- For Browns GM Andrew Berry, path to NFL started in Bel Air — and nearly ended on Wall Street (Baltimore Sun) - There’s plenty of credit to go around for the turnaround of the Cleveland Browns, who with four games left in the regular season sit at 9-3 and can virtually lock in a playoff berth with a home win against the Ravens on Monday night. But just as deserving of praise is Andrew Berry, the team’s first-time executive vice president and general manager who wields control over all roster decisions. Berry, a former Bel Air football standout, has the franchise on the verge of its first playoff berth since 2002.
- Baker Mayfield ‘lights out’ vs. Titans, doing it vs. Ravens next step (Beacon Journal) - The Browns believe they’re a different team than the one the Ravens embarrassed 38-6 in the Sept. 13 season opener in Baltimore, and the turnaround of quarterback Baker Mayfield is the No. 1 reason.
- Scribbling about the biggest game of the year for Browns & Baker (Terry Pluto) - With a record of 9-3, losing to Baltimore doesn’t mess up for the season for the Browns. But a win on Monday night against Baltimore is great preparation for the playoffs.
- Browns receivers coach downplays connection between OBJ’s absence and passing game’s improvement (PFT) - Immediately after the Cleveland Browns lost receiver Odell Beckham Jr. for the balance of the year with a torn ACL, multiple members of the organization bristled at the notion that the passing game could actually be better without him. Quarterback Baker Mayfield, for instance, believed it was inappropriate to even ask the question.
- Rashard Higgins enjoying personal and team success after rough years (Browns Zone) - Rashard Higgins is sick of experiencing the playoffs vicariously. He’s ready to live the dream, and is doing his part to get the Browns to the postseason for the first time since 2002.
- Wild NFC East could produce a sub-.500 champ or two playoff teams (ESPN) - The NFC East race will be decided by the teams everyone predicted would be there in the end: the New York Giants and the Washington Football Team. And by everyone, we mean no one.
- Four Dolphins and two Bengals fined for conduct during game that included altercation (Miami Herald) - Six Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals were fined a total of $62,177 by the NFL Saturday as a result of the contentious game played Sunday that resulted in an on-field bench-clearing altercation and the ejection of six players, per a source.
- 17 things to watch in critical Colts-Raiders showdown in Las Vegas (Indianapolis Star) - For a team like the Colts, firmly in the middle of both the AFC South race and the fight for the AFC Wild Card, just about every game is critical, and they have been since the loss to the Baltimore Ravens. But this week’s matchup on the road in Las Vegas carries added importance because the Raiders (are right in the middle of the AFC wild card race themselves, and the Colts not only have a chance to keep pace, but to knock off another contender.
- NFL changed its rules after Alex Smith found an accidental loophole (Sporting News) - The NFL is making some changes after Washington quarterback Alex Smith found an accidental loophole in the NFL rules. According to Football Zebras, a website dedicated to providing analysis on NFL officials and rules, the league sent out a training video to officiating staffs regarding a play that occurred in Washington’s win over the Steelers.