BALTIMORE -- Three quick reactions to the Browns' 28-7 loss to the Ravens...
Browns' 2nd half woes continue
A change at quarterback and what appeared to be a big turnover wasn't enough to rid the Browns of their second-half woes.
The Browns saw a 7-6 lead at the half quickly morph into a big deficit, as the Ravens scored 25 unanswered points to run away with a 28-7 victory. The Browns defense, after one of its best halves of the season, allowed the Ravens to drive 68 yards on nine plays and surrendered their first touchdown of the game on Baltimore's first drive of the second half to lose the lead for good. A Joe Haden interception in the end zone on the following possession slowed down Baltimore's momentum, but it didn't translate into anything positive for Cleveland's offense.
Rookie quarterback Cody Kessler played the entire first half and the first series of the second half before he was pulled in favor of Josh McCown. The veteran was unable to spark the Cleveland offense against a Baltimore defense that brought heavy pressure from the edge and interior throughout the game. McCown threw two interceptions -- one coming after his arm was hit by Baltimore's Terrell Suggs and the other on a deep pass attempt into the end zone -- and fumbled with a little more than 5 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Kessler went 11-for-18 for 91 yards and a touchdown. McCown finished 6-for-13 for 59 yards and two interceptions.
Earlier this week, Browns coach Hue Jackson called the team's struggles in the second half a frustration for himself, his coaches and the players. It remained that way Thursday night.
3rd down the difference
Perhaps the biggest reason why Cleveland came up short for its 10th loss of the season was the difference on third down on both sides of the field.
Some of the Ravens' biggest plays of the game, including both of Baltimore's third-quarter touchdowns, came on third down. Earlier in the game, Baltimore converted three third downs on a drive at the end of the first half that netted a field goal and sliced Cleveland's then-lead to one point. On the night, the Ravens were 7-for-12 on third downs.
Cleveland, meanwhile, converted just 2-of-10 of its third-down opportunities, with its first coming on its first drive of the game and second with a little more than 5 minutes to play in the fourth quarter. When Cleveland mounted its best drive of the night, a seven-play, 75-yarder in the second quarter, it avoided third downs altogether.
DeValve gets 1st TD
Because of multiple injuries -- one during training camp and one during the first half of the season -- it's been hard to get a read on where rookie tight end Seth DeValve fits within the Browns offense.
On Thursday, under the bright lights and in front of a national audience that dwarfs any of the coverage his games at Princeton received, DeValve popped free down the field, got a step on Pro Bowl safety Eric Weddle and hauled in a 25-yard touchdown to give Cleveland a second-quarter lead. DeValve never let the ball out of his hands as he celebrated and he later confirmed he's secured it for safekeeping.
Before Thursday, DeValve had just one catch for 5 yards in the five games in which he appeared. He missed a good chunk of training camp with a hamstring injury and was sidelined for multiple games in October with a knee injury he sustained in practice.
The fourth-round pick came out of the Ivy League with plenty of intrigue. He was used primarily as a wide receiver but carried the build of an H-Back/tight end while doing a little bit of everything on offense.
On the day he was drafted, Browns executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown called DeValve a potential "mismatch" player, and that's exactly what he was on a play he won't soon forget.
The Browns play the Baltimore Ravens in Week 10.