In a word, everything.
Special teams allowed a big kick-off return, but Matt Stover was on the money. The defense allowed a big passing play, but held on as the offense mounted a terrific comeback, and even scored for good measure.
And of course, the offense mounted a terrific comeback.
For the first time this year, and likely for the first time in franchise history, the Baltimore Ravens executed a complete game in all facets of the game. They allowed 27 points, which in past experience would’ve signified a blowout in their opponent’s favor. But this time, running and passing complemented each other in a sustained scoring effort, culminating in a second-half comeback.
Joe Flacco matured a great deal yesterday in Cleveland, by matching his ever-present confidence on throws with timing and quick decision making that led to positive yardage. In turn, rookie Ray Rice put on a rushing clinic, chewing up 154 yards on 21 carries, one of which went for 60 yards in the fourth quarter.
The defense, while stagnant early in the second half, came alive in the middle of the third quarter. Possibly spurred on by an energetic offense, they made stop after stop after stop, frustrating the Browns offense and their home crowd.
The Ravens’ third-consecutive win puts them in the lead for the AFC Wild Card, and just a shade behind the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are on the road tonight against the Washington Redskins. Rarely can you assess the Ravens as balanced, but rare is the occasion where a rookie back field and head coach are making all of the difference for a team.
Looks like the Ravens wear rarity very well.