There is no better place to shine than in primetime.
Enter the Ravens defense.
AFC North matchups are never about glitz and glamour, and the contest between the Browns and Ravens on November 16, 2009 was no different. The Ravens went to Cleveland at .500 (4-4), trying to find some consistency in John Harbaugh's second year at the helm after losing four of their previous five games. Ray Rice, who had established himself as the Ravens' primary running back, was in the middle of his first Pro Bowl season and pacing the offense. But, it was defense that would steal the show on Monday night.
Cleveland entered the game at a 1-7 mark, looking to rebound from a rough September and October. Brady Quinn was the team's starting quarterback and former Raven Jamal Lewis was in his final NFL season for the Browns.
A sluggish first half that featured no points from either team gave way to a third quarter that saw the Ravens score 13 points in the first three minutes of the frame. In the end, it was a 16-0 victory, the team's first shutout under Harbaugh.
Stat of the game
The Browns mustered just 160 yards of total offense on Baltimore's defense. Brady Quinn threw for only 99 yards, also getting sacked four times.
Player of the game
Ravens running back Willis McGahee's 35 rushing yards moved him into second place on the Ravens' all-time rushing list, ironically behind only Jamal Lewis, who will be inducted into the Ring of Honor Thursday night.
Play of the game
With the Ravens holding a 7-0 lead, safety Dawan Landry pushed Baltimore's advantage when he intercepted a Quinn pass and raced 48 yards the other way for a touchdown. Against the vaunted Ravens defense, the Browns entered their territory only once, and never after Landry's pick.
Quote of the weekOutside linebacker Terrell Suggs on the Ravens' outlook and mindset for the second half of the season:"Don't hit the panic button just yet. We're not out of the*playoffs. It's not where we wanted to be or expected to be, but it's where we are. We have to be men and climb on out of it. We have eight games [left]. We have to make the most of it. We have to win the ones we're supposed to win. That's what it is right now. That's reality. That's where we put ourselves." *
What it meant
Harbaugh's second year at the helm was an up-and-down campaign, and it didn't change after the game in Cleveland. The team did go 5-3 and earned a second-straight spot in the playoffs as a wild card, where they went up to New England and won before falling to Indianapolis in the divisional round.