Few players wanted to admit what they were thinking, but safety Earl Thomas III couldn’t help but deliver the golden nugget four days before the Ravens were set to play the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 29.
As usual, Thomas was blunt and to the point.
“The media was talking about OBJ [Odell Beckham Jr] and that tandem and Baker Mayfield, the next savior,” Thomas said. “Then, to add on to that, Coach [John Harbaugh] talked about it a couple of times in meetings. So guys kind of got tired about it.
“He was just talking about what it looked like on paper. And guys heard that, and basically, like, ‘It sounds good, but we’ll see.' ”
The Browns beat the Ravens, 40-25, to even their record at 2-2, and some thought that might have been the turning point for a franchise that has struggled the past 20 years.
But the Browns are still the Browns.
They have gone 4-6 since that game, and if the Ravens beat them Sunday in Cleveland, Baltimore clinches home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Wasn’t this supposed to be the Browns’ happy ending?
It’s a tale of two franchises.