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What to Watch For, Presented by Arby's

Posted Oct 30, 2013

The Cleveland Browns will finish the regular-season series against the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium Sunday.

After two weeks on the road at Lambeau Field and Arrowhead Stadium, the Cleveland Browns return home to FirstEnergy Stadium Sunday to close out the regular-season series with the Baltimore Ravens for their final game before the annual bye week.

The Browns enter Sunday’s game at 3-5 and in third place in the AFC North Division after a 23-17 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. The Ravens are 3-4 and in second place in the AFC North after their 19-16 loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field two weeks ago.

When the Browns welcome the Ravens to Cleveland, it will mark the seventh time in six years that the team will get to play the reigning Super Bowl champions. In those games, the Browns are 3-3, including a 2-0 mark at home.

The Browns lost their first meeting with the Ravens, 14-6, in a week-two meeting at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco threw a five-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Marlon Brown and extended the Ravens’ lead over the Browns to 14-6 with 8:57 to play in regulation. Flacco engineered the eight-play, 42-yard drive, and converted two third-downs, first, a third-and-10 from the Browns’ 42-yard line, and then, a third-and-eight from Cleveland’s 24.

The Ravens took their first lead of the game, at 7-6, when running back Bernard Pierce rushed for a five-yard touchdown with 5:13 to play in the third quarter.

Pierce’s run capped off a 12-play, 80-yard drive that took 5:50 off the third-quarter clock. Flacco went three-for-three for 40 yards on the drive, and all three of his passes were on third-down plays.

In their history, the Browns are 7-22-0 against the Ravens, 4-10 in home games and 3-12 at Baltimore.

As this year’s game unfolds, here are several players to keep an eye on:

Tight end Jordan Cameron. With four catches for 81 yards against the Chiefs last Sunday, Cameron improved on his team-best statistics. He leads the team with 596 yards and six touchdowns on 49 receptions, and has averaged 12.2 yards per reception this season.

His 49 receptions are the second-most ever by a Browns player through the first eight games of a season, and the six touchdowns are tied for the second-most ever by a Browns tight end in a single season. Cameron and Pro Football Hall of Famer Ozzie Newsome are the only Browns’ tight ends ever to have at least six receiving touchdowns in a single season. Newsome accomplished the feat three times with a team-record nine touchdowns in 1979, and six each in 1981 and 1983.

Cameron’s 49 catches are the most in the NFL by a tight end, and third in the NFL overall. He is second in the NFL in receiving yards among tight ends, and tied for 15th in scoring among non-kickers.

Defensive back Joe Haden. Haden has defended 55 passes in 50 career games, an average of 1.12 per game since the 2010 season. That is the second-highest average of any NFL player with 50 pass breakups since the start of the 1994 season.

Linebacker D’Qwell Jackson. The eight-year veteran leads the Browns with 72 total tackles, including 42 solo stops, and a team-high 30 assists. Jackson has registered double-digit tackles in three of the Browns’ last six games.

When Jackson has registered double-digit tackle totals, the Browns have won every game this season. Jackson had 11 tackles in wins at Minnesota and against Buffalo, and registered 10 stops, including a season-best seven solo tackles against Cincinnati.

Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon. Despite missing the first two games of the season, Gordon ranks second on the team with 582 yards and two touchdowns on 32 receptions, and has gone over the 100-yard mark in three games this season, the most by a Brown since Braylon Edwards had three during the entire 2008 season.

After catching 10 passes for 146 yards and one touchdown in his season debut against the Vikings, Gordon again reached the 100-yard plateau with 126 yards on seven catches in a loss to the Detroit Lions on Oct. 13. He accounted for a game-high 132 yards, including a 39-yard touchdown, on five receptions against the Chiefs.

Gordon could become the first Browns player to record back-to-back 100-yard receiving games since Edwards achieved the feat in the second and third weeks of the 2006 season. With a 100-yard game against the Ravens, Gordon would be the first Brown since Edwards in 2007 to reach the plateau four times in a season.

Linebacker Paul Kruger. After a five-game sack drought, Kruger has returned to his pass-rushing form of last season, as the fifth-year outside linebacker has registered 1.5 sacks over his last two contests. He currently ranks fourth on the team with 2.5 sacks through the first eight games of the season.

Kruger came to the Browns from the Ravens, where he registered 70 total tackles, 15.5 sacks, and two interceptions, defended 14 passes, recovered three fumbles and forced another during his four years in Baltimore.

In 2012, Kruger led the Ravens with nine quarterback sacks. During Baltimore’s march to the Super Bowl XLVII championship, Kruger had 4.5 sacks in the playoffs, including two against San Francisco 49ers signal-caller Colin Kaepernick in the Super Bowl.

Cleveland quarterback Jason Campbell. Campbell needs 19 passing yards to reach 15,000 for his career.

Browns Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas. Thomas has started each of the 104 games and taken 6,376 consecutive snaps since being selected by the Browns with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. Thomas is tied for the third-longest streak of consecutive starts among active NFL offensive linemen.

Cleveland center Alex Mack. Since joining the Browns as a first-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, Mack has started 72 straight games, and begun 4,451 consecutive plays for the team.

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. Flacco has completed 160 of 269 attempts (59.5 percent) for 1,917 yards and eight touchdowns, but has thrown eight interceptions. In each of his five previous seasons, Flacco has thrown double-digit interceptions, with the most being 12 each in the 2008, 2009 and 2011 seasons.

In his 11 career games against the Browns, Flacco has completed 188 of 301 attempts for 2,248 yards and 13 touchdowns against five interceptions. He has never lost to the Browns in those 11 starts.

Baltimore wide receiver Torrey Smith. Smith leads the Ravens with 629 yards on 31 receptions, and his one touchdown catch is tied for third on the team, behind fellow wide receiver Marlon Brown (three) and tight end Dallas Clark (two).

Smith caught seven passes for 85 yards in the Ravens’ win over the Browns earlier this season.

Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs. At full strength from the start of the season, Suggs has returned to his pass-rushing form from 2011, when he registered a career high 14 sacks and was named the AP Defensive Player of the Year.

Lining up opposite of Elvis Dumervil, Suggs leads the Ravens with eight sacks and is on pace for a new career high of 18 this year.

The Browns go on their annual bye week next Sunday before finishing up the regular-season series with the Cincinnati Bengals with a 1 p.m./ET game at Paul Brown Stadium on Nov. 17. The Ravens will return home for their first of two games against the Bengals on Sunday, Nov. 10.

CONNECTIONS

Kruger was selected by the Ravens in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft.

Browns running back Willis McGahee rushed for 2,802 yards and 32 touchdowns in 59 regular-season games with the Ravens from 2007-10.

Cleveland kicker Billy Cundiff spent parts of three seasons (2009-11) with the Ravens, where he earned Pro Bowl and All-Pro status after making 26 of 29 field goals and all 39 extra points for Baltimore in 2010.

Browns offensive tackle Oniel Cousins was a third-round pick of the Ravens in 2008 and played three seasons in Baltimore from 2008-10.

Defensive lineman Ishmaa’ily Kitchen was an undrafted free-agent signee of the Ravens after the 2012 NFL Draft, and practice-squad wide receiver Tori Gurley signed with Baltimore on Jan. 1, 2013 before being waived during offseason workouts.

Haden (Fort Washington/Friendly High School) and fellow defensive back Johnson Bademosi (Silver Springs/Gonzaga H.S.), as well as defensive lineman Phil Taylor (Clinton/Gwynn Park) are Maryland natives.

Jackson played football at the University of Maryland.

Browns outside linebackers coach Brian Baker is a native of Baltimore, and played college football at Maryland.

Cleveland running backs coach John Settle served as an offensive assistant/special-teams quality control coach with the Ravens from 1996-97.

Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome was selected by the Browns with the No. 23 overall pick in the 1978 NFL Draft and became a Hall of Fame inductee after playing with the team from 1978-90. Newsome still holds seven franchise records (most catches in a career, season and game, most consecutive games with a catch, yards in a career and game, and most seasons with 50 or more receptions).

Newsome got his start in the front office with the Browns’ pro personnel department from 1991-95.

Baltimore’s assistant head coach/special teams coordinator, Jerry Rosburg, coached the Browns’ special teams from 2001-06 and his special-teams units ranked in the top 10 in several categories during that time.

Defensive line coach Clarence Brooks served in the same capacity with the Browns in 1999.

Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees was head coach at Kent State and guided former Brown Joshua Cribbs to 13 school records. Under Pees’ direction, Cribbs became only the second player in NCAA history to rush for and also throw for more than 1,000 yards in a single season.

Chris Hewitt, Baltimore’s assistant special teams coach, served as an intern with the Browns in 2001 through the NFL’s Minority Coaching Fellowship Program.

Ravens fullback Kyle Juszczyk (Medina/Cloverleaf High School) and linebacker John Simon (Youngstown/Cardinal Mooney) are Ohio natives. Simon was the eighth two-time captain in Ohio State history.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh (Perrysburg/Miami of Ohio), inside linebackers coach Don Martindale (Dayton/Defiance College) and Pees (Dunkirk/Bowling Green State University) are Ohio natives.

MEDIA

Fans can watch Sunday’s game at 4:25 p.m./ET on local CBS affiliate, WOIO-TV 19. Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) and former NFL defensive back Solomon Wilcots (color analyst) will call the action.

The game is also available along the PNC Bank Cleveland Browns Radio Network with Jim Donovan, former Browns left tackle Doug Dieken, and Jamir Howerton on the call.

WestwoodOne Sports will broadcast the game on SiriusXM channel 225 as Tom McCarthy (play-by-play) and Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive back Rod Woodson (color analyst) will call the action.

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