NFL Nation: 2013 Week 9 BAl at CLE Rapid Reaction
November, 3, 2013
By Pat McManamon | ESPN.com
CLEVELAND -- A few thoughts on the Cleveland Browns' 24-18 win over the Baltimore Ravens:
What it means: The Browns can think about competing in the AFC North. Only one team in the division is over .500, and that’s the Bengals. But they lost their best defensive player to a knee injury when Geno Atkins went down in Thursday night’s game. The Browns are 4-5, one-half game ahead of the Ravens and one-and-a-half behind the Bengals, with a game in Cincinnati after the bye. Cleveland is in second place and after everything that’s happened this season can actually think about doing something the final seven games other than playing out the string.
Stock watch: Jason Campbell is here to stay. Or until he gets hurt. Campbell shrugged off an early late hit when 340-pound Haloti Ngata fell on him after a scramble to throw three touchdown passes against a Ravens defense that should have been rested and organized after a bye week. Instead, Campbell played the same kind of calm, composed game he played in Kansas City. In two games, he has zero interceptions and five touchdown passes.
The swarm: The Browns' defense made the Ravens look pretty bad at times with their combination of pressure and blitzes. The Browns were aggressive against the run, and attacking against the pass. It made Joe Flacco look bad, and never let noted Browns-killer Ray Rice get going. If the Browns get consistent effort like that the rest of the season, they will be in a lot of games.
End of the streak: The Browns had lost 11 games in a row to Baltimore heading into the game. Coach Rob Chudzinski said the division had treated the Browns like a kid brother and it was time for the team to step up. They did, and despite trading their starting running back and using three different starting quarterbacks they are in second place in the division nine games into the season.
What's next: The Browns have their bye week and won’t play again until Nov. 17 when they visit Cincinnati to play the Bengals.
November, 3, 2013
By Jamison Hensley | ESPN.com
CLEVELAND -- A few thoughts on the Baltimore Ravens' 24-18 loss to the Cleveland Browns.
What it means: The Ravens (3-5) fell into third place in the AFC North and 21/2 games back of Cincinnati. This continues a downward spiral for the Ravens, who lost for the fourth time in five games. It ended the Ravens' 11-game win streak over the Browns, who hadn't beaten Baltimore in 2,177 days (November 2007). The Ravens also lost for the first time after the bye in coach John Harbaugh's six seasons. The Browns (4-5) moved into second place in the division.
Collapsing on Flacco: Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was off his game, and it could have been the result of the hits inflicted on him. He was sacked five times (tying a season high) and hit a total of eight times. It was rough going for Flacco from the start, when he missed on 10 of his first 15 passes. He finished 24-of-41 for 250 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception.
Stock watch: Rising: Marlon Brown. The rookie wide receiver accounted for 14 points with two touchdowns and a two-point conversion. Undrafted coming out of Georgia, Brown has a team-leading five touchdowns this season.
Major breakdowns: The Ravens gave up three touchdown passes to Jason Campbell after allowing four of them the past six games. Cornerback Lardarius Webb got faked out badly in the open field on Davone Bess' 20-yard touchdown in the second quarter, and no one covered tight end Gary Barnidge on a 4-yard touchdown pass. The secondary couldn't get the opponent off the field late in the fourth quarter for a third straight game.
Costly drop: With the Ravens trailing 14-10 in the third quarter, Tandon Doss let a punt go through his arms, giving the ball to the Browns at the Baltimore 11-yard line. The Browns needed only two plays and a bad penalty by the Ravens (12 men on the field) to get into the end zone. Doss was the NFL's second-best punt returner entering this game.
What's next: The Ravens play their first home game since Oct. 13 when they host the AFC North-leading Bengals. Baltimore has beaten Cincinnati the past three times at M&T Bank Stadium, but streaks don't seem to matter much when it comes to the Ravens this season.