Upon Further Review: Ravens Week 9

November, 4, 2013
11/04/13
8:00
AM ET
A review of four hot issues from the Baltimore Ravens' 24-18 loss at the Cleveland Browns:

[+] EnlargeRay Rice
Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun/MCT via Getty ImagesRay Rice had one of the worst performances of his career Sunday: 17 yards on 11 carries.
Reaching new lows: Ray Rice's terrible season got even worse Sunday, when he was held to 17 yards rushing on 11 carries. It's the lowest rushing total of his career in games in which he's had double-digit carries. Many thought Rice was primed to turn around his season. He had averaged 127.4 yards rushing in his five previous trips to Cleveland. Instead, he averaged 1.5 yards per carry. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Rice was held to 9 yards rushing after contact for a second straight game. From the start of 2009 until Sunday, Rice had never had fewer than 10 yards after contact in a game with at least 10 rushes.

Streak of slow starts continues: The Ravens don't do much early in games. That is, except dig themselves into holes. Teams have scored first against the Ravens in six of the past seven games, including Sunday, when the Browns marched 80 yards for a touchdown on their second drive of the game. The Ravens have scored a total of 16 points in the first quarter. Only two teams (Jacksonville and Arizona) have scored fewer in the first quarter this season. In the first quarter Sunday, the Ravens were limited to 47 yards and quarterback Joe Flacco was 3-of-8 for 42 yards.

Blitz backfires: All three touchdown passes allowed by the Ravens on Sunday came when they blitzed. The Ravens tried to put pressure on Browns quarterback Jason Campbell, but he delivered touchdown throws of 1, 20 and 4 yards. According to ESPN Stats & Information, it's just the third time since the start of 2006 that the Ravens have given up at least three touchdowns when sending added pressure. In its first seven games this season, Baltimore had allowed five touchdown passes when it blitzed. Speaking of pressure, the Ravens recorded two sacks, extending their streak of multiple sacks to 16 games. That's the longest current streak in the league.

Penalty problem: No one should be surprised that the Ravens committed nine penalties in Sunday's loss, although they would argue the validity of some of them. Baltimore is 1-4 this season when it is flagged at least seven times. On Sunday, the Ravens committed some overly aggressive ones (Daryl Smith's body slam of Greg Little and James Ihedigbo's horse-collar tackle) and careless ones (12 men on the field on defense and Courtney Upshaw's holding call when punt returner Tandon Doss had called for a fair catch). The Ravens are on pace for 116 penalties this season.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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