The Cleveland Browns have truly been their own worst enemy this season. Critical errors at crucial times have been their downfall in a number of games, and it was no different on Saturday, as the Browns blundered their way to a 20-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
This time, it was two particular plays that helped lead the Browns to a loss:
1) At the end of the first half, with less than a minute remaining, the Browns offense looked apathetic getting to the line of scrimmage and confusion set in with 13 seconds left, as quarterback Seneca Wallace took it upon himself to call a running play to Peyton Hillis (and the Ravens’ three-yard line), who was stopped for no gain. With no timeouts, the Browns were unable to get another play off before the end of the first half. This mistake would prove to be a critical mistake later in the game, as the Browns cut it close.
2) At the end of the game, the Ravens were facing a fourth-and-two at the Browns’ 46 with two minutes remaining. When Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense went back onto the field, it was obvious that they were simply trying to draw the Browns offsides. If that couldn’t be done, they would punt and pin the Browns deep in their own zone. With that in mind, the Ravens were still able to draw rookie defensive tackle Phil Taylor offsides, giving the Ravens a first down and effectively ending the game.
It’s another case of the Browns coming close with nothing to show for it. For a team this young, it’s valuable experience. It’s not the ideal situation for fans, but seasons like this can pay off in the long run.
Here are more notes following the Browns’ loss to the Ravens:
- Running back Peyton Hillis had another impressive performance, rushing for 112 yards on 24 carries. Still think the Browns should part ways with him?
- This game should also have been a reminder as to why Seneca Wallace is not the answer at quarterback for the Browns. While he was serviceable at times, there is nothing he did in this game that proved he was any better in this position than Colt McCoy.
- Josh Cribbs returned a punt for a touchdown, his first return in 32 games, and the first punt return since the 2009 season opener.
- After catching four passes for 40 yards, rookie wide receiver Greg Little now has 709 yards on the season.
- Ravens running back Ray Rice had another monster day against the Browns, rushing for 87 yards 23 carries. He also added three catches for 48 yards and a touchdown.
- Here’s something, Browns fans: wide receiver Carlton Mitchell caught two – two! – passes for 12 yards on Saturday.