Sunday's Goal : Win on the Road

The Browns may be 3-3 overall, but they're winless so far as a visitor. This simple fact gives head coach Romeo Crennel all the ammunition he needs to keep the Browns focused on their upcoming opponent...

On a weekend when the Browns did nothing but rest and enjoy their bye at the exact midpoint of the season -- 10 games behind including preseason and 10 to play -- they managed to gain ground in the AFC North because the Steelers and Ravens lost.

Now the Browns (3-3), a game behind Pittsburgh and a half-game behind Baltimore, have to make sure they do not look past the 0-7 Rams Sunday in St. Louis. Their last game before the bye was a 41-31 victory over the Dolphins, now 0-7.

The Browns have never played one team that was 0-5 and then another winless team back to back. Just as he did in the days leading up to the game against Miami, coach Romeo Crennel this week will drill into his players a warning against taking the 0-7 Rams lightly.

Convincing his team the game will not be won easily might be more difficult if it were in Cleveland Browns Stadium, but the Browns lost the only two road games they played this season. One was Sept. 23 against the Raiders, a game in which the Browns fell behind 16-0, led 17-16 and eventually lost 26-24 when a 40-yard field-goal attempt by Phil Dawson was blocked on the final play.

The Raiders were 0-2 before beating the Browns and have won only once since. Had Dawson made the kick, the Browns would be tied with the Steelers for first in the AFC North.

"Let's go to Oakland and see if you can just show up," Crennel said when asked how he will sell his players on the validity of the Rams. "The first drive in New England (the Browns had first-and-goal at the 1. The drive ended when Derek Anderson threw an interception.) -- see if you can just show up and throw it out there. When you just try to throw it out there, it usually doesn't work.

"You have to focus. You have to be on top of it. Oakland was a game we were supposed to win and didn't win it. I have enough to preach to them about."

Wide receiver Joe Jurevicius, now in his 10th NFL season and second with the Browns, has been on both ends of unexplainable upsets during a career that has taken him from the Giants to Tampa Bay to Seattle and back home to northeast Ohio, where he grew up rooting for the Browns. He is one player who does not need to be convinced to be wary of the Rams.

"The biggest thing is not to get caught up in records," Jurevicius said. "The biggest thing is winning two games in a row. That's something that hasn't been done here in quite a while.

"No matter what needs to be said by Coach or by players, we need to work on winning two games in a row if we're going to get anywhere this season."

The Browns have played 64 games without winning two straight in the same season. No asterisk will be attached to the 2007 record if the drought happens to end at the expense of two teams that have lost every game this season.

SERIES HISTORY: 18th meeting. The Browns lead the series, 9-8, and they have won two of three playoff games against the Rams. All their success occurred against the Rams of Los Angeles in the pre-expansion era. The Browns are 0-2 against the St. Louis Rams since 1999.

--The Rams moved from Los Angeles to St. Louis in 1995, but from 1937-45 they were the Cleveland Rams. The Rams won the NFL championship in 1945. Team owner Dan Reeves moved the team to Los Angeles in 1946, the same year the Cleveland Browns were born in a rival league calling itself the All-America Conference.

--The Browns were absorbed into the NFL in 1950 and in their first year in the league, they beat the Rams, 30-28, in the NFL Championship Game. Lou Groza kicked a 16-yard game-winning field goal with 28 seconds left.

--The last game Otto Graham played was the 1955 NFL Championship Game vs. the Rams. He ran for two touchdowns and threw two touchdown passes in a 38-14 victory. It was also the last championship for coach Paul Brown.

--The game against the Rams in 1999 was memorable. The Browns were crushed, 34-3, to fall to 0-7. The next day, coach Chris Palmer, looking for a bright spot, pointed out the Browns held the Rams under their average of 36.6 points a game.

--In that 1999 game, rookie quarterback Tim Couch got into a skirmish with Rams cornerback Todd Lyght. Couch was defending his offensive linemen after Lyght, in Couch's opinion, got a little rough with them.

--On Dec. 8, 2003, the Browns played the Rams in a Monday night game in Cleveland. Kelly Holcomb threw two interceptions late in the first half leading to a 36-20 Browns loss.

--As the Browns were being pummeled in the 2003 game, free safety Earl Little stood behind the Browns bench mouthing the words "Pro Bowl" for the ABC television cameras. Voters were not impressed. Little was not elected to the Pro Bowl. The next season was his last with the Browns.

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