Did anyone think the Baltimore Ravens would trail the Cleveland Browns in the AFC North standings in October? I mean, anyone who doesn't have a dog bone in their mouth. The Browns took over sole possession of first place in the division by beating the Buffalo Bills, 37-24, on Thursday night.
Cleveland, which is 3-2 for the first time since 2001, holds a half-game lead over the Ravens (2-2) and Cincinnati Bengals (2-2). Will the Browns still be in first place by themselves at day's end Sunday? We'll find out. The Ravens play at Miami (3-1), and the Bengals play host to unbeaten New England (4-0).
Here's your Friday edition of the wake-up caw ...
Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace isn't with the Steelers anymore, but that doesn't mean his feelings toward the Ravens have changed. "I haven’t played anybody in our division yet, so I think they’re still my least favorite team," Wallace told ESPN.com's James Walker. "Most definitely, I know they’re my least favorite team." Wallace has one 100-yard receiving game and one touchdown in nine games against the Ravens.
The Baltimore Sun's Mike Preston was asked if there should be concern about Joe Flacco's recent play. "We should be concerned because Flacco feels the need to squeeze the ball into such tight spaces," Preston wrote.
Center Gino Gradkowski is determined to improve. "Obviously, I feel like there are a lot of things I could have done better on Sunday," Gradkowski told The Baltimore Sun. "I'm sure a few other guys feel that way, too. We'll just keep working hard at it and things will start going our way." Gradkowski is the lowest-ranked center in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus. It makes you wonder whether Ryan Jensen, who broke his foot at the beginning of training camp, will get a chance to start when he's healthy.
Dolphins linebacker Dannell Ellerbe faces his former team on Sunday for the first time since signing a five-year, $35 million deal with Miami. But Ellerbe said it was more than money that lured him to South Florida. "This is a better position for me to come down here and make a name for myself, to be able to be one of the top leaders on this defense, a new defense that’s up and coming and a young defense, one that I would be valued more on down here," Ellerbe said, via the team's official website.
The Press Box points out that the Ravens are down to two tight ends, Dallas Clark and Ed Dickson, after Billy Bajema was cut to make room for offensive tackle Eugene Monroe.