Going into Cleveland this Sunday the Baltimore Ravens had to be aware of their constant struggles against lesser opponents this season. Coming off of a huge win against the San Francisco 49ers, the Ravens had to keep their emotions in check and make sure that they get a victory against a Browns team that is clearly not on the same level.
Unfortunately for the Cleveland Browns, they could not become the fourth team this season to hand the Ravens a loss after the Ravens have come off of a big win, as the Ravens (9-3) dominated Cleveland (4-8) 24-10.
This Sunday, Baltimore got back to their ground and pound style of play that has made them one of the most physical teams in NFL history. Ray Rice ran for a career high 204-yards on 29 carries, which included a 67-yard run in the third quarter that was the climax of the game. As a team the Ravens rushed for 290-yards. Ricky Williams had a good game as well as he rushed for 76-yards and a touchdown.
With a combination of Mother Nature, a good defense, and not being on the same page with targets, Joe Flacco struggled for most of the game only completing 10 of his 23 passes. Flacco only averaged about 7-yards per pass and was not able to showcase his cannon arm with any deep balls to wide receiver Torrey Smith, who has shown good chemistry with the strong-armed quarterback.
Kicker Billy Cundiff, who has been very reliable this season, missed two field goals of 34-yards and 41-yards, but was able to knock in one from 21-yards out.
Corner back Lardarius Webb returned a 68-yard punt return with about seven minutes left in the game to seal the deal for the Ravens.
The Ravens defense was once again without their anchor in the middle, Ray Lewis, but that didn’t stop them from only giving up 13 first downs and holding the Brown passing attack to less than 200-yards through the air. Baltimore also held the Brown offense to 59-yards on the ground and did not allow them to get into a rhythm offensively.
Colt McCoy injured what appeared to be his right knee early in the game, but came back after only missing one play in which quarterback Seneca Wallace threw a pass for 4-yards.
Colt McCoy has not won a single game against any team in the AFC North since becoming the Browns starter. Given the team has not played well as a whole offensively, McCoy has not shown that he can be the future of the Browns organization, as he has shown very few flashes of brilliance in his short career.
Cleveland struggled to get anything going against Baltimore offensively and was very lucky to be sticking around until Ray Rice broke the long run in the 3rd quarter, which was followed up by the Ricky Williams touchdown run.
Cleveland has only a short time to game plan this week, as they head to Heinz Field on Thursday to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Baltimore has a little easier task next week, as they welcome the win less Indianapolis Colts to M&T Bank Stadium.