Analyzing four key moments from the Browns' 27-10 loss to the Ravens…
- One of the best three-play stretches of the season for the Browns defense was just the spark Cleveland's offense needed in the second quarter against Baltimore's stingy front seven.
The Browns defense, on its heels after a DeShone Kizer interception, faced second-and-goal at its 1-yard line after a Joe Flacco scramble. The Ravens' first crack at a score went incomplete. The second was stuffed by rookie Caleb Brantley, who swallowed up Alex Collins for no gain. The third went backward and gave the ball back to the Browns, as James Burgess Jr. dropped Collins for a loss.
Cleveland's first offensive snap went 59 yards the other way, as Isaiah Crowell broke loose for a big gain. The Browns kept pounding on the ground and wound up with a 7-3 lead after Duke Johnson Jr. darted in the end zone on a 12-yard run.
After the drive, Cleveland boasted 103 rushing yards, minus-12 passing yards and a four-point lead.
- The Ravens were relentless from that point forward in the first half, scoring back-to-back touchdowns thanks to Flacco and a big play on defense.
Flacco's 30-yard pass to Mike Wallace got the Ravens moving on their go-ahead touchdown drive. The veteran quarterback capped the possession by himself with a 2-yard touchdown run.
Baltimore got the ball back in a hurry after Cleveland's second turnover of the game, a Johnson fumble on a third-down screen. The Ravens took over at Cleveland's 45 and got in the end zone three plays later, when Flacco found tight end Ben Watson for a 33-yard touchdown pass.
Cleveland's 7-3 lead turned into a 17-7 deficit in a span of 8 game minutes.
The Browns play the Baltimore Ravens in Week 15.
- Effective punting by Baltimore's Sam Koch gave the Browns' lousy starting field position throughout most of Sunday's game. The Ravens cashed in with their biggest defensive play of the game midway through the third quarter after one such punt to take a two-touchdown lead.
Koch pinned the Browns to their own 4-yard line with a 37-yard punt. On Cleveland's first play of the ensuing series, Baltimore's Za'Darius Smith stripped Kizer as he went to throw, and nose tackle Brandon Williams fell on the ball for the touchdown.
The score was the fifth of the season for Baltimore's defense.
- Already down by two touchdowns, the Browns' best chance to get back within striking distance came up inches short on a fourth-down Kizer run.
Faced with a third-and-9 at Baltimore's 47-yard line, Kizer completed an 8-yard pass to Sammie Coates. Just a few yards out of field goal range and in need of points, Cleveland went for it on fourth-and-1, and Kizer kept it himself. He shook to his left and dove forward, but was stuffed by C.J. Mosley for no gain. A review of the spot went unfulfilled, and Baltimore got the ball back.
The Ravens turned the good field position into more points, as Justin Tucker connected on a 43-yard field goal to extend the lead to 17.