CANTON, Ohio- Penalties and three DeShone Kizer interceptions lead to a Ravens 24-10 win.
Relax everyone. Yes, the Browns played well last week against Pittsburgh, but remember, this Cleveland team is the youngest in the NFL and it showed its ugly inexperienced head today.
- Cleveland held the Steelers running game in check last week. This week? Baltimore rushed for 136 yards. That’s horrible. Javorius Allen had 66 yards.
- Joe Flacco was sacked twice, but hit former Browns tight end Ben Watson for 91 yards. Watson had 8 receptions. The Ravens had 201 passing yards.
- Believe it or not, the Browns actually had more total yards with 386 compared to 337 for Baltimore, but five turnovers, three of those being interceptions, 11 penalties for 65 yards and 2/11 on 3rd down, that’s usually going to send you into the loss column.
- DeShone Kizer didn’t have his best game. From holding onto the ball too long, throwing the ball too far behind a receiver or his timing off when it comes to his throws. This is all stuff that is going to happen when you’re young and especially when you have a gun slinger mentality.
- Cleveland’s receivers had a good game, but they also had some drops that could’ve helped make the out-come of the game better. Rashard Higgins had 7 catches for 95 yards, Seth DeValve 2 catches for 61 yards, Duke Johnson 3 catches for 59 yards and David Njoku had the only touchdown of the group.
- Last week, many people criticized the Browns O-line. Rightfully so. I’ll say this, they still didn’t give Kizer good protection, the running game showed some improvement, but I’ve also told people recently that we all need to give this offensive line till about week 5 or 6 to really gel. Again, hopefully no injuries.
- I was not thrilled with the size of gaps in the Browns defensive line or how easy it was for the Raven RB’s to get outside and run the ball. Those were two things Cleveland did well against Pittsburgh when it came to setting the edges and closing the gaps inside the line. Not even close this week.
So far, and it’s just two games, there has been a reoccurring theme for Cleveland. They’re getting off to bad starts. Starting field position has been horrible. And this team continues to get flagged early and often. The special teams looked better.
Something else to keep in mind with Kizer and some of these other young players, is that this game is probably still going fast to them on the field. I’m confident that once the game slows down, things will start to improve. Hopefully, once Myles Garrett gets back, the pass rush and run defense will be better consistently.
The good news for the Browns, is that three of their next opponents aren’t exactly among the elite. A visit to the Colts next week who lost in overtime to the Cardinals, then two straight home games, one with in-state rival Cincinnati who is 0-2 and maybe the worst team in the NFL with the New York Jets. Josh McCown is their QB. So, the level of competition will come down a little, but for the Browns, they cannot afford to give anything less than their best effort.
From start to finish, this game was pretty much well in the hands of the Baltimore Ravens. Yes, there were a few moments where it seemed Cleveland had a chance, but again, costly penalties and turnovers changed that really fast.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Nick broulis