The Cleveland Browns finish their pre-bye week schedule and their second of three season series against AFC North competition with Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
Overall, the Browns are 7-20-0 all-time against the Ravens and 4-9-0 in home games. The Ravens have won nine straight games against the Browns -- and four consecutive in Cleveland -- dating back to a 28-10 victory in Baltimore on Sept. 21, 2008.
Last year, the Browns and Ravens met each other twice in 20 days over the last five weeks of the regular season. The Ravens earned a 24-10 win in Cleveland on Dec. 4 and followed it with a 20-14 victory in Baltimore on Dec. 24.
When the two teams met on Sept. 27 of this year, the Ravens earned a 23-16 win over the Browns at M&T Bank Stadium in front of a national television audience on NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football.
Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco completed 28 passes for 356 yards with a touchdown and an interception in the win.
As the game unfolds, here are several players to keep an eye on:
Richardson’s 679 yards of total offense rank third behind Tampa Bay’s Doug Martin (767) and Washington’s Alfred Morris (752), while his 470 yards rushing are fourth in the league among first-year players. He is second in the NFL in receptions by a rookie and third in the league with 27 first downs.
Richardson is tied for seventh among all NFL players (non-kickers) in scoring.
With 122 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries last Sunday, Richardson joined William Green, Kevin Mack, Earnest Byner and Preston Carpenter, as well as Pro Football Hall of Famers, Bobby Mitchell and Jim Brown, as the only Browns rookies to rush for 100 or more yards in a game multiple times in a season.
With a 100-yard game against the Ravens, Richardson would join Earnest Byner (1984) and Bobby Mitchell (1958) as the only first-year Browns to rush for 100 or more yards in back-to-back games. Also, it would give him three 100-yard games this season, which would tie him with Green and Mack for the most 100-yard rushing games by a Browns rookie.
Quarterback Brandon Weeden. Weeden completed 11 of 27 attempts for 122 yards in last Sunday’s win over San Diego.
On the season, Weeden has completed 165 of 299 attempts for 1,912 yards with nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Weeden has thrown for 300 or more yards twice in eight games and has three of the top four single-game passing yardage totals ever by a Browns rookie.
Weeden also has thrown the second and fifth-longest touchdowns by a Browns rookie quarterback. Earlier this year, he completed 71 and 62-yard touchdown passes to wide receiver
With a 300-yard game against the Ravens, Weeden would join Derek Anderson, Bernie Kosar, Brian Sipe and Pro Football Hall of Famer, the late Otto Graham, as the only quarterbacks in team history to throw for 300 or more yards at least three times in a single season. Anderson (three in 2007) and Graham (three in 1950) each accomplished the feat once, while Kosar (three each in 1986 and 1987) reached the mark twice. Sipe tossed four 300-yard games in 1979, and again in 1983 and six in 1980.
A 300-yard game would also join Weeden with Peyton Manning, Cam Newton and Andrew Luck as the only first-year quarterbacks in NFL history to throw for 300 or more yards at least three times in a single season.
Josh Gordon. Gordon leads the Browns with 379 yards and four touchdown receptions on his 17 catches this season.
Gordon leads all NFL rookies with the four touchdown catches and ranks first with the 379 yards receiving. Gordon’s six receptions of at least 20 yards lead all first-year NFL players. His 22.3 yards per reception average is first among all NFL players with at least 14 catches.
With a touchdown Sunday, Gordon would be the first Browns rookie to have five or more receiving touchdowns in a season since Andre’ Davis caught six in 2002.
Kicker Phil Dawson. The 14-year veteran is 12 for 12 on field goal attempts this season. He is eight of eight from 40 or more yards, including a four for four mark from 50-plus. Since the start of the 2011 season, Dawson has made a league-best 11 of 12 field goals from 50 or more yards. His 18 straight field goals made is the second-longest active streak in the NFL.
Dawson has converted 288 of 344 career field goal attempts with the Browns and ranks second in team history with 1,207 points. His 83.7 field goal percentage is first all-time in team history and the eighth-best total among NFL kickers with at least 100 career field goals made.
Dawson is 30 of 32 on field goal attempts and 38 of 39 on extra-point tries in 25 games against the Ravens. Earlier this year, Dawson’s three field goals of at least 50 yards tied an NFL single-game record.
Cribbs’ 11,496 combined kickoff and punt return yards rank sixth on the NFL’s career list.
He has returned an NFL record eight kickoffs for touchdowns and added three more scores on punt returns. The combined 11 touchdowns are fifth all-time and with one more, Cribbs would equal Hall and Metcalf for third place. Cribbs is also 217 yards away from Dennis Northcutt’s mark for the most punt return yards (2,149) in franchise history.
Cribbs currently ranks fourth in the NFL in both punt and kickoff return average. He has averaged 13.1 yards over 18 punt returns and 30.3 yards on 24 kickoffs. Since the start of the 2011 season, Cribbs has nine returns of at least 40 yards. Each of those returns led to Browns scores -- five touchdowns and four field goals.
With 23 kickoff return yards, Cribbs would move past Washington’s Brian Mitchell (9,517) and become the NFL’s all-time leader for kickoff return yards with one team. Seventy-three kickoff return yards would make Cribbs only the second player in NFL history to have at least 800 kickoff return yards in eight straight seasons. Mitchell registered 10 straight seasons with 800 or more kickoff return yards.
Browns offensive linemen
Brown has 24 career interceptions and is tied for the second-longest active streak of consecutive seasons with an interception. Green Bay’s Charles Woodson has had an interception in 15 straight seasons, while Baltimore’s Ed Reed (11) ranks second with Brown.
Brown’s 139 pass breakups since 2002 rank third behind Denver’s Champ Bailey and Atlanta’s Asante Samuel.
Haloti Ngata. The Ravens have registered a combined total of 12 sacks this season and Ngata leads the way with three for 25 lost yards. In the last three seasons, Ngata has registered a combined 13.5 sacks, including a career-best 5.5 in 2010 and another five last year.
Joe Flacco. Flacco has completed 150 of 252 attempts for 1,837 yards and nine touchdowns against six interceptions this year. He has been sacked 18 times for 110 lost yards.
Running back Ray Rice. Rice rushed for 524 yards and five touchdowns on 106 carries through seven games this season. A dual-threat option out of the backfield, Rice has the third-most receptions on the team, 29, for a total of 245 yards.
The Browns come into Sunday’s game at 2-6 after a 7-6 win over the San Diego Chargers at Cleveland Browns Stadium last Sunday. The Ravens are 5-2 and in first place in the AFC North Division after their bye week.
Browns offensive lineman
Joshua Cribbs (Washington D.C./Dunbar High School), defensive backs
Linebacker D’Qwell Jackson played his college football at the University of Maryland.
Cleveland’s assistant strength and conditioning coach Rick Lyle was a defensive lineman for the Ravens during the 1996 season.
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.
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh (Perrysburg/Miami of Ohio), inside linebackers coach Don Martindale (Dayton/Defiance College) and defensive coordinator Dean Pees (Dunkirk/Bowling Green State University) are Ohio natives.
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.
Pees was Cribbs’ head coach at Kent State University and guided him to 13 school records. Under Pees’ direction, Cribbs became only the second player in NCAA history to rush for and also throw for 1,000 or more 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.
Fans can watch Sunday’s game at 1 p.m. ET on local CBS affiliate WOIO-TV 19. Marv Albert will provide the play-by-play, while former NFL quarterback Rich Gannon (color analysis) will also be on the call.
The game is also available along the PNC Bank Browns Radio Network with Jim Donovan (play-by-play), Doug Dieken (color) and Jamir Howerton (sideline reporter) on the call.
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