Ravens Crush The Browns: The Good, Bad & Ugly
The Baltimore Ravens dominated in the second half, against the Cleveland Browns. While we enjoy the victory let’s look at the good, bad and the ugly from this game.
The Baltimore Ravens did what was expected of them. When the 0-9 Cleveland Browns came into town, there was only one acceptable outcome. When the game was over, we all sighed in relief. It was Thursday Night Football, there was a national audience. The purple and black were expected to roll past the Browns. If the Ravens had squandered away this win, it would have been awfully embarrassing.
When you play a bad team, it’s hard to take too much away from the game. When the game goes well, you don’t get a ton of credit. However, if the game went south for the Ravens, they’d hear about it forever.
Before we break down the game we have to understand the circumstance the Ravens were in. They just had a huge win. They had a short week and another battle against a division rival and fans would accept nothing less than a blowout win. The Ravens managed to get a 28-7 win, so on this Friday, everything is peachy.
The Baltimore Ravens defense was phenomenal. The Ravens allowed the Browns to gain just 144 yards. The Ravens gave the Browns one quick scoring drive. That is living proof that no defense is perfect, because on Thursday Night Football the Ravens nearly were. Terrell Suggs is doing some incredible things despite his bicep injury. The man we love to call “T-Sizzle” does more with one arm than we can do with our whole bodies. Suggs had a strip sack and he also forced an interception by hitting Cody Kessler’s arm during his throwing motion. There are not enough words to compliment the legend that is number 55.
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The Ravens out gained the Browns by 252 yards. Baltimore’s offense woke up to the tune of three touchdowns in the last 30 minutes of action. The most exciting thing is that Marty Mornhinweg finally gave the Ravens offense some balance. The Ravens passed the ball 41 times and ran the rock 34 times. Terrance West and Kenneth Dixon had a nice balance. Dixon made an impact as a receiver out of the back field as well.
The Ravens spread the ball around, giving nine different players a reception. Joe Flacco only misfired on eleven of his passes (two of them were interceptions though). The end result of this game was a fantastic 28-7 win for the Ravens.
The Ravens offensive line was frustrating in this game. While Marshall Yanda didn’t play, Vlad Ducasse wasn’t the only problem up front for the Ravens. Flacco got sacked twice, but he was pressured much more than that. On one sack, Alex Lewis failed to slide over and Ronnie Stanley did next to nothing. On another the offensive line got beat on a three man rush. That just shouldn’t happen.
Flacco’s two interceptions were awful decisions and worse throws. Flacco also missed a wide open Steve Smith Sr. coming across the field for a sure touchdown, electing to throw it out of the back of the end zone instead. The Ravens settled for a field goal after a great drive. Flacco was efficient in this game. However the few mistakes he made were downright awful mistakes.
The Ravens did not have a bad game. There were certainly things that happened that were frustrating. There is no doubt about that.
The Ravens were down 7-6 at halftime. This was a nationally televised game. I bet much of that national audience turned the game off at that point. It was an ugly first half. You had a team without a win and a team playing down to their level. It felt like the Ravens were sleep walking through this game in the first half.
The Ravens wasted opportunities and made mistakes in the first half. The pass protection was just awful in the first act of this game. I don’t know what Dennis Pitta thought he was doing, but it clearly was not blocking. When Alex Lewis left the game with an ankle injury, it was a scary sight.
At the end of the day the slow start was ugly. It was somewhat understandable considering the Ravens circumstances, but it was ugly nonetheless. The Ravens arguably put together their best game of the season, and they still haven’t had a game where they’ve put it all together for four good quarters.