Boy oh boy that was a rough game. It was extremely physical from basically the opening kickoff, it was rainy and wet and slippery, but at the end of the day all that matters was that it was a win.
The Ravens couldn’t seem to put away the Browns late in the game, they let them hang on for way to long and they let what was a 23-10 lead turn into a 23-16 victory that was decided on a game ending hail mary attempt. Not a good sign. The defense struggled for a lot of the night. The offense couldn’t finish drives despite churning out yards at an astronomical rate (438 on the game). The Ravens picked up 11 penalties, their second straight double digit penalty game, for 100 yards, their second straight triple digit game. Add all those things together with a pesky Browns team with nothing to lose and you have the recipe for a Baltimore disaster.
The Ravens narrowly avoided that fate.
The 2011 Ravens probably lost this game.
Now that we saw the bad stuff lets hit some good notes.
Flacco has now thrown for back to back 300+ yard games for just the second time in his career by grabbing 356 yards tonight. He currently leads the NFL in passing yards after coming into the week 2nd behind Eli Manning. A big chunk of those were to Anquan Boldin who had one of his best games as a Raven with 9 catches for 131 yards. Last week Torrey Smith set a personal best with 6 receptions, he was able to hit that mark for the second straight week and he nearly came up with back to back 100+ yard games by getting 97 total receiving yards. Ray Rice continued his streak of success against the Browns in terms of yardage with nearly 100 scrimage yards, but his yards per carry were terribly low at just 2.72 yards. Bernard Pierce was more than happy to pick up the slack by having his best NFL game with 6 carries for 48 yards or 8 yards per carry. Neither of those two guys reached the endzone, but Joe Flacco did on a nice little run for the easy touchdown in the third quarter.
Lets all give some props to Cary Williams as well. He has been skewered by fans and media the past few weeks but he came up huge tonight with his big time pick six of Brandon Weeden in the 3rd quarter. It was the play of the game and Williams first career INT. big props Cary. The Ravens secondary has still only allowed 2 passing TDs and they have 4 interceptions, 2 of them were turned into return touchdowns.
The Ravens had arguably the toughest opening quarter schedule in the entire league and they have emerged from it 3-1. With 4 games against 3 probowl QBs in just 17 days (the last team to play 4 games in 17 days was the Brooklyn Dodgers, seriously thats an NFL team, in 1951) The Ravens have barely had a chance to catch their breath. Now they get a nice long 10 day break before they face the 1-2 Kansas City Chiefs.