For three quarters in the middle of Sunday’s visit to Cleveland, the Ravens managed nothing. They couldn’t move an iota.
Five straight three-and-outs let the Browns come all the way back from an early 14-0 deficit to take a 15-14 lead and threaten Baltimore’s winning streak against the AFC North.
The Ravens weren’t ready to let that one go, however.
Baltimore scored the last 11 points of the game on Joe Flacco’s 19-yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith, Flacco’s two-point conversion pass to Anquan Boldin and Justin Tucker’s 43-yard field goal, which was set up by an Ed Reed interception.
As a result, the Ravens overcame Phil Dawson’s five field goals to improve to 6-2 on the season and remain atop the division. Baltimore has now win 10 straight against the Browns and 11 in a row against the AFC North.
The Ravens also improved to 5-0 after the bye under coach John Harbaugh with an impressive response to criticism of their road play so far this season. Even though the home-road splits remain noticeable, Baltimore is now 2-2 away from M&T Bank Stadium.
Flacco finished 15-for-24 with 153 yards and a touchdown. Ray Rice ran for 98 yards and a touchdown while adding two receptions.
Boldin made five catches for 57 yards, plus the crucial two-point conversion grab, and Smith had four receptions for 46 yards and a score.
The Ravens were outgained 290-282, with Browns tailback Trent Richardson accounting for 105 of those yards. But Cary Williams and Reed intercepted rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden, who played like a rookie, never maneuvering his team into the end zone.
A good road win for the Ravens, albeit a somewhat ugly one after they started so fast, leading 14-0 after two offensive possessions. They saved themselves with a strong finish to start a string of three division games in four contests.