Hi, hello and welcome to Week 10 of the National Football League! We’ve got a clash of two AFC North teams on this week’s Thursday Night Titanic Struggle, and…
Hey, don’t make that face at me! I know most of you don’t particularly care for the AFC North brand of football, and I know that the division kind of stinks this year, but these games are when you should listen to me most. I see these teams more often than any other teams and know more about them than the other twenty-eight teams that tend to have better offenses and worse defenses. I’m not going to look it up because that would take work, but I would hazard a guess that my AFC North record is better than my record in any other division.
You know what? That’s probably not true given how often I try & reverse jinx the Bengals and how often I overrate the Steelers in order to jinx them. But hey, the Bengals & Steelers aren’t in this game! So…yay?
Thursday, November 10
Cleveland at Baltimore (-10)
It’s tough to put myself in the shoes of a Cleveland Browns fan. As a fan of Cincinnati sports teams I tend to root against anything coming out of the city of Cleveland. I kind of let the Cavs slide because we don’t have an NBA team and rooting against LeBron James isn’t a very smart thing to do. But if I was a Browns fan, I would imagine that the Baltimore Ravens would be the team I would hate most. Sure, the Browns/Steelers rivalry goes back more years & Pittsburgh is closer to Cleveland than any other NFL city. And yeah, the Battle of Ohio rivalry with the Bengals often has a good level of intrigue to it. So why do I think the Baltimore Ravens are logically the Browns’ biggest rival?
I mean, hello…
THEY STOLE THE ORIGINAL CLEVELAND BROWNS FROM CLEVELAND!
If moving away isn’t enough reason to hate a franchise forever, how about the fact that the original Browns never won a Super Bowl until they moved to Baltimore and became the Ravens? And then they won another one! I couldn’t even imagine how much that would sting, and it’d be even worse considering that the current franchise can’t win anything ever. They’re currently not even capable of winning a game, much less a wild card slot or a division title. If I was a Browns fan I think I would hate the Baltimore Ravens more than pretty much anything on God’s green earth. So how come this isn’t more of a thing?
Also, kind of a simple answer: It’s not much of a rivalry on the field. The Ravens hold a 26-9 advantage over the Browns during the eighteen seasons they’ve spent together in the AFC Central then AFC North. Browns fans are so beaten down at this point that it’s tough for them to muster up hatred for anybody, or even care enough to spell things properly.
Just a bad situation all the way around. The Ravens seemed headed in a downward spiral, and they still might be because the Steelers will be a different team when Ben Roethlisberger is healthier, but in a down AFC North they’ve got as good a chance as anybody of winning the division and taking that playoff spot. And when you’re the Ravens, all you gotta do is get in and you usually end up winning it all.
It’s a lot of points, but I like the Ravens here. The one thing I worry a little about…short rest after a Pittsburgh game can be a little dicey. So if the impossible happens again this week, that’ll probably be the reason.
Week 9 Results: 5-7-1
2016 Results: 64-64-5