OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- It's an anniversary that the Baltimore Ravens won't be celebrating, but it's one that comes at an eerie time for them.
On Dec. 16, 2007, the Ravens fell to the 0-13 Miami Dolphins 22-16 in overtime. It's considered the most embarrassing defeat in team history.
Now, 10 years and one day later, Baltimore will play another 0-13 team, the Cleveland Browns. Could the game that the Ravens would love to forget serve as a reminder not to overlook a winless team?
"Maybe it’s something to put in their head," said linebacker Terrell Suggs, one of two players on the current 53-man roster who played in that 2007 game in Miami. "We’re all competitors. We expect Cleveland’s best shot. They always play us tough. It’s going to be a good game, so we’re just looking forward [to it]. We’re not taking them lightly."
The Browns are trying to avoid becoming the second team to finish 0-16. The 2008 Detroit Lions were the only team to do so.
Baltimore is looking to avoid NFL history, too. If the Ravens lose Sunday, they would become the first franchise to lose to two opponents who were 0-13 or worse.
Do the Ravens feel added pressure to not become the first team to lose to Cleveland? "No, we don’t think of it like that," coach John Harbaugh said. "We’re trying to win a game. Really, that’s all there is to it. We have a very tough opponent that we have to play. Their motivation, or whatever it might be, is really not any concern of ours. It’s our motivation that we’re concerned with. We have a lot to play for. We need to go play our best game. We expect to get their best game, but we expect that every week from everybody we play. We need to prepare to go play our best game, and that’s what we’re planning to do."
Only three teams in the last 31 years have lost to winless teams in the final four weeks of the regular season. In 2007, Baltimore was upset by Miami and quarterback Cleo Lemon. In 2011, Tennessee fell to 0-13 Indianapolis and Dan Orlovsky 27-13. In 2016, San Diego got beat by 0-14 Cleveland and Robert Griffin III 20-17.
"No team steps on the field expecting to lose," running back Alex Collins said. "So I definitely know they are going to be coming for us, and we are just going to do the same thing going into this game."
The history lesson for the Ravens dates back to that infamous game in South Florida in 2007. Three plays after Baltimore kicker Matt Stover hooked a potential game-winning field-goal attempt in overtime, little-known Miami receiver Greg Camarillo caught a short pass over the middle and out-sprinted Ed Reed and Jamaine Winborne for a 64-yard touchdown.
While the Dolphins mobbed one another in the end zone to celebrate their first win in 12 months, the Ravens walked past them and headed into a sobering, silent locker room where they looked at one another in disbelief.
Suggs and punter Sam Koch are the only players from that team who will suit up Sunday. The loss probably cost Brian Billick his coaching job in Baltimore. He was fired two weeks after the devastating defeat to the Dolphins.
"I remember the whole play," Suggs said of the winning score. “Ed Reed jumped Cover-2 [defense]. Ed Reed, nine out of 10 times, he’s right. He was just wrong on that one. A [64-yard] slant to the crib. But, hey, that’s history, that’s past. We’re looking forward to playing some football."
This year's Ravens team is different from the one that lost in Miami. In 2007, Baltimore had lost seven straight games heading into its game against the Dolphins. This season, the Ravens (7-5) have won three of their past four games to remain in playoff contention.
"We have a lot at stake right now," quarterback Joe Flacco said. "So we are really just worrying about winning the football game."