The Baltimore Ravens are 5-1, and while they’ve had a bit of an uneven start to the season, they have measured up the one time they have played an AFC North opponent so far.
Interestingly, the opposite is true for the Cleveland Browns, who are a mere 1-2 against AFC North opponents this season. Both their defeats have been of the resounding variety as well, at the hands of both the Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers, the early class of the division in 2020.
Even in spite of that, the Browns haven’t stopped talking. Following what should have been a humbling defeat to the Steelers, Browns cornerback Denzel Ward said that he doesn’t believe his team is far off from competing with the top pair of teams in the division at this point in time.
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) October 19, 2020
Rivalries run deep in the AFC North, but it’s likely both the Ravens and Steelers are united in their laughter at such a claim. Combining the games this season between the teams, the Browns have lost 76-13. That doesn’t point to a team that is competing whatsoever, or close to closing the gap head to head. It’s fine to have confidence, but this is unmitigated bluster at this point.
While it’s true both games have been on the road, if the Browns want to be taken seriously, they should have competed in such an atmosphere. Instead, each game was a laugher, as is the notion that the Browns aren’t far off after they looked so overwhelmed head to head against the best of the best.
There’s plenty of time to settle the AFC North, and the Browns are not out of the race by any means. Comments like this, however, only do more harm than good when it comes to galvanizing their opposition.
Ravens Dominated Week 1 Win Over Browns
If the Browns think they can compete with the Ravens, they have some major measuring up to do by the next time the sides meet. In the first game, the Ravens offense and defense overwhelmed them pretty easily. The 38-6 beating was not exactly unlike what Cleveland experienced against the Steelers in Week 6. Before things started, the game had snowballed out of control and it didn’t look as if the Browns belonged on the same field as the Steelers. The same was true in Week 1. It’s obvious when looking at this performance that the Browns have some introspection to do. Teams capable of competing play good football on the road against other good teams. Against the best teams they’ve played, the Browns have been run off the field.
In total, the Ravens put up 381 yards and had 3 takeaways against the Browns in their dominating win. It wasn’t a close game whatsoever.
Browns vs. Ravens Next Game
The bad news for thirsty Ravens fans ready for another encounter is that these sides do not meet again until Week 14. When the game comes, it could have a huge role not only in determining the AFC North, but also determining where teams slot in the AFC playoff picture. The Ravens will have a challenge with a late season road contest, so they better pack their defense and hope their offense can come alive as well as it did in Week 1 for more lopsided results. Regardless, this is a pretty huge game for both teams, and the Ravens would like a series sweep.
Seeing headlines like this, Ravens players are probably already pretty motivated for the battle to take place in a few weeks time.
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