Ravens should take a lesson from ’07 Dolphins loss
back then, punter Sam Koch and guard Marshal Yanda, but Suggs suffered more embarrassment because he played on defense.
The only Raven who suffered more indignity was Brian Billick, who was fired as the team’s coach at the end of that 5-11 season.
So it was easy to see why Suggs and the Ravens were more focused on the Browns than on celebrating the win against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
“This is just one game, though,” cornerback Jimmy Smith said. “We know we have to come out and be on point against Cleveland coming up. They jumped out on us by 20 points out there and it’s always a tough game against the Browns. We have our hands full coming up Thursday and need to play well to make this win meaningful.”
This could be one of those trap games. The Browns are awful. They’ve won only one game in their past 20 and have started three quarterbacks and used six this season. The Browns are ranked No. 19 in total offense and No. 31 in defense.
The Ravens’ win Sunday moved them into a first-place tie with Pittsburgh in the AFC North, but they will lose that momentum if they fall to Cleveland.
It would be a setback as significant as back-to-back losses to the Giants and Jets in New York in Weeks 6 and 7.
“We want to be a veteran team and not make the same mistakes twice,” Suggs said. “You all know we started out pretty good, 3-0, and we had some opportunities to just take some steps, and we missed those opportunities. So this is a perfect opportunity. We got another one to take another step. Veteran teams, good teams, they don’t take steps back.”
Besides, it’s a personal thing. No team wants to lose to Cleveland.
On the flip side, the Browns don’t want to become a part of modern football history.
The young Browns will remain hungry, unlike older teams with veterans who might want to shut it down. Miami wasn’t going anywhere in 2007, but the Dolphins didn’t want to be humiliated. They played the Ravens as if it were the Super Bowl.
Cleveland will fight just as hard. The Browns have always played the Ravens tough. Cleo Lemon, though, has been replaced by Cody Kessler, the Browns’ rookie quarterback, a third-round pick out of Southern California.
Against the Steelers, the Ravens had their strongest defensive effort of the season. They held Pittsburgh to 277 yards of total offense and limited Le’Veon Bell, one of the league’s top running backs, to 32 yards on 14 carries.
But when Pittsburgh started to attack the Ravens through the air in the fourth quarter, the Steelers scored twice in the final nine minutes and the Ravens didn’t secure the victory until they recovered an onside kick with 48 seconds remaining.
“We gave up some plays down the stretch, and I don’t like that,” Suggs said. “You don’t ever want to have to win the game with your hands team, especially when you have a 21-point lead in the fourth quarter. So, like I said, we’ve definitely got to finish better. You know, a win is a win. We’re going to take the win, but we’re going back to work on the short week.”
Unlike the Steelers, the Browns don’t have a dynamic player such as Bell at running back, or Antonio Brown at wide