Browns Lose: 3 Plays that Changed The Game


The Cleveland Browns lost another tight game, this time to the Baltimore Ravens. After a tough loss in Week 1 and a huge win in Week 2 this loss stings. The Browns showed a ton of talent but also a ton of mistakes in the game today.

Here we take a look at 3 plays that changed the game and led to the Browns loss:

Taylor Gabriel 70 Yard Reception

Time: 10:07 left in the 4th quarter

Down & Distance: 2nd and 10 at the Browns 21 yard line

The Browns, up 4, got a huge play from Brian Hoyer and Taylor Gabriel. Gabriel ran a clean route, a double move, that gave them the ball at the Ravens 9 yard line. The play changed the game, but mostly in the negative. Hoyer’s pass hit Gabriel in stride but, seemingly worried about making sure he caught the ball, Gabriel fell to the ground. He got back up and made it down to the 9 yard line.

Had Gabriel caught the ball in stride, without going to the ground, he scores a touchdown relatively easily. That would have put the Browns up by 11 but instead the drive stalled, a missed play and a penalty, leading to a field goal attempt. That field goal was blocked giving the ball back to the Ravens.

Impact: Medium High

Travis Benjamin Punt Return

Time: 2:35 left in the 4th

Down & Distance: 4th and 16th at the Ravens 35

The Browns, up 1, held the Ravens offense to one first down. A huge play by Desmond Bryant pushed the Ravens back 6 yards keeping the Ravens from going for it on 4th down with the down and distance. The Ravens punted and Travis Benjamin, the big play returner from last year, and not Jim Leonhard, the sure handed punt returner, was sent back to return the punt.

The Ravens punt could have been fielded giving the Browns the ball near the 20 yard line. Instead Benjamin, seemingly lacking confidence, let the ball go over his head. The Ravens downed the ball at the 7 yard line instead. This led to a 10 second possession for the Browns. Instead of having some room out of the endzone, the Browns were backed up. The yardage difference impacted the Browns play calling as well as where the Ravens got the ball on the punt. When the Ravens got the ball they only had 10 to 20 yards to go before they were in field goal range.

Impact: Medium

32 Yard Completion to Steve Smith

Time: 1:28 left in the game

Down & Distance: 2nd and 5 from the Browns 45

The Ravens, with no timeouts, had just completed a short 5 yard pass for Smith and the clock was running. Joe Flacco launched a deep ball down the right sideline to Smith, completing over Joe Haden and before Donte Whitner. Haden was beat on the play, and struggled for most of the game in coverage, and Whitner was not able to get over quick enough. Haden’s performance, aggressive as it was, was highly ineffective all game.

The Ravens then had options to run down the clock and win the game. While the Ravens could have gotten into field goal range, a pass defense there would have forced them into a huge 3rd down. Justin Tucker could have still been brought out if they didn’t get the first down but the Browns would take a chance on a 50 plus yard field goal attempt.

Impact: High

There were plenty of other plays including the 2 missed field goals, the throw behind Andrew Hawkins on 3rd down and Justin Gilbert‘s continued struggles.

Which play was the biggest to you?