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Ravens-Browns matchup is one of least attractive in Monday Night Football history

CLEVELAND -- On last week's Monday Night Football broadcast, ESPN play-by-play voice Mike Tirico promoted the upcoming Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns game by asking analyst Jon Gruden if he loved football. "We'll test you and see how much all of you love it out there," Tirico said.

So far the love is lacking, at least at the ticket window.

Browns fans aren't riled up, even though it's the first Monday Night Football game in the city in six years. A local ticket broker told The Plain Dealer that tickets for this game are going for preseason prices.

A national television audience will get to see two of the NFL's worst teams, a couple of journeyman quarterbacks and a pair of defenses that have struggled to keep teams out of the end zone. The Ravens (3-7) and Browns (2-8) have a combined .250 winning percentage, which is tied for the third worst for a Monday Night Football matchup at least 10 games into a season, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

"We're not sitting there, saying, 'I wonder what everybody thinks about us,' " Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Saturday. "We're not like in seventh grade here, [saying] 'I wonder what they think of me? What are they texting about us? What does Snapchat say?' There's a lot of bullies out there in the cyberworld. We don't care what they think."

Before the season began, this night had the potential to be intriguing, with a perennial playoff team in Baltimore and the excitement generated by Johnny Manziel in Cleveland. But injuries have turned this into a rare non-playoff season for the Ravens under Harbaugh, and another party video has imploded Johnny Football's season once again.

Now it's Matt Schaub vs. Josh McCown, two quarterbacks who have played on a total of 11 teams in their career and have a combined 7-24 (.225) record since 2013.

Both offenses rank in the bottom half of the NFL in scoring. The Ravens have eclipsed 20 points just once in their past five games. They will be without starting quarterback Joe Flacco, Pro Bowl running back Justin Forsett, No. 1 wide receiver Steve Smith, top draft pick Breshad Perriman and possibly three starting offensive linemen.

Both defenses are in the bottom dozen in points allowed. The Browns have given up 30 or more points in three games in a row. Cleveland ranks dead last against the run and 26th against the pass.

Harbaugh wasn't buying into the narrative that both teams can use the national stage to show they're better than their record indicates.

"We just don’t think that way," he said. "That’s not the perspective you take as a player or a coach. You want to go out there, and you want to play your best. It’s not so we can show something to somebody or prove something to somebody. Prove something to ourselves."

The Ravens and Browns find themselves battling for the No. 1 overall draft pick in the final six weeks of the season, although it's getting crowded at the bottom of the league. They are among 12 teams with seven or more losses.

So, whoever wins on Monday night, that team actually loses in terms of the big picture.