NFL Football

31
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Baltimore 0 14 7 10 31
Cleveland 0 6 3 6 15
15
10:00 AM PT11:00 AM MT12:00 PM CT1:00 PM ET18:00 GMT2:00 11:00 AM MST1:00 PM EST12:00 PM CT22:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00 , December 22, 2019
FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio  Weather: 49°, Clear  Attendance: 67,431

Ravens-Browns Preview

According to STATS
According to STATS

Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns

  1. The Ravens' last loss came at the hands of the Browns, a 40-25 defeat in Baltimore in Week 4. Cleveland has not swept Baltimore in a season, or won consecutive games against the Ravens, since 2007 -- the season before John Harbaugh took over as Baltimore's head coach.
  2. The Ravens' 10-game winning streak is the longest in the team's history; no team has won 11 straight games in a single season since the 2016 Cowboys won 11 in a row. During Baltimore's winning streak, the Ravens have outscored their opposition by 180 points (337-157) and outrushed their opponents by 1035 yards (2007 to 972).
  3. The Browns have won four consecutive home games for the first time since they won seven in succession in 2007. Cleveland started this season 0-3 at home, allowing 95 points and committing eight turnovers. During the winning streak, the Browns have surrendered only 66 points (16.5 per game) with three giveaways.
  4. Lamar Jackson threw two interceptions and was sacked four times in the September loss to the Browns, part of a two-game span (Weeks 4 and 5) in which Jackson suffered nine sacks and threw five picks. In nine subsequent games, Jackson has 22 TD passes, one interception, and only eight times sacked -- along with 795 rushing yards and six TDs on the ground.
  5. Nick Chubb has rushed for 100-plus in consecutive games, bringing his season total to 1408 yards and seven games of 100 or more. Chubb looks to become the second Cleveland player ever to rush for 1500 yards in a season; Jim Brown did so three times in his Hall of Fame career.
  6. Since the Browns returned to the NFL in 1999 following a three-year hiatus, Cleveland has made one playoff appearance -- in 2002 -- and has not won a postseason game. Over that same span, the Ravens have earned 12 playoff berths, including this season, and won 15 postseason contests, including a pair of Super Bowls.
Team Comparison

Baltimore
 
Cleveland
33.7 Points 21.2
215.4 Pass Yds 241.1
202.1 Rush Yds 126.4
22 Takeaways 18
(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

CLEVELAND (AP) When the Ravens and Browns played 12 weeks ago, Lamar Jackson was showing only hints of superstardom and the Browns looked like a legitimate team.

Things have changed dramatically since then for Baltimore and Cleveland.

After losing 40-25 loss to the Browns on Sept. 29, the Ravens (12-2) have ripped off 10 consecutive wins, Jackson has emerged as one of this season's top MVP contenders, Baltimore has clinched a division title and can wrap up the No. 1 spot in the AFC playoffs with a win on Sunday over the Browns (6-8).

Cleveland, meanwhile, is, well, still Cleveland.

The Browns are clinging to infinitesimal odds of ending their postseason drought dating to 2002, the fan base is in its annual winter uproar, and first-year coach Freddie Kitchens is fighting for survival.

It all looked so different back in the fall when the Browns scored 30 points in the second half and rocked the Ravens, who seem to have supplanted New England as the league's best team.

"That was our last loss and it wasn't good," said Ravens running back Mark Ingram, who needs 37 yards to reach 1,000. "We're not that team anymore. We're a better team. We kind of grew a lot from that moment. We were 2-2 and pretty much said our season could go one of two ways. We can change it and have success, or we can fold and fail.

"We came together, went back to the drawing board and we kept grinding one day at a time and here we are, 10 wins later. We feel like we're a different team. We know they have a lot of talent on their side. .... We're just trying to keep it going."

For the Browns, Sunday's matchup could either save Kitchens or send him packing.

Cleveland's playoff hopes were all but erased last week with a loss at Arizona; the Browns need to win their last two and need a ton of outside help to make it. Kitchens' shaky future took a major blow when it appeared some of his players weren't giving it their all against the Cardinals.

Kitchens didn't question his players' effort, but running back Kareem Hunt inferred this week that some of his teammates quit.

Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield didn't double down on Hunt's strong words, but he felt they were warranted.

"Kareem has been in a place in Kansas City that knows how to win so his level and his standard of accountability for everybody to do their job is very high," said Mayfield, whose play has been sporadic. "That is the type of guy you want to bring in here. I do not think it was anything personal to anybody, but Kareem, bringing him in was huge part for us raising the standards. We want that. We want guys to be able to have accountability."

JACKSON'S RISE

Jackson was the fifth quarterback drafted in 2018. He's now the prize pick in a group that included Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen and Josh Allen, all of who were considered better prospects.

"People pinned him as a non-throwing QB so it was more of `does he fit in our system?' type of ideas," Mayfield said when asked why Jackson wasn't considered elite. "That is why they are having success is they are building around him and calling plays for him. They are doing a really good job of that."

BECKHAM BACK

The drama surrounding the Browns all season eased a little this week when star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. said he wants to stay.

There had been rampant speculation Beckham wanted out of Cleveland, and the three-time Pro Bowler had done little to quiet the constant noise before saying he's not looking to bolt after a disappointing season.

"I'll be here," he said. "We'll figure this thing out. It's just too special to leave."

MAIN MAN

Ravens tight end Mark Andrews is having a record-breaking season.

He's already set a single-season mark for touchdown catches by a tight end (8) and needs only 97 yards to pass Todd Heap's record for yards receiving in a season.

"He finds a way to get open," Jackson said.

Andrews has Cleveland connections. He was drafted in the third round last season out of Oklahoma, where he played with Mayfield and was in the quarterback's wedding party.

Despite missing most of the Buffalo game two weeks ago with a knee injury, Andrews leads the Ravens in catches (58), yards receiving (759) and touchdown receptions.

BAD BLOOD?

Tempers flared the last time the teams played as Beckham fought Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey, who took a punch from the receiver before flinging him to the ground and jamming his fists into Beckham's throat. Each was fined $14,037 by the league.

Beckham said he's moved past the incident and that it won't be difficult to control his emotions.

"I'm over it," he said. "I've had the candy dangled in front of me before. It's just football."

SACK EXCHANGE

After losing sack specialists Terrell Suggs and Za'Darius Smith to free agency, the Ravens were expected to struggle getting to the quarterback.

Matthew Judon has picked up the slack.

Judon has a team-leading 8 1/2 sacks and he earned his first Pro Bowl bid. Most of all, though, he's delighted to prove the doubters wrong.

"You play this game to be recognized. The individual goals mean something," Judon said. "But the lack of pass rush you all were talking about, you all are not talking about it anymore. Now you're talking about how fun it is to watch this defense."

Baltimore has 34 sacks despite losing Suggs, who signed as a free agent with Arizona after setting a Ravens franchise record for career sacks.

"We love Suggs and everything he did for us, but we had to press forward and that's what we did," Judon said.

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AP Sports Writer David Ginsburg in Baltimore contributed.

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More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Updated December 19, 2019

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