BEREA – For the Browns to get to the point where they challenge for a playoff
spot, they need look no farther than their division. The Bengals have won the
division and the Steelers have all but clinched a wild card spot.
Heading into the season finale, the Browns are 0-5 within the AFC North. They
must defeat the Ravens to avoid finishing winless.
“We have one week to go to win a football game,” Romeo Crennel said. “We’re
not good enough now to win within the division.
“Cincinnati is a playoff team and it looks like Pittsburgh has clinched,” he
said. “We’re not there yet.”
Daylon McCutcheon knows the importance of winning within the division as it
comprises nearly 40 percent of the schedule.
“We know as players that if you want to go to the playoffs, you have to win
your division games,” he said.
The Browns are in danger of going winless in the division since the team
returned in 1999. Even in the initial 2-14 season, the Browns won one game—over
the Steelers to boot. The Browns were 2-4 in the division in 2000, 2003 and
2004. They were 3-3 in 2001 and 2002. The only playoff season the Browns have
had since they returned was in 2002.
Reuben Droughns doesn’t know what the problem is.
“It could be a lack of focus,” Droughns said. “But we need to improve so we
can compete within the division. We need to win and go into next year with
Browns players think a win would help immensely heading into the off-season.
“We want to win in the division and finish on a positive note,” Charlie Frye
said. “It would make everyone feel good going into the off-season.”
“We want to try and end the season with high hopes,” Kenard Lang said. “It
won’t dictate what will happen next year, but we want to end on a strong note.”
“I want to win this game,” McCutcheon said. “I think it’s important to send a
message that we can bounce back.
“Winning Sunday doesn’t make or break our season because it’s already
determined,” he said. “But, I think it’s important for the future.”