Talking talking talking (and talking some more) about the Ravens

Not in a long time can I remember this much talk between teams heading into a game as there has been leading up to this Sunday’s match-up between the Browns and Ravens. Trent Richardson is going to exchange jerseys with Ray Rice. The Browns think they’re a different team than the one that lost on Thursday night. Trent Richardson is the hardest player to tackle in the league according to the Ravens. Joe Haden thinks he can make a difference since he didn’t play in the last one. The Browns are catching up to the competition in the AFC North according to many Browns players. Talk talk talk talk talk.

None of the talk is particularly inflammatory or trashy. It isn’t the old (hackneyed) bulletin board material. Still, it seems that winning two out of there last three has made the Browns feel like they can talk about where they’re heading instead of being forced to dwell on how far away they are. Isn’t it amazing what an incredibly ugly one-point victory over a team that looked disinterested can do for the psyche of a team? A game of inches, indeed.

I hate to sound snarky or negative about it, but those are the facts. The Browns lost to Indianapolis when they weren’t beating Cincinnati and San Diego. The win over the Bengals was legit in my eyes, but the San Diego game didn’t exactly inspire confidence. You can say that the Browns imposed their will and demoralized the Chargers, but it seems tough to extricate the seeming disinterest and dysfunction on the San Diego sideline from the end result. Plus, after San Diego bounced back against (an admittedly awful) Chiefs team last night, you have to wonder if the Browns loss wasn’t their “rock bottom.”

Even all that being said and as I discount wins just a tad, I’m happy the Browns are talking like a team on the rise. I just hope they can back it up and take advantage of the fact that they get to play the Ravens at home this time without having to match up against Ray Lewis or Lardarius Webb. No, I’m not discounting what could be a win against the Ravens this weekend should it happen. I’m merely pointing out how much worse it would be to have all these feelings of building and heading in a positive direction and maybe even arriving and then fall short.

The talking leads me to believe that falling short isn’t even in their minds. That’s a good thing. With a bye week looming for all the positivity or negativity to fester, we all know what the preference would be. The Browns have talked their way into this game being almost a must-win. Obviously not for the playoffs or anything like that, but let’s just say this might be a must-win for the sanity of the fan-base.

  • BenRM

    I’ll take all the talk and then some. If the players feel positive, I believe they will play positively. And I think that a positive attitude can translate into doing the “little things” that tilt a game in your favor. Block a bit longer. Run a bit harder, etc.

  • mgbode

    well, if last week was SD’s rock bottom, then I hope this week is Baltimore’s. I don’t mind the talk. Sometimes a team that has struggled needs it to keep the focus rather than distract. Fake it till you make it.

  • Seth

    Since the Chargers stomped on the Chiefs, I think that we actually have 2 quality wins against two relatively good teams. Not saying that we are playoff bound, but I do think we are heading in the right direction. If the Browns players are oozing with confidence, I take that to be a very good sign. It means they are hungry and want to win more games despite being 2-6

  • Right, cause now they have to back it up… Before they played like they had nothing to lose (we are just learning!)… But now they have to be able to back it up, and it will take those extra things to make it a reality. I love being a Browns fan, and I will love it just a little bit more, if we can knock the ravens lead to two games in the division… Let’s get other people talking about us..

  • Hopwin

    I hate the way certain sports media outlets (COUGH FAN COUGH) are characterizing this as a must win game to prove we are heading in the right direction. Why on Earth would you circle the 2nd hardest game on the schedule (hardest being vs. Baltimore away) as the acid test? Win 4 games on this much harder schedule and I will consider that progress.

  • Harv 21

    I view this differently. The post-’99 history with both the Steelers and Ravens is that they punk us physically and our players look like they are cowering. Now we’re getting better and more physical players. I won’t be down about a loss as long as we play hard and not intimidated by old reputations and as long as there is clear movement up the growth chart. Just a year ago our defense was developing but our offense was unwatchable. Colt couldn’t get into a 5-step drop without the right tackle letting the d-line beat him to the spot and Greg Little was our best receiver. What we’ve seen this year is way better, now it’s time to see how it’s measuring up against the division. Even with the Ravens’ key injuries there is still a significant difference between the teams’ talent, depth and experience. So a loss won’t make me crazy.

    Now if we come out flat, that will really tick me off. Browns have to know that the Ravens have had 2 weeks to stew about their beat-down by the Texans and they will want this game. Browns have to come out ready to play from the jump.

  • Td’s cousin

    Shut the f up and play

  • All this talk and it looks like the Browns really haven’t progressed this year.