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Game Recap: Ravens 23, Browns 16

Posted Sep 27, 2012

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Ravens defeated the Cleveland Browns, 23-16, at M&T Bank Stadium on Thursday night.

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Ravens improved to 3-1 on the season and remained at the top of the AFC North Division with their 23-16 win over the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium Thursday night.

The loss dropped the Browns to 0-4 on the season.

Browns kicker Phil Dawson converted a 52-yard field goal attempt and drew the team to within seven points, at 23-16, of the Ravens with 4:33 left in the fourth quarter.

Dawson converted all three of his field goal attempts tonight against the Ravens, all of which have come from at least 50 yards.

Dawson connected on a 50-yard field goal attempt and cut into Baltimore’s lead at 23-13 at the 12:11 mark of the fourth quarter.

Earlier in the game, Dawson converted a 51-yard field goal attempt. He is three-for-three on kicks of 50-plus yards and five-of-five on those attempts over 40 through the first four weeks of the 2012 season.

With a defensive score late in the third quarter, the Baltimore Ravens built a 23-10 lead over the Cleveland Browns after 45 minutes of play in Thursday’s game from M&T Bank Stadium.

Ravens veteran cornerback Cary Williams intercepted a Brandon Weeden pass and returned it 63 yards for a touchdown. With the defensive score, the Ravens increased their lead over the Browns to 23-10 with 15 seconds left in the third quarter.

The Browns faced a third-and-five from Baltimore’s 43-yard line when Weeden threw an out-route intended for rookie wide receiver Travis Benjamin. As Benjamin neared the sideline, Williams jumped the route and returned the turnover for the score.

Dawson’s 51-yard field goal drew the team to within six points, 16-10, of the Ravens. Dawson’s kick -- his second from 50 or more yards this season -- capped off an eight-play, 53-yard drive that took 3:01 off the third-quarter clock.

Weeden completed three passes for 63 yards on the scoring drive. After a 15-yard pass to rookie running back Trent Richardson, Weeden connected with tight end Benjamin Watson for a gain of 13. The Browns received an extra 15 yards on the Watson catch when he was hit in the helmet by Baltimore safety Benard Pollard.

Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco ran for a one-yard touchdown and extended the Ravens’ lead to 16-7 over the Browns with 9:53 remaining in the third quarter.

Although he got the score with his feet, Flacco engineered the 13-play, 89-yard drive with his arm. He completed five of seven passes for 68 yards and three of those throws went to veteran wide receiver Anquan Boldin.

Boldin turned those three receptions into 60 yards.

With a first-quarter touchdown and second-quarter field goal, the Ravens built a 9-7 halftime lead over the Browns.

Down by two scores, late in the first half, the Browns went to Richardson, who scored a one-yard rushing touchdown and capped off an 11-play, 94-yard drive that took 4:52 off the second quarter clock and drew the team to within two points of the Ravens.

With the score, Richardson became the first Browns running back with a rushing touchdown in three straight games since Peyton Hillis during the 2010 season. He is the first Cleveland rookie since Eric Metcalf (1989) to accomplish the feat.

Ravens rookie kicker Justin Tucker kicked a 45-yard field goal and extended his team’s advantage to 9-0 over the Browns with 10:03 remaining in the first half. Flacco engineered a 32-yard drive, but could not convert two long passes and the team was forced to attempt the long field goal.

Earlier in the half, Flacco delivered an 18-yard pass to second-year wide receiver Torrey Smith over the Browns’ defense and built a 6-0 lead with 12:57 left in the first quarter.

Flacco’s pass capped off a six-play, 85-yard drive. He went four-for-four on the drive for 87 yards with the touchdown.

The Ravens could not convert the extra point as the snap slipped through the hands of holder Sam Koch.

The Browns and Ravens played a scoreless first quarter, as the teams traded five punts, turnovers and field position throughout the first 15 minutes of play.

Just five plays after the Browns lost possession of the football on a fumbled punt return by Joshua Cribbs, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco threw an interception to linebacker Craig Robertson in the end zone with 3:21 left in the first quarter. It was Flacco’s first interception in the red zone since Dec. 7, 2009 at the Green Bay Packers. He had not thrown a red zone interception in 125 consecutive pass attempts.

Flacco took the snap on second-and-three from Cleveland’s 10-yard line and threw toward Boldin. However, Robertson dropped back into coverage and registered his second interception of the season.

The interception of Flacco tied Robertson with middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson for the team lead.

Earlier in the first half, Cribbs fielded a 54-yard punt from Baltimore’s Sam Koch and returned it 14 yards. However, Cribbs lost the ball on the play and Ravens inside linebacker Jameel McClain recovered the fumble at Cleveland’s 40-yard line with 5:07 remaining in the first quarter.

Cribbs was hit in the side of the helmet by the shoulder of Ravens inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe and fell to the ground. After the fumble, Cribbs’ helmet was dislodged and the two-time Pro Bowler hit his head on the turf.

Cribbs walked off the field with assistance from Cleveland’s medical staff.

Game Recap is presented by Giant Eagle, the Official Supermarket of the Cleveland Browns.