The Baltimore Ravens came into Cleveland having won 11 straight games over the Cleveland Browns, the longest active streak between teams in the NFL. The Browns had not beaten the Ravens since 2007 and were looking to make a statement in this game behind some relatively harmless words from Joe Haden that were made into more than they should have been.
The Browns again sent out Jason Campbell to play quarterback for the Browns and he was able to lead the Browns to a touchdown drive that required a pass to score on 4th down and goal from the one, where he hit Davone Bess for the score. Shortly after, Campbell was hurt was by Haloti Ngata falling on him when he rolled out and tripped up by another Raven defender. Campbell sat out a series and then returned to the game. At that point, he was able to respond and pick up where he left off and make more plays.
The Ravens came out with a lot of energy on the defensive side of the ball with Terrell Suggs recording his 9th sack of the season on the first play of the game. The defense for the Ravens was able to keep the team in the game, but the offense largely struggled for most of the first half. After they were able to get a field goal, they were largely quiet for the rest of the first half with a lot of near misses and mistakes that caused them problems.
The Browns played this game with a little extra motivation and had some issues with personal fouls. Greg Little in particular had issues with composure, which put a damper on what was shaping up to be a big day for him. The first of two personal fouls was called when he and Ravens safety James Ihedigbo were involved in a pile and pushing each other, which was not the end of the world until Little took Ihedigbo’s helmet off, got up and left the pile to toss it toward the sideline. That drew the flag.
Later, on another catch where Little was forced out of bounds, he made a gesture at a Ravens’ opponent to come at him, which drew a taunting call. For a player who needs to play well, he went one step forward and two personal foul steps back.
On the other hand, this game provided an opportunity for Bess to make up for the failures he had last week. He was able to score both touchdowns for the Browns including a nice play where he broke the ankles of an opponent before getting the ball and sticking it inside the pylon for the score.
At this point, the game was 14-3 and the Ravens offense made a big play. After having thrown an interception to Haden the previous drive, Joe Flacco went deep again and found a wide open Torrey Smith for a huge play that set them up in the red zone. Haden blew his coverage and Flacco put a great pass right on Smith with some yards after the catch before he was wrestled to the ground. The Ravens were able to cap off the drive with a touchdown pass to Marlon Brown who caught a pass on a crossing route over the middle of the field and keep running and reach the corner of the end zone which made it 14-10. For the lack of any consistency and a real problem creating on offense in the first half, the Ravens only came away down by 4; a potential missed opportunity by the Browns.
Both offenses came out somewhat flat and the defenses really began to put on the pressure, putting hits on both quarterbacks. The first real big play of the second half came on a punt from the Browns that Tandon Moss muffed, which was recovered by Eric Martin of the Browns at the Ravens 11 yard line, setting up the Browns with a golden opportunity. The Browns responded with a playaction pass from Campbell to Gary Barnidge for a touchdown that put the Browns up 21-10; just the second touchdown of Barnidge’s career.
Marlon Brown has been a thorn in the side of the Brown. As an undrafted rookie, Brown was able to catch four passes for 45 yards and a touchdown. In the second game against the Browns, Brown caught 4 passes for 48 yards, 2 touchdowns and caught a 2-point conversion. Brown was able to score 14 points by himself in this game and with his second touchdown and the proceeding 2-point conversion, the Ravens had the game within 3 points at 21-18.
On the following drive, the Browns were able to move the ball on another big play from Campbell to Little. This time, Little caught a ball as he crossed over the field and ran down the sideline before getting knocked out of bounds with a shoulder injury. To that point in the game, Little had caught 7 passes for 122 yards; a tremendous day for him until factoring in the personal fouls. The Browns then stalled out and showed field goal before pooch punting the ball, but it rolled into the end zone for a touchback.
Most of the fourth quarter of the fourth quarter came down to a game of field position. Neither team was able to get much going offensively and just pushed each other around in the middle of the field.
The Browns were finally able to get some momentum and move the ball, but did end up in another fourth down and short situation. The Browns took a timeout to think about it just like they did before the first touchdown drive. And just like the first touchdown, Campbell was able to find Bess and move the chains, extending the drive which allowed them to drain the clock. In the end, the Browns were stopped in the red zone for fourth down with just 17 seconds left. Billy Cundiff kicked a 22 yard field goal to put them up 24-18, leaving the Ravens just 14 seconds to get a touchdown and win the game.
After the Ravens let the kickoff go for a touchback, the Ravens executed a hook and ladder play to get some space on the field. They then took too much time when Flacco found Ray Rice who was unable to get out of bounds, ran out of time as he was tackled. The Browns won the game 24-18 and had ended the Ravens streak of wins at 11 in a row.