Ravens face winless Browns to end tough 4-game run

Associated Press  |  Last updated September 26, 2012
The NFL didn't do the Baltimore Ravens any favors by having them play four times over an 18-day span, including three night games. In what might be perceived as a conciliatory gesture, the schedule-maker enabled the Ravens to conclude that difficult stretch at home Thursday night against the winless Cleveland Browns. Baltimore (2-1) has won 12 straight at home, the longest streak in the NFL, and its nine-game run against the AFC North is also the top active streak among teams within their own division. Throw in the fact that the Ravens have won eight in a row over the Browns (0-3) by a collective score of 203-91, and it would appear as if this game is a mismatch. The equalizer is Baltimore's quick turnaround. Ravens walked off the field shortly before midnight Sunday after their emotional 31-30 victory over the New England Patriots, and they'll be back on the turf for the opening kickoff against the Browns only 92 1/2 hours later. ''We've played Thursday after a Sunday, but we haven't played Thursday after a Sunday night,'' coach John Harbaugh said. ''We are adjusting the schedule a little bit. Two things are important: preparation and recovery. One can't really take a backseat to the other; the recovery is going to be just as important as the preparation.'' Instead of having a week to allow their bruises to heal, the Ravens got three days. There was no hitting at practice, and Harbaugh instructed the players to take it easy at night. ''Our coaches have to understand they can't push this team,'' safety Bernard Pollard said. ''We can't push like we usually can because we just got out of battle a couple of nights ago. Our coaches are doing a good job, our position coaches are doing a great job in meetings. We get in the weight room, get in bed, get some rest and come back here ready to go.'' The Ravens addressed the preparation part of the equation by scouting the Browns before Baltimore faced New England. ''Our advance staff, they were working on this game last week,'' offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said. ''We were ahead of schedule before the New England game for this game, and we'll be prepared.'' Forgive the Browns if they have little pity for Baltimore's quick turnaround. Cleveland has problems of its own, such as revving up an offense centered around rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden and first-year running back Trent Richardson. In a 24-14 home loss to Buffalo last Sunday, Weeden was picked off twice and Richardson was limited to 27 yards on 12 carries. Now they're in bounce-back mode against a defense led by Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. ''They're a challenge. They're a really good defense,'' Weeden said. ''We're going to have to play really well. We're going to have to take care of the football, no penalties, none of this stuff that shoots ourselves in the foot.'' After last week's dud against the Bills, who needed only 10-plus minutes to take a 14-0 lead, the Browns were delighted to have a short work-week before returning to action. ''Mentally, absolutely. Physically, guys are a little sore,'' Weeden said. ''If you win, you'd rather have some time off. If you lose, it's nice to get out and play as soon as possible. Guys are eager to get back out and compete again.'' The Ravens would have loved a month to savor their win over Tom Brady and the Patriots. Instead, they had to quickly turn the page. ''There's no more looking in the mirror. There's no more admiring the victory, so to speak,'' Harbaugh said. ''What we did was we went to work. We are trying to build on the positive, but we have to correct the mistakes and then look straight to Thursday night.'' Baltimore is striving to stay atop the AFC North. The Browns are simply trying to shake their stature as the only winless team in the conference. Cleveland hasn't beaten the Ravens since 2007, but perhaps the timing is perfect for an upset. ''This is a really good team, we're going to be playing on the road on national TV and it's a great chance for us to try to get our first win,'' five-time Pro Bowl tackle Joe Thomas said. ''I definitely think we're improving, and hopefully we'll be able to show it on Thursday with a win.'' --- Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Baker considering removing Papelbon from closer role?

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

Report: Cowboys to be fined up to $250K for suspended players


Data shows NFL-backed youth program that claimed reduced concussions is bogus

Report: Odom’s family working hard to get him to go to rehab

Drug dealers adding Olympic rings to cocaine wrappers in Rio

Report: Cowboys have ‘no interest’ in Freeney, Hardy

Report: Bradham was defending girlfriend during alleged assault

Elliott domestic violence case being taken to city prosecutor

Equipment manager Blake Griffin punched no longer works for Clippers

Report: Nicks signing one-year deal with Saints

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

Robbie Keane rescued on highway after running out of gas

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Tigers play high stakes game of Rock, Paper, Scissors

Tavares dismisses rumors, wants to stay with Islanders

UFC signs a new broadcast deal in the U.K.

Gonzalo Higuain to Juventus: What does this mean for Serie A?

MLB asks Yaisel Puig to stop wearing his Vin Scully cleats

Study finds link on babies named Shea, Mets’ success

Durant: Being cheered by Oracle Arena crowd ‘felt a little weird’

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker