(Eds: Updates. With AP Photos.) By TOM WITHERS AP Sports Writer For the past two weeks, Cleveland's defense has been a swarming mass that will stop at nothing to inflict pain and punishment on its opponent.
The Browns have been ruthless, relentless.
''They're like a bunch of fire ants,'' offensive coordinator Brad Childress said.
With consecutive dominant performances against Dallas and Pittsburgh, Cleveland's defense is establishing itself as one of the NFL's up-and-coming units. Don't tell cornerback Joe Haden that, though. He believes the Browns deserve to be considered among the elite already.
''I would say we're one of the top five defenses, for sure,'' Haden said Thursday as the Browns (3-8) continued to prepare for Sunday's game against the Raiders (3-8). ''We have people who can play their position, are really good at it and everybody's established now and they understand what's going on.