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Is Sunday’s game with Cleveland a case of Deja Vu

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What happened the last time Baltimore was coming off a painful loss to Pittsburgh?

Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Well, here they are again. In December and the Baltimore Ravens are coming off a loss at Heinz Field to the Pittsburgh. A loss that ended the teams dreams of winning the division in a game the Ravens just simply couldn't close out in the end. They did everything they had to do to win, but let it slip in back-to-back years. Now, the Ravens travel on the road to Ohio, trying to rebound from the gut-wrenching defeat. We've seen this before.

Baltimore travels to Cleveland in a dangerous game against the Browns. A team that will be motivated to win their first game in their last contest in front of their home-crowd to try and severely damage their rivals playoff hopes. The Ravens must recover fast if they don't want what happened to them Week 17 of last year in Cincinnati to happen again.

After last years defeat to the Steelers, the Ravens were eliminated from the playoffs and were, at least, going to try to go out and end the season on a high note. That didn't happen, as the team came out absolutely flat against the Bengals in maybe the first time you’ve really ever seen a John Harbaugh-led team look completely disinterested. There really was no excuse for it as the Bengals were eliminated from the playoffs well before the Ravens ever were, and yet you would've thought they were the ones fighting for the division crown with the Steelers the week before.

The Bengals defeated the Ravens 27-10 to end the 2016 season, and you can argue more eyebrows were raised at the coaching staff and players after this loss than the Christmas night collapse to the Steelers. The excuse that was used for this loss was that the team was just drained from the defeat to Pittsburgh, but that doesn't cut it.

This time, the Ravens are still in the wild-card hunt entering this big game with the Browns. The loss to Pittsburgh stung for the Ravens, knowing they let a golden opportunity slip through their fingers, again. The question is, how will this loss affect them this time? Will they come out flat again or ready to play? You know the Browns will be ready because this game is their Super Bowl. They came very close to beating the Los Angeles Chargers on the road, and last week came close to upsetting the Green Bay Packers. This is a Browns team that is ready to get a win, and the Ravens can't afford to play the way they did against the Bengals last year. If they do, they will not be mentally ready for their final two games of the season and they sure do not deserve to play in the postseason.