Monday, September 16, 2013
Wake-up caw: Ravens not dominant enough
By Jamison Hensley
The Baltimore Ravens continued their dominance of Cleveland, beating the Browns for an 11th straight time. But the theme among local reporters was that the Ravens didn't dominate enough to make everyone forget about the embarrassing season-opening loss in Denver. Still, the Ravens (1-1) became the first AFC North team to notch a win this season. Baltimore will be tied with either the Pittsburgh Steelers or Cincinnati Bengals, who face each other on "Monday Night Football." Here's your Wake-up caw ...
The Baltimore Sun's Mike Preston doesn't think the Ravens have distanced themselves from the season-opening loss in Denver. "It is two weeks into the regular season, and there is still a lot to learn about the 2013 Ravens because nothing much came out of Sunday's 14-6 win over Cleveland," Preston wrote. "The same weaknesses that were exposed last week against Denver showed up again against the Browns. The only difference is that Denver, a championship contender, exploited the weaknesses. With Cleveland, if there is way to lose a game, the Browns will find it. If they can't, they will invent one."
Life improved for the Ravens after they committed to the run, John Eisenberg of the team's official website pointed out. "(S)ticking with the run throughout the second half kept the offense in a much better rhythm. In the final two quarters, the Ravens called 27 rushes to 12 pass attempts, and the offense began to dominate," Eisenberg wrote. "That’s certainly worth remembering."
The Baltimore Sun's Peter Schmuck believes the Ravens' squeaky victory over the Browns won't remove the doubts that followed them back from Denver. "The upcoming practice week will feature questions about the slow-starting offense, the hip injury suffered by Ray Rice and Tucker’s 0-for-2 field goal performance," Schmuck wrote. "The Ravens will not be able to burn an entire half trying to get in sync against the Houston Texans next Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium."
Rookie first-round pick Matt Elam made his first career start, replacing Michael Huff as the team's starting free safety. “It meant a lot to me,” Elam told Comcast SportsNet. “Whatever my role is, it’s to help this team win. It was exciting for me to have the opportunity. Glad they had trust in me. It was big for me. “I feel I did well, did my job. We executed. We made plays on the ball. We stopped them from scoring touchdowns.” Jimmy Smith also took over for Corey Graham at cornerback, meaning half of the Ravens' secondary had new starters after allowing seven touchdown passes in the season opener.
Defensive lineman Arthur Jones had a sack in his first game back after missing two weeks with an irregular heartbeat. "To get that first one of the year -- the first of many this season -- it felt great," Jones told The Carroll County (Md.) Times. "It was definitely special."
Tandon Doss handled kickoff and punt returns with Jacoby Jones out with a knee injury. Doss averaged 14.3 yards on three punt returns with a long return of 22 yards and two fair catches. "It felt great obviously just being able to play football again and help contribute to a win," Doss told The Baltimore Sun.