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Browns have much at stake this week

The Cleveland Browns have not played in a truly meaningful game since 2007.

And they haven't traveled to Cincinnati with this much at stake since that Derek Anderson-Braylon Edwards-Jamal Lewis season either.

But the standings, as they say, do not lie.

The Browns and Ravens are tied for second in the AFC North, both 4-5 (hey ... it IS second place). Cincinnati leads at 6-4.

The Browns play the Bengals on Sunday, then at home against Pittsburgh. The Bengals have a bye after playing the Browns.

If the Browns win two games, they are no worse than tied for first place 11 games into the season.

The last time the Browns played a game with first place at stake this late in the season was when they went to Cincinnati with a 9-5 record in '07. Of course they lost. Which wound up costing them a playoff spot. But that's not important right now.

What is important -- and real -- is that with two wins in two division games the Browns could find themselves tied for first place in the division with five games left to play.