The Ravens defense kept the contest close enough to give the offense a chance to turn things on the Browns with one big drive.
And Baltimore finally found it.
The Ravens used a 12-play, 80-yard drive to take their first lead, 7-6 on a Bernard Pierce 5-yard touchdown run with 5:13 to go in the third quarter.
Baltimore had just 122 yards of offense before using some nice balance to score its first points of the contest. Joe Flacco went 3-for-3 for 34 yards on the drive while the Ravens used the run to chew 5:50 off the clock. The Ravens ran for 36 yards on the possession, before which they had just 27 yards on the ground all game.
So now let’s see if the D can hold things in check to give the O a shot to build on that lead. Another typical Browns-Ravens game it seems. Close, physical and ugly.
Update: Tandon Doss has endured quite the roller coaster this summer/fall. After being cut, trying out for Green Bay, not being signed and then being re-signed by the Ravens, he is doing his part today.
Doss’ 21-yard punt return in the fourth quarter set up a short field for Baltimore, which just used it to drive for a 14-6 lead.
Flacco capped an eight-play, 42-yard possession with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Marlon Brown, and the Ravens have an eight-point lead with 8:57 to go.
The bad news is that Ray Rice hurt his left hip on the first play of the drive, crumbling to the ground without being hit with his left leg appearing to collapse beneath him. It didn’t look good.
Rice hobbled off the field himself, but was taken straight to the locker room to be examined.
Update II: Add Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith and Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden to the list of injured players in this one.
Smith was taken to the locker room to undergo concussion testing, but has since returned. Weeden’s return is questionable because of a thumb injury. Former Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell is now in the game for Cleveland and a possible comeback may be up to him.
Update III: The Ravens blanked the Browns 14-0 in the second half on the way to a 14-6 victory, their 11th straight over Cleveland.
That now stands alone as the longest active streak against any single opponent in the NFL.
After failing to find any kind of consistent rhythm in the first half, Baltimore scored two touchdowns in the second half for the victory. The Ravens improve to 1-1 while the Browns fall to 0-2.
The Ravens outgained Cleveland 296-254 with Flacco passing for 211 yards and a touchdown. Torrey Smith had seven catches for 85 yards while Brown added four receptions for 45 yards and a score.
Much-improved showing for the Baltimore defense, which allowed just two first-half field goals by Billy Cundiff.
Now the attention turns to Rice and the other dinged-up Ravens.