Will this week's MNF game produce epic air and ground performances like their past matchups?
The Cleveland Browns host the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium on Monday night.
Monday Night Football history lesson
Ravens vs. Browns on Monday Night Football:
» Total matchups: 1. The Ravens shut out the Browns, 16-0, during Week 10 of the 2009 season.
» Notable matchup: En route to earning a wild-card playoff berth, the Ravens used a 16-point third quarter to dispatch the Browns. Dawan Landry's pick six of a Brady Quinn pass put Baltimore up 13-0 and sealed the win. The Ravens finished 9-7 that season, upset the New England Patriots, 33-14, in Foxborough in the wild-card round and then fell to the Indianapolis Colts, 20-3, in the divisional playoffs.
One notable passing performance in series: In the Browns' 33-30 overtime win during Week 5 of this season, Cleveland quarterback Josh McCown set a new franchise single-game record with 457 yards passing, topping the previous mark of 444 yards set by Brian Sipe in 1981 against the Baltimore Colts. That performance snapped a seven-game losing streak for the Browns in games played at Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium. It also snapped a streak of 10 consecutive losses in divisional openers (the longest such streak since 1967), and snapped a five-game road losing streak.
One notable rushing performance in series: In a 33-13 Ravens win over the Browns during the 2003 season, Baltimore running back Jamal Lewis rushed for what was at the time an NFL-record 295 yards (a record that was broken four years later by the Minnesota Vikings' Adrian Peterson, who went for 296 in his rookie season of 2007 against the San Diego Chargers). Lewis carried the ball 30 times that day, scored two touchdowns and had a long run of 82 yards, which was the first score in the game. Lewis went on to lead the league in rushing that season with 2,066 yards, becoming -- at the time -- just the fifth NFL running back to get to 2,000 yards.
One famous MNF game
Ravens: The 4-7 Ravens hosted the 11-0 Patriots for a memorable "Monday Night Football" showdown in 2007. The Patriots were steamrolling toward an undefeated regular season and an 18-0 record before ultimately succumbing to the New York Giants in a Super Bowl XLII upset. The Ravens came with two yards of shocking the Patriots and the football world. Ravens receiver Mark Clayton caught a desperation pass, but was tackled at the 2-yard line as time expired. The Patriots prevailed, 27-24.
Browns: While the Ravens might have the edge in this series in terms of recent success, it might be hard for many to believe that the Browns have a much deeper historical footprint on the game. That long legacy includes the original Monday Night Football game. The Browns were there at the very beginning. In Week 1 of the 1970 season, the Browns hosted the New York Jets at Cleveland Municipal Stadium for the very first Monday Night Football game, a moment that revolutionized sports television (watch the first MNF intro, just watch it!). On the field, the Browns defense forced Joe Namath into throwing three interceptions in a 31-21 win.
Follow Jim Reineking on Twitter @jimreineking.