Ravens force 5 turnovers in 24-10 win over Browns
BALTIMORE (AP) The Ravens are making a habit of converting turnovers into victories.
Baltimore relentlessly harassed two Cleveland quarterbacks, Joe Flacco ramped up his production with a pair of touchdown passes and the Ravens breezed past the Browns 24-10 on Sunday.
Building on their season-opening shutout at Cincinnati, the Ravens picked off four passes and forced a fumble – giving them 10 takeaways in two games.
The victory carried a stiff price: Six-time Pro Bowl guard Marshal Yanda fractured his left ankle and will be lost for the season.
”Unfortunately, it’s bad news,” coach John Harbaugh said. ”We’ll have to bounce back from it, and we’ll have to handle it.”
Most of the defense’s damage came against Browns rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer, who left with a migraine headache in the second quarter after four ineffective series: a three-and-out, a lost fumble, an interception and a punt.
The former Notre Dame starter was replaced by second-year pro Kevin Hogan, who would become the third quarterback in two games to be intercepted by the Baltimore defense.
Kizer said the headaches are hereditary, and that he hasn’t had one crop up in a game since high school. He received medication, underwent concussion protocol, and finally received clearance to return in the third quarter with Baltimore up 21-10.
On his second series back, Kizer moved the Browns to the Baltimore 7 before being picked off in the end zone by Lardarius Webb.
Brandon Carr’s interception with 6:09 remaining all but sealed the victory.
Coming off a solid performance in his debut against Pittsburgh, Kizer went 15 for 31 for 182 yards with three interceptions and a lost fumble.
Hogan completed five of 11 passes for 118 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
”The turnovers will always stick out because it stops you from scoring points or leads to points for the other team,” coach Hue Jackson said.
Both were outdone by Flacco, playing his second game since returning from a sore back that kept him sidelined the entire preseason. After going 9 for 17 in a keep-it-simple outing against the Bengals, Flacco went 25 for 34 for 217 yards in the encore.
”Get a lead and get pressure on the (other) quarterback is a good winning recipe,” Flacco said. ”Putting guys in that situation the last two weeks has been big for us.”
As he matures, Kizer ultimately will come to understand the problem of holding the ball too long in the pocket – a mistake that put the Browns in an early hole.
On Cleveland’s second series, Kizer was looking for a receiver when sacked by Terrell Suggs. The rookie fumbled, Baltimore recovered, and minutes later Terrance West scored on a 4-yard run.
Kizer’s next turnover wasn’t entirely his fault: With the Browns at the Baltimore 26, his pass glanced off the hands of running back Duke Johnson into the arms of safely Eric Weddle.
Baltimore went up 14-0 in the second quarter when Flacco completed two straight passes totaling 43 yards to tight end Benjamin Watson before Javorius Allen caught a 9-yard TD throw.
Hogan entered and promptly took the Browns on an 83-yard drive that ended with his first career touchdown pass, to David Njoku.
But Flacco countered with a 2-yard TD pass to Jeremy Maclin on the final play of the half, and that was enough to hand Cleveland its 14th consecutive road defeat.
NEXT MAN UP
The Ravens will be looking at another shuffle of an already thin offensive line with Yanda out.
”It’s a big loss for us,” center Ryan Jensen said, ”but you got to keep pushing and keep going. You can’t dwell on that situation.”
Browns left tackle Joe Thomas passed the 10,000-mark with his remarkable streak of consecutive snaps played.
Thomas hasn’t missed a snap since breaking into the league in 2007. He reached 10,000 in a row on the first play of Cleveland’s second series, and began work on his next 10,000 snaps immediately thereafter.
Houston Texans defensive star J.J. Watt said on his Twitter account: ”10,000 consecutive snaps. That’s unbelievable. Hats off to you good sir.”
Browns: WR Corey Coleman’s afternoon ended after he hurt his hand on a fourth-quarter play. The Browns later tweeted that LB Jamie Collins sustained a concussion.
Ravens: Rookie backup LB Bam Bradley tore his ACL and is lost for the season. … DT Brandon Williams hurt his foot in the third quarter and did not return. … Maclin missed time in the first quarter with a right shoulder stinger.
Browns: Cleveland has another road game, this one against the Indianapolis Colts, who have won seven of the past eight games in the series.
Ravens: Baltimore heads abroad for its first game in London, a matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Ravens lost the first eight games in the series and have since won nine of 12.
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