Are the Baltimore Ravens feeling the pressure of the Cleveland Browns?
The Cleveland Browns are the favorites to win the AFC North in 2019, and the defending AFC North champs Ravens may be feeling the pressure from Cleveland.
The Cleveland Browns strong offseason has the organization dealing with expectations that they have not had for a long time: reaching the postseason.
Mainly because of the addition of Odell Beckham Jr. to a young team that showed plenty of potential in 2018, Cleveland has become a favorite to win the AFC North and a contender to win the AFC Championship.
The Browns being favorites to win the AFC North is quite surprising, as the Baltimore Ravens still appear to be a viable threat. And after coming out of nowhere to win the AFC North last season, the Ravens seem to be ready to do so again.
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However, the members of the Ravens may already be feeling the pressure that the Browns are expected to put on them in 2019, including Baltimore owner Steve Bisciotti and wide receiver Willie Snead.
In a recent ESPN article, Snead said that the Browns deserve the respect they are currently getting because of how they have built a championship contender. But it was Bisciotti’s comments that gave the perception the Ravens are feeling the pressure from the Browns, saying they are the better team on paper.
"“If they’re that much better, maybe they’ll start beating Pittsburgh,” Bisciotti told season-ticket holders in a conference call in June. “We only have to play them twice a year. It’ll be interesting to see how quickly they develop into the kind of team that some people think they are.” – Bisciotti via ESPN"
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson said that he is not worrying about the Browns yet, as he is focused on the Miami Dolphins since they are Baltimore’s season opener. But with the talent the Browns have, as Ravens head coach John Harbaugh noted in March that the Browns have the most talent in the division, it will be hard for Baltimore to not worry about the Browns.
Cleveland appears to be the team most likely to take the AFC North crown from the Ravens as the Steelers have seem to have taken a step back this offseason and the Bengals struggled with most of the talent they already have on their roster.
It is not surprising that the Ravens are not giving too much credit to the Browns considering players do not want to give opponents any type of edge. But with the Browns defeating the Ravens once last season and almost winning the second game, Cleveland should be on the minds of the Ravens.
The Browns and Ravens both boast young rosters that could compete for the AFC North title for years to come. If the Browns can put all of their talent together and turn it into success on the field, it could be hard for the Ravens to win the AFC North for a second-straight season.