Judging the Browns simply by their 2-6 record would be a mistake.
While they’re in last place in the AFC North, which is where they’ve finished three of the last four seasons, the Browns look to be heating up. They beat the San Diego Chargers on Sunday and have won two of their last three games.
Both of their wins came at Cleveland Browns Stadium, which is where the Ravens will face them on Sunday. Combine their home success with Baltimore’s road woes, and the contest could get interesting.
“They’re just a good, young team, and they’re on the rise,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said.
While the Browns got both of their victories at home, each came in a different fashion. They beat the Chargers 7-6 in a [add] rain-soaked defensive struggle, and took down the Bengals 34-24 in more of a pass-heavy offensive shootout.
“Obviously, they have proven that they can win the game either way,” Harbaugh said.
Part of the reason for their recent success is that the Browns are starting to see progress from the young players on their roster. They have 16 rookies and three other first-year players on the roster, and the development of first-round picks Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden is starting to show.
Richardson had his best game of the season on Sunday, carrying 24 times for a season-high 122 yards and a touchdown. Weeden has significantly cut down on mistakes – he had seven interceptions through the first four games, but just three in the last four contests.
The Browns are also getting solid contributions from rookie starters at wide receiver and on the offensive and defensive lines.
That young talent makes them a dangerous team, especially now that they’re showing an ability to win tight games.
“They’ve gotten better. They’ve figured out how to win games,” Harbaugh said. “That’s a mark of a young team that’s really emerging."