BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – The genesis of the Baltimore Ravens is well known.
And their success understandably embitters many in northeast Ohio.
Even worse, is what they do to the Browns.
The Ravens have become the big brother, bully and tormentor of the Browns by owning the series since 1999 – 22-7 – including winning each of the last 11.
Only the Steelers have been better against Cleveland since then – 24-5 – including a 12-game winning streak than ran from 2003-2009.
“We need to step up and we need to win games,” Chudzinski said. “This is a tough division. The AFC North, multiple Super Bowl winners, multiple playoff teams, everybody has been in the playoffs.
“We’ve been the kid brother for a while, and we need to stand up in this division and do the things that we need to do.”
The Browns last win over Baltimore came in 2007 when Cleveland swept the season series from the Ravens.
Since then, John Harbaugh, Joe Flacco and Ray Rice have never lost to the Browns.
“We’re well overdue,” linebacker D’Qwell Jackson said. “This is our game right before the bye week, so a lot of guys have put extra effort into this week and I like what I’ve been seeing this week, the tempo of practice, guys being focused on the small details.
“I’m more confident this week that we can come out with a win. We very desperately need a win.”
Jackson and Joe Thomas are the only 2 players on the 53-man roster to have beaten the Ravens.
“You don’t like losing to anybody, but it’s certainly been a long time since we’ve been able to beat the Ravens,” Thomas said. “Obviously it would be huge. It’s a division opponent. It’s a huge rival for us. to be able to get a win, would be really, really big.”
Baltimore has won by an average of 12.45 points per game over their 11-game win streak but the games have gotten much tighter of late. The Ravens have escaped the last 7 games against the Browns by an average of just 7.4 points – including a 14-6 victory in week 2.
“It’s not like the Ravens blew us out in the beginning of the year,” running back Willis McGahee, who spent 4 seasons (2007-10) with the Ravens, said. “We lost a low-scoring game, so it’s about good field position.
“We need to go out there and execute plays…We’ve got to do everything right. That’s no penalties. No false starts. Dropped balls here and there, you can’t have that when you’re playing against a team like that.”
McGahee admitted that he never enjoyed facing the Browns as a member of the Ravens, even though they won 6 of the 8 games.
“I didn’t like it,” McGahee said. “I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy game just because of the history of what went on and all that. We knew it wasn’t going to be an easy game and they were going to fight. It’s just the fact that we was going to keep punching. We weren’t going to give up until the end.”
Safety T.J. Ward, who is 0-7 against Baltimore since being drafted in 2010, has a different view of the streak.
“This team has only been 0-1 against them,” Ward said. “The past 10 or whatever, those have been completely different teams, different owners, different coaches, different everything. So that’s not really what we’re worried about. We’re worried about what we can improve on from the last game and put that into play this game.”
While Baltimore – like the Steelers – is the model of consistency, the Browns, well, are the opposite.
Jason Campbell will become the sixth different quarterback to start against the Ravens since 2008 – Derek Anderson, Brady Quinn, Seneca Wallace, Colt McCoy, and Brandon Weeden are the other 5.
The Browns have also now had 4 different head coaches – Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini, Pat Shurmur and now Chudzinski – since their last win in the series.
But with Campbell making his second start Sunday, the merry-go-round will slow – at least for the rest of the season.
“Now we know who’s playing quarterback. Now we know the guys that are going to continue this season are going to be here,” Jackson said. “All the outside noise that’s going to take away our focus, I think that’s all out of the window now. I think guys are able to focus in more and come out faster.
“Now at the midway point, we’re tired of the noise and we have to start fast, hit guys in the mouth early and get that lead going into halftime and focus on the things we’ve done better in the second half.”
They’ll need to do what they’ve failed to several times over the last 5-plus seasons, close it out which will kill the streak.
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