|Forget revenge, Browns simply want a win vs Ravens|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 18 September 2008 13:36|
Vindication and vengeance were once important to Lewis and the Browns. That was before Cleveland went 10-6 last season to establish itself as a playoff contender.
Picked by many to make a run at the AFC North title this year, Cleveland opened with losses to Dallas and Pittsburgh at home. The last team to make the playoffs after an 0-3 start was the 1998 Buffalo Bills, and the Browns have no desire to attempt that kind of comeback.
So instead of focusing Sunday on ending Baltimore's run of 20 straight games without allowing a 100-yard rusher, Lewis will strive solely to conclude Cleveland's disturbing losing streak.
aid Lewis, now in his second season with the Browns. ``One hundred yards, that would be sweet. But, at the same time, a victory would be better.''
Lewis will say hello to a few old friends, but is treating this purely as a business trip.
``I just want to go into the stadium, get my job done and get out,'' he said. ``That's about it.''
The Browns scored only one touchdown in their two losses, which reminded Lewis of the time Baltimore went five straight games without a touchdown. That team overcame the scoring drought and a 5-4 start to win the 2001 Super Bowl.
``We lost a couple games early too, and went on a nice winning streak,'' he said. ``So I don't panic. I know we have a good team.''
The Ravens know it, too.
``They're a capable team, they won 10 games last year and they're back this year,'' Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis said. ``They started with two of the hardest teams in the NFL. The bottom line is we can't worry about what they have going on. We've got to worry about what we've got going on.''
It's been a disappointing start for the Browns, and a weird one for the Ravens (1-0). After losing quarterbacks Kyle Boller (shoulder injury) and Troy Smith (infected tonsils) in August, the Ravens started rookie Joe Flacco in the opener. Flacco ran for a 38-yard touchdown and didn't commit a turnover in a 17-10 win over Cincinnati.
ton postponed by Hurricane Ike, which means Baltimore has already burned its bye and now must play 15 straight weeks. The unexpected vacation did, however, allow some injuries to heal and gave Flacco and newcomer Willie Anderson more time to absorb the playbook.
Anderson, a right offensive tackle, used to face the Browns twice a year while playing with Cincinnati. This will be his debut with the Ravens, but he already knows what to expect.
``In the AFC North, everybody knows everybody,'' Anderson said. ``When you play a division opponent, it's going to be a two chinstrap game. Very physical.''
The Browns don't care about revenge, but the Ravens do after losing twice to Cleveland last season. In the first meeting, Cleveland scored touchdowns on its first two possessions, led 24-6 at halftime and coasted.
In the rematch, Browns kicker Phil Dawson attempted to tie the game at 30 with a 51-yard field goal on the final play of regulation. The ball hit the left upright, then struck the curved center support behind the crossbar before falling forward into the end zone. The Ravens celebrated the miss, and several players were in the locker room when told the kick was good.
Cleveland then scored on the first possession of overtime to win it.
s linebacker Terrell Suggs said. ``The simple fact that they beat us twice last year, there's more oomph on our side.''
If Suggs and the Ravens have their way, the game won't hinge on a last-second field goal.
``They won the game, kudos to them,'' Suggs said. ``But it's a whole new year. We've just got to do our best to make sure we don't have anything like that again.''