It was a little too close for comfort, but the Baltimore Ravens did what was needed to dispose of the Cleveland Browns on Thursday Night Football. The final of 23-16 is correct in indicating that the game was close; in fact the final play was a Hail Mary where the Browns had a chance to tie the game.
However that was not the full story of the game. The Ravens did show some dominance in their ninth consecutive win over the Browns, as they led by nine points in the third quarter and 13 points entering the fourth quarter. They did show some problems in keeping the Browns in the game, hence the opportunity for them to tie it up.
There are clearly areas for both optimism and pessimism after a close win versus a winless team that the Ravens were supposed to dominate.
Optimists can point to the quick turnaround from Sunday's win over the New England Patriots, as well as the miserable weather and the rain that was present throughout the game.
Pessimists can worry about the offense coming out flat early on and the fact that the Browns might have been a replacement ref away from sending this game to overtime.
What matters most is the Ravens got the win and still possess first place in the AFC North with a 2-0 record against the division and a 3-1 record overall. While they enjoy a 10-day rest before facing the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 5, let's take a look at who the winners and losers were in this game.