CANTON,Ohio- If you tuned into the Ravens, Browns game in the first quarter, you probably were wondering if it was indeed Baltimore at Cleveland. The Cleveland Browns came out of the gate and not only were they hitting on all cylinders, but they looked like a team that wanted to win.
Unfortunately, when the final score is Baltimore 25- Cleveland 20, you drop to 0-2.
Cleveland put up a 20 point spot in the first quarter, but a blocked extra point seemed change the entire momentum of the game. After that blocked extra point, the Ravens began their three quarter comeback.
I was extremely impressed with Josh McCown and his toughness. McCown is dealing with an offensive line that isn’t exactly one you’d pick for a fantasy team.
McCown had a lot of help early though.
Isaiah Crowell had his best game as a Brown. Crowell rushed for 133 yards on 18 attempts. That included a long run of 85 yards. All on a day when the Cleveland Browns unveiled the new Jim Brown statue in honor of Jim Brown. Yes, Brown was in the house as well.
Corey Coleman had a huge day with 5 receptions for 104 yards, including two touchdowns. He did have a costly penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. He needs to learn to walk away because these players know what their doing when it comes to getting under a players skin.
Special teams for the Browns, which is usually a strong point, gave up the blocked extra point but the punting game did a nice job.
Cam Erving was taken to the hospital after the game for precautionary reasons. Erving was having discomfort with cramps in his back along with pain in his ribs and chest.
I was happy with the Browns defensive line at times getting pressure on Flacco. What was tough was at times, the Browns defense was getting their hands on Flacco, but he was hitting tight end Dennis Pita at, what seemed like the last minute, every time.
Joe Haden had a good day for the first time in two seasons. Haden had two interceptions. After getting beat by Steve Smith on one play, he came back on the next play for a pick.
I thought DeMario Davis and Danny Shelton had solid days. Cleveland held Baltimore to under 100 yards rushing. This defense desperately needed to try and make the Ravens one dimensional and they did for the most part.
Right now, the health of quarterback Josh McCown is up in the air. His shoulder is sore so this week will be an interesting week, at least for the QB position, for Cleveland.
I realize that this team is young, so having a 20 point lead or a lead of that size might be something they’re not used to, but one day, if they want to start to earn respect around the league, they’ll have to learn how to maintain those leads, when they do have them, which won’t be often.
On a side note. I thought there were a couple penalties that jumped out to me. It didn’t cost the Browns the game, but it was noticeable. The hit on McCown should have been a penalty. Josh gave himself up and all the Ravens defender needed to do was simply touch him, not dive into him. I think the taunting penalty on Pryor near the end of the fourth quarter was not worthy of a penalty. I understand that he tossed the ball and it hit a Ravens defender, but I thought that was a bad call.
I have been saying for a long time now, I wish players would just drop the ball or hand it to the refs. But that was still wasn’t worthy of a penalty.
Next Week the Cleveland Browns (0-2) travel to Miami to play the Dolphins (0-2)
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Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Nick Broulis