In the rematch Sunday, the Browns have only

By David Ginsburg Associated Press Published:

In the rematch Sunday, the Browns have only one objective.

"We just need to get a win," coach Butch Davis said.

Outscored 114-26 by the Ravens in the four previous games, the Browns took over second place in the AFC Central on Oct. 21 with a stunning 24-14 upset of the defending Super Bowl champions.

Much has changed since that day. The Browns haven't won since, and the Ravens on Sunday will be seeking their fourth straight victory.

The Browns (4-4) already have more wins under first-year coach Davis than they did all last season, but two straight overtime defeats has taken the luster off their impressive start.

Cleveland had a bye after their uplifting initial victory over Baltimore. Upon their return, the Browns yielded two touchdowns in the final 28 seconds of regulation in a loss at Chicago, then blew a 9-0 lead in a 15-12 defeat at home against Pittsburgh.

"They're coming off a little frustration," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "They're at kind of a crossroads, so they're going to come in with that mentality."

In an effort to block out frustration caused by two successive last-second defeats, Davis has tried to stress to his players that they've come a long way from the 2-14 and 3-13 seasons that preceded this one.

"When your children were ages 1, 2 or 3, how many times did your kid fall down learning how to walk? Thousands," Davis said. "If every time you didn't say, 'Oh, what a good job you're doing! Get up, try again, try again,' they'd never learn to walk.

"That's kind of where we are. It's a young football team in its third year. More positive than negatives have occurred over the first eight games of the season."

Despite losses in Cincinnati and Cleveland, Baltimore (6-3) has also put a positive spin on its first nine games. The Ravens were 5-4 at this point last season and ended up winning the Super Bowl.

Unlike Cleveland, Baltimore has found a way to win the close games. After losing to the Browns, the Ravens beat Jacksonville 18-17, then defeated Pittsburgh 13-10 when Steelers kicker Kris Brown missed four of five field goal tries. Last Monday night, Baltimore topped Tennessee 16-10 by stuffing Titans quarterback Steve McNair at the 1 on the final play.

Was it luck, or the product of playoff experience?

"Baltimore just finds a way to win. That's what Super Bowl champs do," Cleveland cornerback Corey Fuller declared.

The facts back up that assessment. Cleveland has been outscored 17-0 in the fourth quarter over the past two weeks. Baltimore has outscored the opposition 24-7 in the fourth quarter during its three-game run.

"They're a great football team, with great players and a great coach. We're coming up right now, starting to get things turned around to where we can compete with those guys," said Browns quarterback Tim Couch, who went 11-for-18 for 149 yards and two touchdowns against the Ravens last month.

In that game, the Browns bolted to a 24-6 lead and knocked Ravens quarterback Elvis Grbac out of the game. Afterward, the giddy fans and the upstart Browns celebrated as if it was Cleveland's biggest victory in years _ which, of course, it was.

This time, Baltimore is the team with revenge on its mind.

"Baltimore is going to try to punish us," Fuller said. "They don't feel like they should have lost to the Cleveland Browns."

The Ravens' Shannon Sharpe needs one catch to pass Ozzie Newsome for most career receptions by a tight end. Sharpe figured to get the record last week, but had only two catches.

"I'd like to think I can get one reception in 60 minutes of football," Sharpe said with a grin.

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