Looking Ahead to Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens

Brian DiTullioSenior Writer ISeptember 26, 2009

DENVER - SEPTEMBER 20:  Quarterback Brady Quinn #10 of the Cleveland Browns runs the offensive huddle against the Denver Broncos during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on September 20, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Browns 27-6.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Most Cleveland fans are looking forward to this game like most people look forward to a trip to the dentist.

After reading various other preview articles and running down the rosters, I see no point in doing any kind of typical matchup or "Here's what we need to do to win."

The reason?

This team is terrible.

The Detroit Lions have a better chance of winning on Sunday than the Browns do, and the Browns have won a game in the last calendar year.

A Cleveland victory on Sunday would be the equivalent of Appalachian State beating Michigan a few years ago.

It would be almost foolishly optimistic to go into this game expecting a win, especially considering how bad the first two weeks have played out, so instead, let's look at some attainable goals the Browns need to accomplish this week.

Score a meaningful touchdown

The touchdown scored at the end of the Vikings game essentially was a "gimme" achieved in garbage time, so it's time for the Browns to put together a drive that focuses on getting the ball into the end zone, and not just field goal range.

Head coach Eric Mangini has become known for his almost comically elaborate efforts to keep everything a secret so as not to give opposing teams a competitive advantage.

Right now, it looks like he's so obsessed with keeping his offensive scheme a secret that he hasn't even revealed it to his own team yet.

I think he's saving the "real" offense for a playoff run, so why waste it this early in the year so teams can defend against it later?

Snarkiness aside, it's time to start running plays my dog is calling from the living room floor (okay, keep the snarkiness). It's not that the offensive schemes shown so far are boring, they're almost pathetically amateur.

If our running game is so non-existent that it's not even worth trying, use it to your advantage. Try a flea-flicker. It's not like the Ravens are expecting Brady Quinn to throw deep.

Speaking of Quinn, let me be the last person to say, "Stop playing not to lose!!"

Quinn's play smacks of a guy so fearful of throwing an interception, he won't throw to a receiver unless he's absolutely, 100 percent positive that receiver is open.

While it may limit his interceptions, it also allows the defense to close in and eliminate the short game.

Take a chance, already.

Play four quarters

The defense has run out of gas in the first two games by the end of the third quarter. The corollary to that is the offense barely sees the field in the second half.

Either way, this team needs to come out and play the entire game.

I'd keep writing on this point, but that about says it all.

This is one of the few times where I'll take a moral victory over a real victory. It's been far too many years of bad football in Cleveland.

I want to be Appalachian State.


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