Week 6 Game Recap: Cleveland Browns 3, Baltimore Ravens 16
What you need to know
The Browns entered the game coming off a big win against the Chicago Bears, while the Ravens were coming off an embarrassing loss against the Detroit Lions. The momentum of these teams quickly changed as the Ravens’ defense came to life, and caused three turnovers by Trent Dilfer. Dilfer recorded two fumbles and one interception on the afternoon, and ended up with only 147 yards passing with 16 completions in 30 attempts. Dilfer faced significant pressure all day long, and as a result spread the ball around primary to his wide receivers and tight ends, with his running backs often forced to stay in the pocket to block for him. Dennis Northcutt led the team with four catches for 60 yards, and was also the most targeted wide receiver. Antonio Bryant was blanketed much of the day, but did catch four balls for 34 yards. Both tight ends contributed, with Steve Heiden catching four passes for 48 yards, and Aaron Shea picking up three catches for 17 yards. The offense lacked the spark which Braylon Edwards provides for the second straight week due to an infection of the elbow.
Cleveland’s game plan did not include any rushing attempts in the first quarter of play, and playing from behind dictated they move away from the running game from that point on. Ironically, ten of the Browns first eleven (and all of their first eight) rushing plays went for at least four yards. Unfortunately, once the team abandoned the run, they had little success thereafter. Reuben Droughns finished the game with fifteen carries for 55 yards, while William Green added fifteen yards on the ground on two early attempts.
The Ravens defense delivered in this game with a dominant performance, and the offense moved the ball efficiently and didn’t make any mistakes which allowed Baltimore to maintain a comfortable lead throughout the game. Anthony Wright finished 23 of 31 for 213 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Wright took advantage of his receivers in this game, with Derrick Mason and Todd Heap being the beneficiary of the majority of his passes. Mason caught eight balls for 85 yards while Heap pulled in six catches for 79 yards and a touchdown. Before exiting with an ankle sprain, Mark Clayton caught just one nine yard pass, but also had a fifteen yard run for a touchdown on a direct snap called back due to offense holding. Replacing Clayton in the lineup, Randy Hymes caught one pass for nineteen yards. Wright targeted his running backs out of the backfield quite a bit in this game, and Chester Taylor caught four balls for eight yards while Jamal Lewis had two catches for eleven yards.
The Ravens ran the ball 32 times, but were generally ineffective on the ground with the exception of a 52 yard run by Chester Taylor. Taylor finished as the leading rusher for the Ravens with eight carries and 92 yards, while Jamal Lewis gained just 59 yards on 24 rushing attempts.
What you ought to know
|QB Trent Dilfer, Pass: 16 - 30 - 147 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0|
Dilfer managed just a 53.1 passer rating in this game due and had very little time to make things happen during this game. In addition to one interception, he completed just 53.3% of his passes on the day, and averaged just 4.9 yards per passing attempt. Two key fumbles at inopportune moments added to his struggles against his former team.
Droughns went unutilized in this game until the second quarter, and took eight of his first nine carries for at least four yards. However, the Browns fell behind 16-0 in the first half, and did not stay with the rushing game beyond that. Droughns spent most of his afternoon blocking against the Ravens’ pass rush, and was not utilized in the passing game either.
Despite continued injury problems to Lee Suggs, the Browns seem reluctant to give Green a significant role in this offense, with only two carries and one incomplete screen pass on the day.
After his two touchdown performance in the fourth quarter a week ago, Bryant found the Ravens’ secondary more challenging. He had very little time on most plays to get open, and as a result was targeted less this week than in previous weeks.
Northcutt led the team in targets and receiving yards as he ran shorter pass routes and was often Dilfer’s checkdown receiver when pressure was in his face. Northcutt should continue to receive a significant number of passes so long as Braylon Edwards remains out of the lineup.
Jackson did not catch a pass in this game, and had his targets limited as the Browns often went with a two tight end formation to help protect Trent Dilfer.
Heiden spent more time on the playing field in this game than Shea, and was likewise targeted more in the passing game.
Shea caught three of his four targets, but was used primarily in passing situations where the Ravens did not have a heavy pass rush on, allowing him to roll out into the flat. Shea’s catches came in the Browns’ final drives in the second and fourth quarters where the Ravens were using extra men in the secondary and fewer on the defensive line.
Dawson connected on his only attempt of the day, a 24 yard field goal.
While Jamal Lewis has had some of the biggest games of his career against the Browns, the Browns’ defense kept him in check in this game, allowing just 59 yards to Lewis. Unfortunately, a 52 yard scamper by Chester Taylor led to the Ravens combining for over 150 yards on the ground against the Browns.
The Browns’ secondary did come up with one interception, but Wright was able to pick the defense apart all day long. This was due in part to the fact that the Browns were focused on trying to stop the run, and also because they failed to place significant pressure on Wright on a regular basis, picking up just one sack.
|QB Anthony Wright, Pass: 23 - 31 - 213 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0|
Wright completed 74% of his passes with a 6.9 yard average per passing attempt en route to an 89.9 passer rating. Wright had plenty of time to make decisions in this game, and played efficiently in this game, distributing the ball to his biggest playmakers.
|RB Jamal Lewis, Rush: 24 - 59 - 0, Rec: 2 - 11 - 0 (3 targets)|
Lewis averaged less than 2.5 yards per rushing attempt, but this did come back to haunt the Ravens, who were able to overcome this lackluster effort with big play from his teammate Chester Taylor as well as the passing game.
Taylor broke off a 52 yard run that helped the Ravens open a 13-0 lead early in the second quarter, and finished with nearly six yards per carry on his other carries, not counting his long run. He showed greater decisiveness than his counterpart in this game, and saw significant action in the passing attack in this game, though he had a pair of passes called back due to offensive penalties.
Mason led all Ravens’ receivers in this game by catching all eight passes thrown to him. He appeared to be in sync with quarterback Anthony Wright and found himself open all day long.
In the absence of Mark Clayton, Hymes had an expanded role in this game, but caught just one pass.
Clayton left the game with a sprained ankle in the first half after a fifteen yard touchdown run on a direct snap was nullified due to a holding penalty. The severity of the sprain was not clear, but the rookie did not return to the game.
Heap caught a season high six passes, and pulled in a short touchdown pass on a third down and goal play from the three yard line. As Baltimore’s offense has not been especially potent this season, his use in the red zone was significant.
Stover was perfect on the afternoon, with field goals from 27, 38 and 39 yards and a successful extra point attempt.
The Ravens held the Browns’ rushing attack to 70 yards despite giving up nearly four yards per attempt. Jumping out to a quick lead, the Ravens’ rush defense went generally untested through the second half of this game.
The pass defense stepped up their pressure, and caused three turnovers and four sacks to virtually shut down the Browns’ passing attack. The Ravens held the Browns to just 147 yards through the air and kept them from any big passing plays as well as out of the end zone.