Ravens-Browns: Fault the Ravens for Winning By Default

Jarrett CarterAnalyst INovember 17, 2009

CLEVELAND - NOVEMBER 16: Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens scores a 13-yard touchdown in the third quarter against Brodney Pool #21 and Eric Wright #24 of the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on November 16, 2009 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

A win is a win and with significant ground to make up in the AFC North, the Ravens will take last night’s 16-0 victory over the Cleveland Browns.

But what we once called lapses on offense are now full-blown trends, and we now know that unless dramatic changes occur, the Super Bowl team we once knew just two months is likely 9-7 and home for the football postseason holiday.

0-0 at the half against the worst team in football? This wasn’t just playing down to the competition, this was playing below the Ravens' own standards of game planning and execution. The Ravens' one offensive touchdown came on a play where the inept Browns ran with just 10 defenders at the snap.  Yes; they’re truly bad enough to miss substitutions, and we’re truly bad enough to need that kind of help.

Ray Rice and Joe Flacco are about the only bright spots you can find offensively, but their shine is so often blotted out by by fast rushing defenders on the interior. Yes, the offensive line is green but it doesn’t have to mean that Flacco and Rice’s jerseys have to match their hue of inexperience after being plowed into the turf.

Were it not for their athleticism and ability to respectively locate blockers and receivers  on broken plays, 16-0 in favor of the Ravens could have easily been a 3-0 overtime win for the Browns.

Defensively, the takeaways and pressure on Brady Quinn and the Browns was nothing to marvel at. On most possessions, the quarterbacks and receiver weren’t even on the same page about routes. And even when they were, they just weren’t talented enough to make things happen.

Special teams? No reason to elaborate on an obvious deficiency. Steve Hauschka is the Kyle Boller of place kicking . His nervousness has already cost a couple of games, and there’s no reason for the Ravens to play it close in the second half of the season to see if he’ll right himself.

The Ravens won, but no intelligent football fan would classify this as anything other than a default victory for a team in confusion in all three aspects of the game.

Technorati Tags: Baltimore Ravens , Cleveland Browns , Joe Flacco , Ray Rice