The Cleveland Browns are winless, 0-9 for the first time in franchise history. They are ranked dead last at No. 32 in the AP Pro32.
And now they must play on a short week at their hated rival, the Ravens — who used to be the Browns before fleeing to Baltimore in 1996.
Baltimore was floundering, losing four in a row before beating Pittsburgh, another hated rival by both the Ravens and Browns. A win over Cleveland could give the Ravens sole possession of first place in the AFC North.
It's a benefit for John Harbaugh's team that it is taking on Hue Jackson's squad Thursday night. And no, not only because the Browns have the league's worst record.
“You just have to get right to the next opponent, which we did being Cleveland,” Harbaugh said. “Fortunately, I think for both teams probably, they are opponents that we both have familiarity with, being a rivalry game and in the division, and we played each other once already this year. So that helps the preparation mentally, but things change, Cleveland has changed scheme and personnel a little bit, so we really have to look at that.
“More than anything, it is getting back physically. The guys will be emotionally ready to play. It is a big game for both teams. ... It is a national game. Everybody is going to be excited.”