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News » Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-09-18

Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-09-18

Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-09-18
The Cleveland Browns are one of 10 teams who have started the season at 0-2.

But the Ravens (1-0), who play the Browns on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium, aren't overlooking their downtrodden AFC North rival.

"They faced one team that's picked to come out of the NFC with a great defense (the Dallas Cowboys), and they faced another team that (was) the defending AFC North champion (the Pittsburgh Steelers)," linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "I think they ran up against some good teams and came up with the short end of the stick. Just because they're 0-2, they're not to be taken lightly."

This is an important early-season game that could shape the power players in the division.

If the Ravens win, they would keep pace with the Steelers and take another step at becoming the surprise team in the AFC North. They would also drop the Browns to 0-3 and deliver another hit to one of the preseason favorites to win the division.

"It's a storied rivalry," tight end Todd Heap said. "Obviously, they've got an attitude about them with how the first couple of weeks have gone. We've got to be prepared for that."

If the Ravens want any more motivation, all they have to point toward is their last meeting with Cleveland.

It was 10 months ago when the Ravens lost a 33-30 overtime game to the Browns, a loss that continues to haunt the Ravens because of the dramatic conclusion.

With the Ravens clinging to a three-point lead with three seconds left in regulation, Browns kicker Phil Dawson launched a 51-yard field-goal attempt that hit the left upright, fell over the crossbar, clanged off the support post, and bounced back over the crossbar onto the field.

An official initially ruled the attempt no good. But as several Ravens players made their way to the locker room, the officiating crew -- after a conference on the field and a query into whether the kick was reviewable -- reversed the call, sending the game into overtime.

The outcome put an exclamation point on a deflating 5-11 season, which didn't escape the notice of a few Ravens players as they prepared for Sunday's meeting with the Browns at M&T Bank Stadium.

"Yeah, I talked about it in the offseason. You can do that when you don't have any playoffs," linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "I was like, 'What about in basketball when a shot goes in and then it rolls out? It's no good, right?' That's just what I thought happened."

The controversial play had repercussions as NFL owners agreed in April to make field-goal and extra-point attempts reviewable by instant replay. The rule has been called the "Dawson Rule" by some league officials. Those closer to Baltimore call it the "Ravens Rule."

"You don't even call that bad luck or something (as random) as a coin toss," center Jason Brown said. "It's just as if the football gods are against you. We just hope and pray that they're with us this year and that things will go in our favor."

SERIES HISTORY: 19th meeting. Ravens lead series, 11-7. The Ravens were swept by the Cleveland Browns for the first time since 2001. In their last meeting, the Browns edged the Ravens, 33-30, in overtime at M&T Bank Stadium. The game was sent into overtime on a referee's reversal of a Browns' missed field-goal attempt at the end of regulation. Phil Dawson's 33-yard field goal won the game in overtime.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: September 18, 2008

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