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ExtremeRavens: The Sanctuary

A tale of woe


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The Browns refuse to use the advantages of Parity in todays NFL...


There are two significant records that can be set in the AFC North this week: the Browns are on the verge of establishing a new low for futility, and Ben Roethlisberger is close to becoming the Steelers' all-time leading passer.


This is more than coincidence. This is yet another reminder of how the Browns ended up at this point. If the Cleveland Browns lose at home Sunday to the Cincinnati Bengals, it will mark their 12th straight loss, a record for a franchise that began play in 1946.


While the date you'll see all week is Nov. 20, 2011 -- the last time the Browns won a game -- I suggest you go back to April 2004. That's when the Browns had the sixth overall pick in the draft and sent a large contingent to visit Roethlisberger and other quarterback prospects. "You don't want to pass up a guy who goes on to win four Super Bowls," then-Browns coach Butch Davis said before the draft. The Browns eventually selected tight end Kellen Winslow, who is out of football after playing for four teams, and Roethlisberger has won two Super Bowls.


Quarterbacks are the lifeblood of any NFL team. The Browns only need to look at their own division to realize that. Joe Flacco has taken the Ravens to the playoffs in each of his first four seasons. Andy Dalton guided the Bengals to the postseason a season removed from being 4-12. And Roethlisberger has helped the Steelers get to three Super Bowls.


Quarterbacks have defined the Browns' instability. In 14 seasons since returning to the league, Cleveland has started 17 quarterbacks: Tim Couch, Ty Detmer, Doug Pederson, Spergon Wynn, Kelly Holcomb, Jeff Garcia, Luke McCown, Trent Dilfer, Charlie Frye, Derek Anderson, Brady Quinn, Ken Dorsey, Bruce Gradkowski, Jake Delhomme, Seneca Wallace, Colt McCoy and Brandon Weeden.


The Browns are hoping Weeden, a first-round pick in 2012, is a franchise quarterback. Five games into his rookie season, it's hard to tell if he's the quarterback who can turn this team around or if he's another version of Derek Anderson. Meanwhile, Robert Griffin III, who was pursued by the Browns prior to the draft, already has won two games for a Redskins team that only won five last season.


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