Now an entire nation of football fans has a chance to watch the Browns.
That might not be a good situation for ESPN, which telecasts the game beginning at 8:30 tonight at Cleveland Browns Stadium. ESPN executives must have thought that the Browns would still be in contention for the AFC North Division crown when the schedule was assembled.
They thought wrong.
The Browns are 1-7 and a loser of four straight games. Although the Ravens are 4-4 and have lost four of their last five games, they are a heavy favorite to win.
Browns coach Eric Mangini wore a wide smile after the Browns' 6-3 win over the Buffalo Bills. Getting a win tonight on national television would widen the smile and be a step in the right direction for his job security.
Redemption, however, isn't on Mangini's mind.
"I really don't see it that way, because I think that implies that in all the other situations you weren't trying to play your hardest and you weren't trying to perform to the best of your ability," Mangini said. "I haven't seen that from our players, our coaches or from anybody involved.
"It's not whether you're on national TV, whether the game's not being shown, whether you're on local, whatever it is. When you go out and have that opportunity, you take the same approach, which is to execute the things that you've practiced all week and to play a certain style of football. The situation behind it shouldn't change that approach."
The spotlight will be on Browns quarterback Brady Quinn, who returns to the starting lineup after being benched in favor of Derek Anderson in the previous five games. Quinn, who was in on a few plays after Anderson was benched against the Chicago Bears 15 days ago, isn't looking at this opportunity as a second chance.
"Not really, I think it's hard to view it like that," Quinn said. "I think the biggest thing right now is just trying to go out there and try to get some things going on offense and improve some things for us."
Quinn's numbers are better than Anderson's statistics, which isn't saying much. Quinn is 46-of-77 for 409 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions and a passer rating of 62.1. Anderson was benched with a 36.2 rating.
There have been reports that Quinn and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll have been at odds, but both have denied there's any problem between them. Daboll likes the fact that Quinn's attitude and work ethic haven't changed much since the start of the season.
"In terms of his preparation, he's a pretty studious guy and a hard worker," Daboll said. "I don't sense any difference in that. It's been pretty consistent even when he wasn't playing. He's been running the offense the last few days of practice pretty well. (He has) been on time with his throws. His drops have been crisp. His accuracy has been good. I think he's excited to get going here."
Expect Quinn to be careful in his decision-making process. He's never seen a check-down option that he didn't like, which has often worked against him.
It's important that Quinn makes quick reads and throws to the first open receiver he finds, assuming the receivers can find open spots in the Ravens defense.
"Collectively, believe me, there's plenty all of us can do better in all three phases, starting with myself and the coaches and moving right on down," Mangini said. "There were times where I feel like he really knew where to go with the ball and maybe didn't go there as quickly as he could of. Sometimes that comes with being more comfortable. I've seen that comfort level increase, and I'm anticipating that will translate."
Quinn's last start was in a 34-3 loss to the Ravens Sept. 27 in Baltimore. He was 6-of-8 for 34 yards and one interception in the first half, which led Mangini to make the decision to go with Anderson in the second half.
It seemed as if Quinn was pressing in his starting assignments.
"I wouldn't call it pressing," he said. "I'm definitely serious about my job and serious about what we have going on out there. I just think it wasn't necessarily one thing. I think there are a lot of things that we need to fix and continue to improve as an offense right now."
Quinn could use some help from the running game, but don't count on that against a defense that's yielding 94.9 yards a game on the ground. Remarkably, no Browns running back has scored a touchdown since the 10th game of last season - a 72-yard run by Jerome Harrison against the Bills. That was 364 days ago, with 14 games having been played.
Something has to give sooner or later.