Week 1 was rough for the Baltimore Ravens, we all know that. The Ravens took a big loss in Denver. That was last week. This weekend the Ravens hosted the Cleveland Browns. Ravens fans took some solace in the fact that we had what appeared to be an easy game under our belts. Week 2, at home vs the Browns? Easy win, right? Wrong. The Browns came in and completely shut down the Ravens in the first half. It was embarrassing and a little worrisome. While the Ravens didnt allow a touchdown the whole game, the Browns still took a 6-0 lead into the half and the Ravens offense looked like it was going nowhere fast. While the first half was a rough one for the Ravens, the second half was much better. They came out in the second half, made their adjustments, and put up 14 points while still holding the Browns to the 6 they scored in the first half. There were definitely some positives to look at in this game. Also, there were some glaring negatives that the Baltimore Ravens are still looking to rectify.
- The receiving core looked good. Not as many drops in the game as the first one. Flacco distributed the ball well completing passes to 8 different receivers.
- They made good adjustments to deal with the Browns defense in the second half. Good teams make good adjustments at halftime. The Ravens did just that.
- The Running game needs to be more productive than they are being. They rushed for almost 100-yards as a collective on Sunday, but I think that they really need to start performing at a higher caliber. The Ravens have one of the best backs in the league, and another back that is full of potential. I know that Joe Flacco is a very well paid quarterback, but the Ravens offense should be running through Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce.
- Ray Rice fumbled. Not a huge deal, because the Browns didnt succeed in scoring off the turnover.
- I am also a little concerned about the Ravens tight ends. It looked like, in the first half, Joe Flacco was not even looking at them when going through his reads. I dont know if there is any trust there currently after the game in Denver. The Raven’s tight ends were only targeted 3 times. I think that is a bit odd seeing as the Ravens love running plays out of a double tight formation. Hopefully Joe Flacco can find a way to trust the tight ends again, because I think that is a huge part of what is missing from the offense.
- The Ravens defense really picked it up in this one. Coming off of a game where they allowed 8 touchdowns to the Broncos, they shut down the Browns offense and didnt allow a single touchdown.
- The defense had 5 sacks on Brandon Wheedon. They were completely swarming on defense around the line.
- The front 7 completely shut down the Browns run game too. Trent Richardson only rushed for 58 yards and didnt see the endzone on Sunday. Richardson is going to become great back if he can stay healthy, and to shut him down was a huge reason that the Browns offense couldnt find the endzone. Daryl Smith is proving to be a huge pickup for the Ravens. He had 11 tackles and was seemingly everywhere on the field. He also managed to pick up 1.5 sacks as he showed that his pass rushing game is pretty solid too. Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs both had sacks as well. This tandem is going to continue to cause headaches for offensive lines all year.
- The Ravens secondary was also very good. Wile they didnt force any turnovers, they managed to shut down the Browns passing game for the most part.
- Not really a negative I suppose, but the Ravens didnt manage to force any turnovers against the Browns. They still managed to be lights out without needing to force a ton of turnovers.
- Im growing concerned with the Ravens ability to stop tight ends. We all know what Julius Thomas did against the Ravens. On Sunday Brown’s tight end Jordan Cameron caught 5 passes for 95-yards. No touchdowns, but he almost took one the distance on the first Brown’s play from scrimmage. The Ravens safeties are going to need to get better at picking up the tight end.
- The positives this week are pretty simple: The Ravens didnt allow and blocked punts or kicks. They didnt muff any punts or kickoffs. They didnt allow any punt or kick returns for touchdowns. Overall the special teams played pretty well.
- I feel like rarely I’m going to have to put his name in this list, but Justin Tucker had a rough game. Everyone does. It’s okay. The Ravens still won and he didnt miss any big, game ending, kicks. He missed two pretty long field goals in the first half of the game. The Ravens would have gone into the locker room all tied up with the Browns instead of down 6. But a good second half by the Offense and Defense made sure that Tucker’s mistakes were not game losing.
There are some injury notes as well: Ray Rice went down untouched grabbing his hip in the 3rd quarter. No news yet on how severe this injury is, but it was reported that the Raven’s premier back has an injured hip flexor. Chris Canty hurt his groin Chykie Brown strained his knee Arthur Brown sustained a pectoral injury.