Originally written on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 11/14/14
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.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Marc Trestman: Benching Jay Cutler could revive QB's career

Rob Gronkowski jokes about Tom Brady saying he's grown up

Rajon Rondo reportedly traded to Mavericks

Washington Post has perfect description for Titans-Jaguars

Wilbon angry at DC for not supporting Wizards

Urban Meyer on Tim Tebow: 'He wants another shot at playing'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Keenan Lewis: Saints preparing 'funeral' for Falcons

Chris Christie defends being a Cowboys fan

Celtics co-owner: 2024 Olympics would be 'boon for Beantown'

Harbaugh turned down Michigan money in 2011

Why the Saints pose a legit threat to any playoff team

Matt Kemp reportedly has arthritis in both hips

Youngstown St. addresses Bo Pelini's profanity-laced rant

It's been almost 40 years since NFL's last untelevised game

The NHL has finally fined a player for diving

Ben Roethlisberger: Le’Veon Bell is having an MVP season

Jim Harbaugh comments on the reported offer from Michigan

Michael Jordan's college Converse shoes sell for $33,387

Week 16 NFL game watchability rankings

Game of the week: Indianapolis Colts vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Chicago Bears are the Monstrosity of the Midway

Tom Brady's TD celebrations frighten teammates

The impact of normalized U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

Dwight Howard kicks Nuggets mascot Rocky

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.

Gronk jokes about Brady compliment

In Matt Kemp, did the Dodgers find a pigeon in Padres?

Why the Saints are legit playoff threat

Impact of U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

Andrew Hawkins, other athletes gain support for social statement attire

NBA's most underrated players

Michael Vick nearly debt-free

Dolphins CB rips Brady's career plans

Biggest winners of the MLB offseason

Brian Billick owns Browns fan

Pelini has profane words for Nebraska AD

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.