that the Browns will be trailing in the game, in part due to the expected turnovers from Kizer. However, that should lead to Gordon getting peppered with targets. He has had a few opportunities just slip away, or else his stat line would be extremely gaudy.

Gordon is a stud, and aside from a few corners in the league, no one is going to shut him down. After seeing what Brown did to Baltimore’s secondary last week, there is no reason why Gordon cannot do the same this week.

Expect a big game in a contest where the Browns will be forced to throw the ball.

3. Browns defense allows Ravens running back Alex Collins to have a season-high day on the ground.

The perfect disaster is brewing. Collins is on fire running the football. The Browns have had a tough time stopping the run recently. All signs are pointing toward Collins having a career day on Sunday.

More from Cleveland Browns

Last week against the Steelers, Collins had his best game as a pro. He ran for 120 yards and a touchdown and chipped in 46 receiving yards. He was elusive in evading tacklers and showed great power and burst getting to the second level.

Meanwhile, the Browns run defense has faltered recently. Rookie running backs Joe Mixon and Leonard Fournette both had 100+ yard games on the ground.

The Packers and Los Angeles Chargers also found running room in the past two weeks. A key factor in these struggles comes to the absence of linebacker Jamie Collins, who is out for the season.

With Collins running as effectively as he has in past weeks, there is no reason to believe he will not keep it up against a fading defense. It would not be a surprise to see him run for 150 yards and multiple touchdowns, especially in a game Baltimore will likely dominate time of possession.

4. First win of the season remains a high-profile Christmas gift, as Ravens beat Browns.

It is becoming more and more likely the Browns will not win a game this season.

Sure, they played Baltimore tough back in Week 2 and were competitive despite five turnovers. However, this Ravens team is much better than it was months ago, and the defense is as stifling as ever.

Next: Browns aren't going to win the division next season

Cleveland would need snow to become a major factor to limit both teams to run the football in order to have a chance. Otherwise, it seems a win will once again be a popular last-minute Christmas wish. Prediction: Ravens 23-10