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Browns continue AFC North slate

Posted Nov 3, 2012

The Cleveland Browns play their fourth of six games against the AFC North Division against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

The Cleveland Browns complete their second of three series against teams from the AFC North Division with Sunday’s game with the Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

The Browns are 1-2 against AFC North competition after splitting the season series with the Cincinnati Bengals, losing, 34-27, at Cincinnati (Sept. 16) and winning, 34-24, at home (Oct. 14). The Browns dropped a 23-16 decision to the Ravens on Sept. 27 at M&T Bank Stadium.

“It’s great football in the AFC North, especially during this time of year,” said veteran wide receiver Joshua Cribbs. “It’s always a battle, hard-fought games. This is what football is all about, playing football at this time of year when the weather’s bad, the field’s bad. It really shows what you’re made of.

“It showed last week, playing against a team from California. They’re not used to these elements and we were able to take advantage of it. Now, we’re playing against a team that’s coming from the same elements. They know what it’s like to play in cold weather. It’s going to be a nitty-gritty football game.”

In 15 career games against the Ravens, Cribbs has rushed for 67 yards on 12 carries and gained 141 yards on 14 catches. He has averaged 13.4 yards per punt return and 26.0 yards per kickoff return in those games and set two career highs in Baltimore.

Cribbs returned a punt for a career-best 84-yard touchdown against the Ravens on Dec 24, 2011, and had 306 combined return yards in Baltimore on Nov. 18, 2007.

When the Browns played in Baltimore earlier this year, Cribbs was knocked out of the competition with a concussion on a punt return during the first half of the Thursday night game.

“I can’t wait to play against this team on special teams, not because of the concussion, but mainly, because they’re ranked high in special teams and it’s a challenge for our special teams,” Cribbs said. “We have a great special teams unit and this is a challenge for us. You can always say that we played them well and it was hard-fought, but the real test is taking advantage of our opportunities by winning, not by coming close because a win is a win.”

The Browns enter Sunday’s game at 2-6 overall, but with two straight victories at home, including the win over Cincinnati, the players are confident they can make up some ground with three more AFC North games remaining on the schedule.

“When we won a division game and beat Cincinnati and coming off of last week’s win, we just feel like there’s no reason why we can’t keep these wins coming,” defensive back Joe Haden said. “They’re a beatable team. They’re really talented and not to put anything past them, but everybody in the division is beatable. We feel like our team is starting to become one of the good teams, on the verge of being on top.”

Quarterback Brandon Weeden added, “We saw that we could play. They hit us in the mouth and they played well. We’ve grown up a lot since then. They’ve gotten better. It’s a big game for both teams because they’re coming off a bye week; we’re coming off of a win to try and keep going off of that. I think both teams are ready to rock and roll.”

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