Saturday, August 20, 2011
Browns, Ravens Week 2 preseason recap
By James Walker
The Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns completed Week 2 of the preseason Friday night.
Here are some observations:
Lions 30, Browns 28
- Backup tight end Evan Moore continues to be Cleveland’s secret weapon. Moore capped another stellar training camp this week by leading the Browns with three catches for 40 yards and two touchdowns. Moore was on track to make an impact last season before he got injured. If Moore stays healthy, he could be a matchup problem for opponents.
- Second-year quarterback Colt McCoy had another solid outing. McCoy didn’t throw for many yards (96) but had three touchdowns. McCoy is seeing the field a lot better this year. He also looks more comfortable in a West Coast system. McCoy has thrown for 231 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions this preseason.
Ravens 31, Chiefs 13
- Cleveland's pass protection was shaky against Detroit. McCoy was getting battered by the Lions' first-team defense. He took several tough shots that should make Cleveland's coaches cringe for a second preseason game. Starting tailback Peyton Hillis did not play, and that impacted some of the team's blitz pickups.
- Friday night's second half put Cleveland's lack of depth on display. Cleveland's backups blew a 15-point lead by allowing 17 unanswered points to Detroit's reserves. The Browns' starters played well for the second week in a row. But the first team must stay healthy at nearly every position this season for the Browns to remain competitive.
- New Ravens receiver Lee Evans made a solid debut. He showed deep speed, good routes and playmaking ability. Evans caught three passes for 68 yards. His best play was a 43-yard reception when he got behind the defense. Evans also made two third-down conversions, on a slant and an out route, to keep drives alive.
- Baltimore tailback Ray Rice was productive. Rice rushed for 44 yards on seven carries, which included a nifty 26-yard touchdown scamper in the second quarter. Rice showed he can make defenders miss once he gets to the second level. Rice was bottled up at the line of scrimmage too often last season because of poor blocking.
- Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco looked off and missed several throws he usually makes. Flacco found himself scrambling around a lot against the Chiefs. He also had a couple of odd plays where the ball slipped out of his hand during a pass attempt. Flacco was 12 of 24 for 124 yards. Ironically, his best throws were to Evans, and they only practiced together for a week.
- Baltimore's punt returning left a little to be desired. Cornerback Lardarius Webb and safety Tom Zbikowski fumbled punt returns. Webb lost his fumble, and Zbikowski’s was recovered by Baltimore. Ball security will be something special teams coach Jerry Rosburg will look to fix quickly this week.