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Game Recap: Ravens 25, Browns 20


The first quarter of Sunday's game in Cleveland couldn't have been any more disastrous, which made the ending that much sweeter.

Baltimore trailed by 20 points. The defense gave up two long touchdowns and couldn't get off the field on third down. The offense didn't have rhythm, dropped passes and turned the ball over.

But the Ravens never showed any signs of panic.

Baltimore came all the way back to take a lead with about 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter and held on for a 25-20 win, pushing the Ravens' record to 2-0 to start the year.

It's the second-biggest comeback in the franchise's 21-year history. The Ravens were down 21 points when they came back to beat the Arizona Cardinals in 2011.

The Browns' 18-point lead at the end of the first quarter was their largest lead after one quarter since 1961, per ESPN Stats & Information. But Cleveland was shut down for much of the rest of the game.

Linebacker C.J. Mosley and the defense held on in the final minutes, needing to keep the Browns out of the end zone. Mosley leapt to pick off quarterback Josh McCown on the goal line with 13 seconds left in the game.

The Browns had 20 points and 197 yards at the end of the first quarter. The Ravens had just 62 and one interception. Quarterback Joe Flacco was 5-for-12 for 40 yards with an interception,while McCown, who took over for injured Robert Griffin III, came out on fire, especially on third down, and threw two touchdowns.

But the Ravens defense settled down and battered McCown as the game went on. McCown had hardly any movement in his non-throwing left shoulder for much of the second half.

Baltimore's defense shut the Browns out after the first quarter and the offense methodically kept grinding. Flacco leaned on tight end Dennis Pitta and got big plays from wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. and two touchdowns from wide receiver Mike Wallace.

Impact Plays

  • The Browns came out of the gates firing on all cylinders, especially on third down. Cleveland went 3-for-3 on first down on its opening drive, concluding with a 31-yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Corey Coleman, who just barely got his right foot down in time behind cornerback Shareece Wright.
  • On the Browns' second drive, running back Isaiah Crowell burst through the middle for an 85-yard touchdown. Even Hall of Famer Jim Brown, who was immortalized with a statue erected of him before the game, never recorded a run that long.
  • Flacco was intercepted and the Browns quickly turned it into an 11-yard touchdown to Coleman. Ravens defensive end Lawrence Guy blocked the extra point and rookie cornerback Tavon Young returned it for two points to keep make the score 20-2 at the end of the first quarter.
  • Baltimore started picking up momentum in the second quarter. After a 30-yard catch and run by Pitta, Flacco found Wallace on a slant for a 7-yard touchdown. Safety Eric Weddle then picked off McCown and the Ravens got into range for a 52-yard Justin Tucker field goal as the first half expired, cutting the score to 20-12.
  • The Ravens rolled their second quarter momentum into the second half. Baltimore stormed down the field on a six-play, 75-yard drive capped by a 17-yard touchdown catch by Wallace to bring the Ravens to within one point at 20-19.
  • An illegal shift wiped out a 25-yard catch by wide receiver Chris Moore that would have put the Ravens inside the 5-yard line. Baltimore still took its first lead, 22-20, on a 49-yard field goal by Tucker with about 11 minutes remaining.
  • On the play before Mosley's interception, Browns receiver Terrelle Pryor Sr. caught a 20-yard pass that would have put the Browns on Baltimore's 10-yard line with 20 seconds remaining. Pryor was flagged for taunting when he flipped the ball after the play and it hit safety Lardarius Webb. That negated the play and McCown was then picked off on a desperation throw by Mosley.

Standout Performer of the Game

TE Dennis Pitta
Back in the same stadium where he dislocated and fractured his hip two years ago, Pitta caught a team-high nine passes for 102 yards. As the Ravens rallied, Flacco leaned heavily on his good friend and preferred target, especially in clutch situations.

On The Horizon

The Ravens will stay on the road with a Week 3 game against a young and talented Jacksonville Jaguars team.


Check out the best photos from Cleveland as the Ravens battle the Browns!

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