1. The Browns’ rough journey through the AFC North will continue today when they host the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens lead the series 17-7 and have won six games in a row against the Browns. The Browns are 3-17 in their past 20 divisional games, including 0-2 this season. They’ll face the Ravens again on Christmas Eve.
2. The Browns (4-7) are hoping to play the role of a spoiler. The Ravens (8-3) have the edge in the race for the AFC North title because they have defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3) twice this season. But all three of the Ravens’ losses this season were on the road against sub-.500 teams, and the Browns want to provide another upset.
3. Browns quarterback Colt McCoy will receive a chance to redeem himself after being dominated by the Ravens last season. In the Browns’ 20-10 loss on Dec. 26, McCoy threw three interceptions and finished with a passer rating of 27. Ravens standout free safety Ed Reed intercepted two of McCoy’s passes. McCoy is 0-6 against AFC North opponents.
4. The Ravens have won two games in a row even though star linebacker Ray Lewis has been sidelined with an injured toe. Lewis did not practice all week, but he has not yet been ruled out. If Lewis doesn’t play, he’ll certainly make his presence felt from the sideline by issuing orders to the NFL’s third-ranked defense, which is highlighted by Reed, linebacker Terrell Suggs and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata.
5. Browns-Ravens connections: Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome played tight end for the Browns (1978-90) and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. … Ravens senior personnel assistant George Kokinis spent part of the 2009 season as the Browns’ general manager. … Ravens defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano was the Browns’ secondary coach (2001-04). … Ravens assistant head coach/special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg was the Browns’ special teams coordinator (2001-06). … Ravens defensive line coach Clarence Brooks held the same job with the Browns (1999). Northeast Ohio connections: Ravens wide receiver Lee Evans is a native of Sandusky who attended Bedford High School. … Ravens safety Haruki Nakamura is a native of Elyria who went to St. Edward High School. … Ravens linebackers coach Dean Pees was the coach at Kent State University (1998-2003).