Scott Garceau: Mistakes On The Lake
After a horrible performance in Houston the Ravens no longer control their fate as we head into the final week of the regular season. The Ravens path to the playoffs is clear and two pronged; beat the Browns and get help in Kansas City with a Chiefs win over San Diego. Both games kickoff at 1:00 and yes, players and coaches will be scoreboard watching no matter what they tell us.
The combination of a Ravens and Chiefs win isn't a reach, the Ravens are about a 9-point favorite and the Chiefs are listed as a 3-point pick. If things do go haywire the Ravens will be out of the playoff picture for the second straight season. In 2015 they would face the possibility of 3 consecutive non-playoff seasons something that hasn't happened to Baltimore since 1997-1999 when the new franchise was finding its way with quarterbacks Scott Mitchell, Jim Harbaugh and Stoney Case.
The Browns have incentive Sunday in Baltimore; a win would get them to 8-8 and have their fans giddy knowing they knocked the hated Ravens out of the playoffs. Ravens fans should look at the Browns and be thankful for what they have. These are not Art Modell's Browns! How bad has it been in Cleveland? Consider this, the Browns 7-8 record assures Cleveland of having their 2nd best season in the last 12 years. It'll be a disappointing season in Baltimore if the Ravens go 10-6 and fail to make the playoffs. In Cleveland 8-8 could have the mayor working on a parade.
Since the Browns return in 1999 they've won exactly ZERO playoff games. That's 16 years only 2 winning seasons and ZERO playoff wins. During this Brown out Cleveland has gone through 7 head coaches and 21 starting quarterbacks (not counting this Sunday). Joe Flacco hasn't missed a start in 7 seasons, the Browns change quarterbacks like you and I change underwear.
First round busts include Tim Couch, Brady Quinn, and Brandon Weedon with Johnny Manziel trending toward the list. Recycled veterans like Jeff Garcia, Trent Dilfer and Jake Delhomme couldn't get it done and there was no winning with QB's like Seneca Wallace and Spurgeon Wynn. Former Ravens assistant Mike Pettine has had a solid first year as the Browns head coach but he'll go the way of all the others if he doesn't find a franchise quarterback. The Browns search has come up empty since 1999.
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