The Cleveland Browns will have ended this season with three consecutive games against AFC North rivals. After losing to the Cincinnati Bengals by two points last Sunday, the Browns wrap up the regular season with showdowns with the Ravens this Sunday and the Pittsburgh Steelers on Jan. 2.
Cleveland coach Eric Mangini said he likes the arrangement."Yeah, I really like the way that it's set up this year, where you're playing division opponents at the end of the season," he said during a conference call with Baltimore media Wednesday. "I think that's a good system, and we have a chance to continue to make progress as a team. And we can do it against the two top teams in the division, and they're playoff-bound – or arguably playoff-bound – and it's about as good a test as you can get."
A Browns win against the Ravens or Steelers could determine the makeup of the playoffs, but Mangini declined to get caught up in the role of spoiler.
"I think we embrace just the fact that we can see – again, against the top teams – where we need to continue to work and improve," he said. "I think that's where we're at."