BALTIMORE — As the Browns prepared for their first road trip of 2017 earlier this week, coach Hue Jackson made clear the Ravens and their tenacious defense would pose a challenge.
As it turns out, he was right. [
Cleveland was overpowered by Baltimore, 24-10, Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium in a game where it was undone by turnovers and untimely miscues.
The Browns turned the ball over five times and committed nine penalties on a day where they were without starting quarterback DeShone Kizer, who missed roughly a quarter of play because of a migraine.
Despite those struggles, the Browns outgained the Ravens (386-338 yards) and hung around in the fourth quarter. Trailing by two touchdowns and with the ball on the 1-yard line, the rookie Kizer tossed an untimely interception to veteran safety Lardarius Webb with under 12 minutes to play.
The miscue was something of a turning point in a game where Cleveland was, at time, its own worst enemy.
Kizer, in his first NFL regular season road game, finished with 182 yards passing and three interceptions.
Meanwhile, the Ravens capitalized on the Browns' miscues in their home opener. Quarterback Joe Flacco passed for 217 yards, two touchdowns and an interception while the Ravens' run game totaled 136 yards on 32 carries.
After a promising showing against the Steelers last weekend offered several bright spots, the Browns did not fare as well in front of a raucous Baltimore crowd.
In the first quarter, they turned the ball over twice, committed four penalties (including an unnecessary roughness call that helped set up a Ravens touchdown).
To be certain, Cleveland stood its ground against a stingy Ravens defense that has now forced 10 turnovers in two games.
In Kizer's absence, Hogan — who earned the team's backup quarterback job following a strong preseason — led a five-play, 83-yard drive that ended when he zipped a 25-yard touchdown pass to rookie tight end David Njoku late in the second quarter.
Though the series zapped some life into Cleveland's offense (and marked the first touchdown surrendered by the Ravens this season), Hogan (who finished with 118 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception) was picked off by linebacker Tyus Bowser on the next possession with less than a minute until intermission.
Baltimore extended its lead to 21-7 a few plays later when Flacco tossed a quick, outside pass to veteran receiver Jeremy Maclin.
The Browns travel to Indianapolis next weekend.
The Browns play the Baltimore Ravens in Week 2 of the 2017 season.