Wake-up: Ravens, Browns make points

October, 15, 2012
10/15/12
7:00
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With wins on Sunday, the Ravens elevated themselves to the top tier of the AFC and the Browns moved up from being the league's doormat. Even though the wins are far from flashy, Baltimore (5-1) is tied with Houston for the best record in the AFC. No other team in the conference has more than three wins, which either shows the parity of the league today or the lack of quality teams in the AFC. The Browns (1-5), meanwhile, are no longer the consensus worst team in the NFL after notching their first victory. Cleveland is only 1 1/2 games back of the Steelers for third place in the division. Here's the wake-up call:

RAVENS: The Baltimore Sun's Mike Preston believes the football gods are watching over the Ravens. "They lost an onside kick Sunday with 30 seconds left in the game, but Dallas wasn't able to get off another play after a 1-yard catch to the Ravens' 33-yard-line with 26 seconds left and one timeout," Preston wrote. "Dallas coach Jason Garrett said couldn't get another play off because they couldn't get players to the line of scrimmage fast enough. That should not have happened. Divine intervention? Dan Bailey's 51-yard field goal went wide left."

BENGALS: The Cincinnati Enquirer's Paul Daugherty says the Bengals' three-game win streak is a distant memory and doesn't know what to think of the team after it lost at Cleveland. "Whatever momentum the Bengals gathered from winning three in a row and starting 3-1 vanished in Mistakeville Sunday," Daugherty wrote. "They lost badly. They deserved it."

STEELERS: Nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu has been among the disappointments in the Steelers' draft class, a reason why he has yet to be active for a game this season. He really didn't endear himself to Pittsburgh early Sunday when he was arrested on charges of leading police on a chase while driving drunk and crashing into parked cars, injuring a woman, according to authorities. "We are disappointed to hear about the situation regarding Alameda Ta'amu," Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert said in a statement. "We will gather more facts before providing any further comment."

BROWNS: The Plain Dealer's Terry Pluto points out that there's a reason to have hope about the Browns' future after what he saw in Sunday's win over the Bengals. "Consider that Brandon Weeden made big throw after big throw after big throw in the fourth quarter," Pluto wrote. "He even sneaked for a first down in that dreaded third-and-1 situation. He executed a pure play fake to Montario Hardesty, then found Ben Watson open in the end zone for a 3-yard scoring pass. Who would have guessed the Browns would pick off Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton? But they did, three times. Or that Josh Gordon would be developing into a big-play receiver this soon."

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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