Tuesday, December 28, 2010
AFC North Week 16 decisive moment
By James Walker
The Cleveland Browns tried a remake of a key play from Super Bowl XLIV in Week 16. But Cleveland didn't get the same results the defending champion New Orleans Saints had against the Indianapolis Colts.
Down three points at halftime to the Baltimore Ravens, the Browns tried an onside kick to start the third quarter. The catch: The kick didn't go the required 10 yards and rolled out of bounds. The questionable decision gave the Ravens (11-4) great field position to start the second half, and they scored a touchdown three plays later. It was a key to Baltimore's 20-10 victory over Cleveland (5-10).
The decisive moment contributed to the Browns' third straight loss.
"You look for a certain look and then if it is there, that's when you run it," Browns coach Eric Mangini explained. "There's upside to all of those plays and then there is a downside to all of those plays."
On a cold, windy day in which field position was at a premium, the host Browns gave the Ravens too many gifts. Cleveland also had four turnovers (three interceptions, one fumble) in the loss.
The Ravens didn't do anything spectacular in the game. But the Browns made it too easy for Baltimore by making mistake after mistake, which included the poorly-executed onside kick.
"It really set the tone in the second half," Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said of the play. "I'm impressed that we capitalized. To go get the touchdown was big."