Sunday, September 15, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Ravens 14, Browns 6
By Jamison Hensley
BALTIMORE -- A few thoughts on the Baltimore Ravens' 14-6 win against the Cleveland Browns:
What it means: On the day the Ravens unveiled their Super Bowl banner, they looked far from champions but they played well enough in the second half to beat the Browns. Down 6-0 at halftime, the Ravens converted timely third downs on offense and sacked Brandon Weeden five times in the second half. It was a sloppy start for the Ravens, who watched rookie receiver Marlon Brown drop a touchdown and kicker Justin Tucker miss two field goals. Joe Flacco, whose wife delivered their second son an hour before kickoff, finished 22-of-33 for 211 yards and one touchdown. The Browns fall to 0-2 for the fifth time in six seasons.
Ray Rice injured: The Ravens running back injured his left hip with 11:57 left in the game and didn't return. He went down to the ground without being hit. Rice gained 36 yards on 13 carries before getting hurt. He also had a fumble early in the fourth quarter. Bernard Pierce, who scored the go-ahead 5-yard touchdown, replaced Rice.
Weeden hurt: He injured his thumb late in the fourth quarter. He was listed as questionable to return, but he didn't come back into the game. Weeden was 21-of-33 for 227 yards and was sacked five times. Jason Campbell replaced him with the Browns trailing 14-6.
Stock watch: Rising: Baltimore's pass rush. Five Ravens got at least a half sack on Weeden as the quarterback got hit from all angles. Falling: Cleveland's offense. The Browns were shut out in the second half, and the closest the Browns got to the end zone after halftime was the Ravens' 36-yard line. Former Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff supplied all of their points on field goals from 21 and 51 yards.
Critical stop: The biggest stop by the Ravens came on fourth-and-4 on the first play of the fourth quarter. With the Ravens up 7-6, linebacker Courtney Upshaw held tight end Jordan Cameron less than inch away from converting a first down. The Browns' drive ended at the Ravens' 36.
What's next: The Ravens (1-1) play host to Ed Reed and the Houston Texans on Sunday, and the Browns (0-2) go to the Minnesota Vikings.