At First Glance: Ravens vs. Browns


John Eisenberg:  The Ravens put a good scare into everyone, blowing an early two-touchdown lead as their offense fell completely asleep in the middle of the game. But Joe Flacco and his unit revived just in time to move 81 yards to the winning touchdown, saving the day. Big kudos go to the defense, which bent badly but never broke and was out there alone for much of the game while the offense snoozed. Dannell Ellerbe was all over the field, making plays, and Cary Williams, Bernard Pollard and Corey Graham also contributed a ton of tackles. On offense, Ray Rice started strong and ended strong. Why the Ravens went over 30 minutes without a first down is a troubling mystery. The line certainly stopped opening holes for Rice. But what matters most is they snapped out of it and registered a key win.

Ryan Mink:  It was another scary one. Real scary. The offense went into another funk on the road after getting off to a lightning fast start. That was a problem before the bye and it's still a problem after it. The unit has had a bad streak where it just comes off the rails, and that continued Sunday with five straight three-and-outs. But here's another streak that continued through the bye: the Ravens found a way to win. As soon as it was battling from a deficit, Baltimore's offense found its stride to notch the game-winning touchdown to Torrey Smith. The defense also has to feel good after limiting the Browns to all field goals. This was a massive game for momentum. Getting the win keeps the Ravens in the driver's seat in the AFC North. It still has issues to fix, but what team doesn't? If the Ravens can just keep coming up with ways to win, no matter how ugly, they'll be marching into the playoffs once again.

Garrett Downing:As is becoming a trend for the Ravens this season, the win didn't come easy. But the Ravens still came out on top, taking down the Browns 25-15 in a critical AFC North showdown to improve to 6-2 on the season. This game had all the makings of an upset, as the Ravens offense fell into a funk in the second quarter. But then Joe Flacco and company got into a rhythm at the right time, leading the Ravens on a critical fourth-quarter comeback drive to give them a lead they would hold for the victory. John Harbaugh said this was a "must-win game," and coming away with a victory was a much-needed accomplishment for the Ravens. They maintain their lead in the division and get to put the loss to the Texans in the rearview mirror. There are still areas to improve, but this was a stronger showing by the defense and the offense came up big when they needed to do so. 

Sarah Ellison:  The Ravens offense can be a frustrating enigma at times. After a red-hot start with consecutive touchdown drives of 70 and 66 yards, the unit completely disappeared until midway through the fourth quarter.  Baltimore had momentum, the crowd was hushed and the defense was doing its job early. But then the offense suddenly and unexpectedly stalled, punting seven straight times with six three-and-outs. Once the Browns took the lead with five field goals, Joe Flacco and company swiftly woke up from a long slumber and seemed to score with ease on an 81-yard touchdown drive (oh and kudos to Flacco for the audible on the two-point conversion, finding Anquan Boldin wide open). Ravens fans will question where the potent offense went for nearly three quarters. As for the defense, it did its job by keeping the Browns to only field goals. The Ravens really wanted this win and they got it, which is what's most important. Baltimore moves to 6-2, keeps the AFC North lead, but still needs to figure out how to help the offense become more consistent.

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