A tiring Browns defense and dropped passes on a sputtering offense allowed for Joe Flacco to make the comeback for the victory.
Browns - 6
Ravens - 14
Final Game Analysis for the Cleveland Browns
Pass Offense: Brandon Weeden’s first-half confidence disappeared. Two additional delay of game penalties went against Weeden, and there was visible frustration on the face of offensive coordinator Norv Turner.
A game-changing moment occurred when Weeden overthrew a wide-open Chris Ogbonnaya on the left side near the end of the third quarter. It would’ve been a 60-yard touchdown.
On the first snap following the fumble recovery, Baltimore’s Arthur Jones got to Weeden for a sack. The right side of Cleveland’s offensive line (Mitchell Schwartz and Oniel Cousins) caved in again and continued to do so the rest of the afternoon.
Dropped passes were once more a huge drive-killer and the culprit was the inconsistent Greg Little. At least three difficult but catchable balls were dropped. Overall, the receivers were unable to get open at any level, and that buries your quarterback.
Run Offense: Offensive coordinator Norv Turner promised that Trent Richardson would receive 20 carries in Week 2. T-Rich got to 18 and rushed for a pedestrian 58 yards. No. 33 was the focus of Baltimore defenders all afternoon and was not given an inch of breathing room.
Pass Defense: The pass rush was ineffective for most of the third quarter, but started to break through again into the fourth to disrupt and hurry Joe Flacco. Jabaal Sheard owned tackle Michael Oher to consistently get in the face of Flacco. Barkevious Mingo also swatted down a Flacco pass and dived to nearly pick it off.
When Flacco was able to throw, it was to Ravens rookie wideout Marlon Brown, who started exploiting the size mismatch between him and Chris Owens, hauling in four total catches including a fourth quarter touchdown that put Baltimore up 14-6. Owens and Buster Skrine gave up the majority of third down conversions today.
Rush Defense: The buzzsaw Craig Robertson stripped the ball from Ray Rice in the third quarter and Desmond Bryant recovered the fumble to take over at the Ravens 45. The run defense didn’t slow down from there, which forced Joe Flacco to go to the air more often. Bernard Pierce pounded in a touchdown, but overall the Ravens rushing attack was non-existent.
Special Teams: Nothing overly exciting on either side of special teams for Cleveland. Punter Spencer Lanning improved his kicking in the second-half, upping his average to 42.0 yards.
One scary moment for the coverage unit came when Tandon Doss nearly broke free to the house, but got tripped up after a 21-yard return.
Coaching: At the start of the fourth quarter, Cleveland went for it on 4th-and-4. A pass to Jordan Cameron missed the first down marker by a fingernail. Head coach Rob Chudzinski challenged the ball placement, but the call stood.
It looked like the right plays were being called overall, however, the receivers were unable to shake man coverage for the most part. The running game was abandoned in the fourth quarter because of the Browns' increasing deficit.
Chudzinski took a timeout late in the fourth to give his tired front seven a breather. The story once more was that the defense was worn down due to ineffective offense.
First-half Analysis for the Cleveland Browns
Pass Offense: Brandon Weeden was good when given time, completing 13 of 17 passes. Up until the last two drives of the half, Weeden was doing a nice job of sliding around the pocket to allow his receivers a chance to get open.
Outside of a first quarter 53-yard reception by tight end Jordan Cameron, receivers have been unable to create separation downfield.
The right side of the offensive line continued to struggle, especially in the second quarter. Terrell Suggs recorded two sacks and four quarterback hits. Fellow linebackers Elvis Dumervil and Daryl Smith have been applying consistent disruptive pressure as well.
Run Offense: There is not much happening here as Trent Richardson grinds away on 11 carries for 34 yards and a long of five. The offensive line is not creating lanes on the inside. It would be nice to see Richardson have some plays called where he can get room in space and work the perimeter.
Pass Defense: Rookie Barkevious Mingo zipped by tackle Bryant McKinnie like he was standing still to record his first career sack. Jabaal Sheard also slammed down his first sack of the season.
The Browns deep pass coverage held up on both sides of the field as Joe Flacco tested outside cornerbacks Joe Haden and Chris Owens on a regular basis. Flacco is being forced to pass underneath, averaging only 5.3 yards per reception.
Rush Defense: Cleveland’s run defense continued its Week 1 success by clogging up the middle. Ray Rice has been held to just five carries for 13 yards. Bernard Pierce didn't fair any better on two touches for six yards.
The outside linebackers are doing a solid job of taking away outside lanes as well and are squeezing any rushing attempts to the middle.
Special Teams: Shutting out the chorus of boos from the Baltimore crowd, Cleveland kicker Billy Cundiff was money on his two attempts. Cundiff connected on a chip-shot field goal from 21 yards and then nailed an impressive three-pointer from the 51-yard mark.
Punter Spencer Lanning delivered his last two kicks for under 39 yards and needs to push it away from dangerous returner Tandon Doss.
Travis Benjamin almost broke free on a first quarter punt return, but got tangled up after a 17-yard gain.