With a little help from the Kansas City Chiefs, the Baltimore Ravens could swoop in and take the final playoff berth for themselves.
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The Cleveland Browns take on Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens with a diminished team in Week 17 of the NFL season.
With Browns QBs Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel unavailable for Week 17 due to injuries, the job will fall to undrafted rookie Connor Shaw to lead the team into Baltimore. Unfortunately, Shaw will be without star WR Josh Gordon, who was suspended for the final game of the season for violating team rules. The Browns will not likely get much out of this game, but at least they’ll get a look at Shaw and whether he should be invited to compete for the backup QB job in 2015.
The Ravens, on the other hand, are at full strength and have been one of the really hot teams of the last month of the season. With a win and a Chargers loss, the Ravens would be back in the playoffs for the first time since their win in Superbowl XLVII. RB Justin Forsett was snubbed for the Pro Bowl, but rookie ILB C. J. Mosley was not – he leads the defense that has been one of the keys to the Ravens’ return to playoff contention.
Prediction: Baltimore Ravens – The Browns are just missing too much on offense to give any hope that they can top the high-flying Ravens offense. Look for the Ravens to control the ball throughout the game with their running game and a few big passing plays.