#1 The Baltimore Ravens couldn’t have asked for a b von panxing18 07.08.2019 03:50

BALTIMORE (AP) —etter scenario heading into Sunday’s AFC North matchup with the Cleveland Browns.“At the beginning of the season Stitched Brent Urban Jersey , if we say we control our destiny going into the last game, we can win the division, we’d have all signed up for that,” coach John Harbaugh said this week.The situation would have been even more ideal if these were the same old awful Browns, who went 1-15 in 2016 and 0-16 last year.Article continues below ...Cleveland (7-7-1) has rattled off five victories in its past six games, including the past three in a row. Striving to complete their first winning season since 2007 and eager to play the spoiler’s role against the team that left Cleveland for Baltimore after the 1995 season, the Browns have plenty of incentive to beat the Ravens (9-6).“We would obviously love to have this one and end the season on a very, very high note,” rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield said. “Obviously, disappointing somebody else’s playoff hopes, that is motivation, too.”Browns interim coach Gregg Williams, who replaced Hue Jackson in late October, called it “our playoff game.”The guidance of Williams and the stellar play of Mayfield have turned things around for the Browns, who beat Baltimore 12-9 in overtime on Oct. 7 when Jackson was their coach and Joe Flacco was the Ravens quarterback.A month after that game Youth Brent Urban Jersey , rookie Lamar Jackson took over at quarterback, the defense stiffened, and the Ravens used a 5-1 streak to move past Pittsburgh into first place.Now, Baltimore is poised to end its three-year hiatus from the playoffs.It’s a familiar position for the Ravens, who blew a win-and-they’re-in finale last year when they yielded a touchdown on a fourth-down play against visiting Cincinnati in the final minute.This time, they’re looking for a different ending.“Definitely, last year doesn’t sit well with us,” cornerback Brandon Carr said. “We had a prime opportunity to extend our season, and we failed at it. We didn’t finish the job, so that’s why this year the art of finish is big for us.”Some other things to know about the Browns-Ravens game:DOMINANCEBaltimore leads the series 29-10 and is 18-3 against the Browns under Harbaugh, who took over in 2008.Cleveland’s victory in October was its first over the Ravens since 2015, but seven of the past 11 games have been decided by eight points or fewer.“The Browns have always played us tough, even when they weren’t winning a lot of games,” Ravens guard Marshal Yanda said.STRANGE BEDFELLOWSHere’s a new one: The Steelers — and their fans — are pulling for the Browns, one of their bitter rivals.If Cleveland can knock off Baltimore and Pittsburgh takes care of Cincinnati Stitched Nick Boyle Jersey , the Steelers will win the AFC North and slide into the playoffs.“It’s the NFL, man. It’s crazy,” Browns guard Joel Bitonio said of the unusual season-ending scenario. “Any other week I’m sure people would’ve been like, ‘What are you talking about?’ But it’s how the NFL works. They need us to win and it’s part of it. I don’t think it changes how we attack the week or anything like that, but it’s a cool story.”PERRIMAN RETURNSCleveland wide receiver Breshad Perriman returns to Baltimore, where he struggled after the Ravens picked him in the first round of the 2015 draft.Perriman sustained a knee injury on the first day of training camp in 2015, was placed on injured reserve in November and finished the season without a catch.He had 33 catches in 2016 and 10 last year before being released in September. The former Central Florida standout had a brief stint with the Redskins before latching on with Cleveland, where he’s caught 13 passes for 295 yards and a score.“Before the game it will be nice to say hi to him, and then we’ll defend him,” Harbaugh said. “We have a lot of respect for him as a player.”HEISMAN HISTORYMayfield and Lamar Jackson first bonded as Heisman Trophy hopefuls in New York. When Jackson won college football’s biggest honor as Louisville’s quarterback in 2016, Mayfield finished third. One year later, Mayfield added to Oklahoma’s strong Heisman legacy by beating out Jackson, who finished third.The experience brought the quarterbacks closer.“I know Lamar and his family pretty well, two years in a row going to New York City and throughout the draft process, as well. Great guy Youth Nick Boyle Jersey ,” Mayfield said. “He is someone who is fun to be around.” Only four weeks remain in the NFL regular season, and the race for the AFC North is hotter than ever with Baltimore only a half game behind Pittsburgh. With both teams facing difficult schedules,..."Only four weeks remain in the NFL regular season, and the race for the AFC North is hotter than ever with Baltimore only a half game behind Pittsburgh. With both teams facing difficult schedules, every win becomes much more valuable. Cleveland and Cincinnati have both been eliminated from contention at this point.Baltimore Ravens (7-5)The Ravens have fought their way back in the division, winning three straight, but they now face possibly their biggest challenge of the regular season against the Kansas City Chiefs. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes has lit the league on fire in his first year as a starter, throwing 41 touchdowns to 11 interceptions to emerge as the favorite to win the league MVP. Mahomes has led the Chiefs to a 10-2 record and the third ranked offense in the league. Still, tight end Travis Kelce is the biggest threat to Baltimore’s defense. Kelce is currently the best tight end in the league with 1,082 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. The Ravens could possibly match a cornerback on Kelce. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill is one of the fastest players in the NFL, making him extremely dangerous as well. Hill will demand safety help at almost all times. Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson has yet to lose a game as a starter. Jackson has reinvented Baltimore’s offense, which has rushed for over 200 yards for three weeks straight. Jackson will face his toughest challenge yet at Arrowhead Stadium, one of the loudest environments in football. Luckily for the Ravens, Kansas City’s defense is giving up 122 rushing yards per game this season. Running back Gus Edwards continues to bulldoze through the middle of opposing defenses, while Jackson gashes them with speed on the edge. Running the ball and keeping it away from Mahomes by dominating the time of possession will be key for Baltimore.Pittsburgh Steelers (7-4-1)The Steelers suffered a demoralizing loss to the Chargers last week. The once sure fire division champions are now only a half game ahead of Baltimore. Thankfully for Pittsburgh Stitched Alex Lewis Jersey , they face the lifeless Oakland Raiders this week. The Raiders have not found much success on either side of the ball this year, leading to their abysmal 2-10 record. Quarterback Derek Carr has had a very average season, throwing for only 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions. The Steelers defense should not have too much trouble stopping Oakland. Carr has been sacked a career-high 38 times this season, and Pittsburgh leads the league in sacks with 41. Facing the Raiders 28th ranked defense presents a golden opportunity for the Steelers offense to rebound. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has played a huge part in the team’s recent struggles, throwing more interceptions than touchdowns in the last three weeks. Running back James Conner is expected to miss a few weeks with an ankle injury, which is a huge blow to Pittsburgh’s offense going forward. Roethlisberger must cut down his passing attempts and continue to run the ball, but that will be harder than ever without their bell-cow back. A loss on Sunday paired with a Ravens win would put the Steelers in second place in the division. Defeating Oakland would keep them in the lead, regardless of Baltimore’s outcome. Cleveland Browns (4-7-1)The Browns suffered a beating from the Houston Texans last week in a 29-13 loss. Today they face the Carolina Panthers, who are looking to keep their playoff hopes alive after dropping four games in a row.After star tight end Greg Olsen suffered a season-ending foot injury last week for the Panthers, running back Christian McCaffrey deserves the focus of Cleveland’s defense. McCaffrey is extremely dangerous as a runner and a receiver, as he has rushed 163 times for 863 yards and five touchdowns while catching 80 passes for 663 yards and six touchdowns. Quarterback Cam Newton struggled last week against Tampa Bay, throwing four interceptions in a loss. Newton will look to rebound this week to lead his team to the playoffs. Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield is also coming off of an ugly performance, throwing three interceptions in Cleveland’s loss to the Texans. Mayfield has had a solid rookie season, throwing 18 touchdowns to 10 interceptions, but he must learn to limit the turnovers. This week Youth Alex Lewis Jersey , he will be facing the Panthers 22nd ranked pass defense, who have 11 interceptions on the season. Cincinnati Bengals (5-7)The Bengals suffered another major blow last week when star receiver A.J. Green re-injured his toe and was placed on injured reserve. Cincinnati has now lost their starting quarterback and best receiver in recent weeks, dashing any hope of returning to the playoffs this season. Things will not get better for the Bengals this week, as they travel to face the 9-3 Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers will be without running back Melvin Gordon. And while Gordon’s absence is huge, the team was able to overcome it last week when they defeated the Steelers. Wide receiver Keenan Allen is coming off of a big performance, catching 14 passes for 148 yards and a touchdown against Pittsburgh. Allen presents a major challenge for Cincinnati’s 31st ranked secondary. Quarterback Philip Rivers is having one of the best seasons of his career, with 28 touchdowns to only six interceptions. Jeff Driskel remains the starter at quarterback after the Bengals placed Andy Dalton on injured reserve. Driskel has now lost his top target in Green as well, which does not bode well for the young quarterback in just his second start and against the ninth ranked defense. Neutralizing the pass rush of Los Angeles will be key to finding offensive success for Cincinnati. Since making his season debut just three games ago, Joey Bosa already has three sacks. The Bengals must make Bosa the forefront of their attention.

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