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Ray Rice: Baltimore Ravens have 'never been fancy'

The Baltimore Ravens aren't about to change the way they do business.


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Talk all you want about the team's foray into the no-huddle offense, but Sunday's 25-15 win over the Cleveland Browns was a game we've seen many times over from the Ravens, especially in the AFC North.

"We've never been fancy," Ravens running back Ray Rice said, according to Mike Preston of The Baltimore Sun. "We've never been a pretty kind of team. I think the way we are winning games is just the way we continue to win. We always find ourselves at the top at the end."

Maybe atop the AFC North, but the conference is a different story. The Ravens' defense is weakened. They pushed the Browns away but rank 26th in the NFL, raising suspicions about the team's long-term potential this season. Ravens coach John Harbaugh talked Sunday about becoming "a great football team" but acknowledged "we're not there by any stretch."

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The Ravens are 10-0 against the Browns dating to November 2007. Quarterback Joe Flacco has never lost a game to Cleveland, but the Browns tested Harbaugh's team Sunday in a way the score doesn't indicate. The Ravens lacked flow and vanished on offense when they could have buried the Browns early.

"There are no homecoming opponents," Harbaugh said (hear that, Washington Redskins?). "There are no pretties."

The Ravens do more than simply win ugly -- that wouldn't be fair to a team that has built one of the AFC's proud traditions -- but problems remain. They were a better squad at the beginning of the season than they are today; better in their win over the New England Patriots than they were against the two-win Browns. That trajectory is concerning.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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