Which Browns team will show up on Sunday?

Battle for the BrownsThe last time the Browns played the Ravens, it wasn’t a pretty sight. Even though the Browns didn’t play particularly well, they were still in that game until the end, losing 14-6.  Jordan Cameron was the only bright spot on offense for the Browns, and Barkevious Mingo recorded a sack on his first snap on defense. Brandon Weeden was hurt in the game, hitting his thumb on a helmet.

What followed of course is the story of the Browns’ season.

Enter Brian Hoyer and a three-game winning streak. Exit Trent Richardson via trade to the Colts.

But that story had a sad ending as Hoyer went down on a first down run against the Bills. Enter Brandon Weeden and a two-game losing streak in which the defense gave up 31 points twice in a row.

Finally, last week the Browns faced off against the undefeated Chiefs. This time it was exit Brandon Weeden and enter Jason Campbell. The defense looked terrible in the first half, giving up 20 points, 16 first downs and total yards. The offense had two big plays, and that’s about it.

At halftime, Joe Haden says the team (and especially the defense) got a verbal smack down from the coaching staff. The result was a big turnaround. The Browns held Kansas City to five straight punts in the second half before surrendering a field goal after the Browns went for it in their own territory.

Such has been the up and down season for Cleveland.

Take for example the fast starts. The Browns led at the half in each of their first six games. Those fast starts disappeared over the past two games, as the Browns have been outscored by 10 and 14 points, respectively.

So which team will show up Sunday?

Will the defense generate pressure and stop the run like they did at the beginning of the season? Did the offense gain confidence in Jason Campbell’s 293 yards passing last week?

The Ravens have beaten the Browns 11 straight times. Yes, that’s nary a win in six seasons. In fact, Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco has never lost to the Browns. Ever. That 11-game winning streak is the longest such streak in the NFL.

There is no reason to think the Browns can’t win on Sunday. Baltimore is 3-4 on the season and currently in the midst of a two game losing streak. Ray Rice has been slowed a bit by injuries this year and only has 242 yards for the year. The Ravens’ defense is hovering in the middle of the pack in yards allowed per game, and is surrendering over 21 points per contest.

In other words, for the first time in a long time the Ravens seem beatable, but the question remains: Which Browns team will show up on Sunday?

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I need the Browns to show up brimming with pride on Sunday. They have the talent to beat this Ravens team and end the 11-game losing streak. You’d hope the embarrassment of that streak would be enough motivation all by itself. I expect to see a refocused Davone Bess and a hungry defense ready to feast on that crummy offensive line of the Ravens.

  • mgbode

    Campbell > Weeden
    Gordon >>> Little (or Bess if he gets benched for last week)

    If the defense can do what they did last time, then I like our chances.


    also, a win puts us in 2nd place in the division.

  • MrCleaveland

    This is a big game for us heading into the bye week. We gotta stop losing close games, or else that loser mentality can set in. Wanna see some attitude Sunday.

  • Harv 21

    The Browns have had an inordinate amount of drama the first part of this season.

    I think I write this same comment every year. And that makes me sad.

  • 11 losses in a row against anyone is cringe-worthy. But against a division opponent? Just plain embarrassing. The Ratbirds are indeed vulnerable,but when was the last time this team came out at the start of a game looking hungry and focused? Instead we will likely spot them 10 points or so before we finally wake up and start competing, only to fall just short. This feels like a 23-20, “Damn, we should have HAD them”, type of game. My big concern is Ray Rice doing to Craig Robertson what Reggie Bush did.

  • RGB