The Cleveland Browns have a chance to surprise all of football on Thursday night. What must the team accomplish to overcome long odds and defeat the Ravens?
Nine opportunities have come and gone, and the Cleveland Browns are still without a win. As hope is fading, many see Thursday night’s divisional showdown with the Baltimore Ravens as the final legitimate chance to avoid a catastrophic 0-16 season.
The Ravens are coming off a Week 9 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, which snapped a four-game losing streak, and look to build on the triumph against the 0-9 Browns. Baltimore has proven to be extremely inconsistent in the first half of 2016, opening up an opportunity following a short week of practice for Cleveland to catch them by surprise.
Of course, even if they do, they must do so for four quarters. When the same two rivals met at FirstEnergy Stadium in Week 2, the Browns jumped out to a 20-0 lead. This commanding edge was completely squandered though by the end of the game, as Cleveland could not sustain their elite play for more than a half.
This week could be a much different story. The Browns probably won’t score the first 20 points of the game, but then again, the Ravens will most likely be subdued before rattling off 25 straight. Regardless, it will be far from easy for a winless football team still in search of their identity. In order to pull off the upset in front of a larger audience than normal, the Browns will need to pay special attention to these five areas of the game.