There weren’t many positive aspects in the Cleveland Browns’ 24-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, though the fact that the Browns weren’t demolished by more than 14 points could be something to hang your hat on.
Ravens running back Ray Rice carved through the Browns like a warm knife through the softest of butter, accumulating 204 yards on 29 carries. Without any answer for Rice, Joe Flacco didn’t have to do much,
As for the Browns, it was another anemic showing on offense, with their only touchdown being scored in garbage time at the end of the game. They looked competitive on their opening drive, with running back Peyton Hillis running with authority. Once the Ravens settled in, it was game over. Despite the 24-10 score, don’t be fooled – this game was never that close (two missed field goals by Billy Cundiff certainly helped).
But the worst part about this? The Browns have to deal with a short week, as they head to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers on Thursday night. After seeing what the Steelers did to the Bengals on Sunday, things could get very ugly for the Browns.
Here are some more notes following the Browns’ loss to the Ravens:
- Jordan Norwood has been the most impressive wide receiver for the Browns in recent weeks, which isn’t saying much after Sunday’s loss. He had three catches for 29 yards, but was also flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty when he accidentally flipped the ball into the face of Bernard Pollard. To add insult to injury, Norwood also dropped what would have been a big-play catch (which really should have been ruled as a fumble) while the Browns were driving early in the game.
- Greg Little dropped two more passes on Sunday, officially classifying his inability to catch the ball as concerning. One game is a mulligan, especially for a rookie, but Little looked timid on the field.
- Despite being gutted for 290 rushing yards, the defense actually kept the Browns in the game. But that shouldn’t come as a surprise – the Browns’ defense makes its living on that extreme bend-but-don’t-break mentality. It works for this year’s defensive unit, and once the team adds a few more playmakers, it might begin to think about becoming dominant.
- Speaking of defensive playmakers, Jabaal Sheard is closing out the season in an impressive fashion. Against the Ravens he had five tackles (two solo), a sack, and one pass defended.
- Colt McCoy had another tough game, completing 17 of 35 passes for 192 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He was sacked three times and was also running for his life on most plays, which has become pretty standard for him. It’s obvious that he’s frustrated, and there is more that will be said about his performance, but one has to at least respect him for sticking it out so far this season.