November 24, 2014

Elyria
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56°F
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Third-quarter update: Ravens 7, Browns 6

BALTIMORE — The Ravens took their first lead on a 5-yard run by Bernard Pierce with 5:13 left in the third quarter and took the 7-6 advantage into the fourth quarter.
The Ravens’ drive was 12 plays for 80 yards. Quarterback Joe Flacco went 3-for-3 for 44 yards – all on third down. He hit Torrey Smith for 23 on third-and-6, Marlon Brown for 10 on third-and-7 under pressure and Brandon Stokley for 11 on third-and-8.
The Browns missed a golden opportunity for a big play on the possession following Baltimore’s touchdown. Fullback Chris Ogbonnaya released out of the backfield and was uncovered down the left sideline, but Brandon Weeden’s throw was too long.

Some observations:
** Outside linebacker and special teams captain Quentin Groves injured his ankle on the opening kickoff of the half. He limped off the field without putting weight on it, and his return was announced as questionable.
** Rookie Barkevious Mingo replaced Groves on the punt and kickoff return units.
** Johnson Bademosi was unable to down a Spencer Lanning punt on the 1-yard line, so the Ravens got a touchback that started their touchdown drive.
** Linebacker Craig Robertson forced a Ray Rice fumble, which linebacker D’Qwell Jackson recovered for Cleveland.

HALFTIME
Billy Cundiff silenced the booing Ravens fans with a pair of field goals in the first half, and the Browns led 6-0 at halftime.
Cundiff, who went to a Pro Bowl with the Ravens in 2010, was booed loudly before each of his two attempts because he missed a late field goal in the 2011 AFC championship game that would’ve forced overtime for Baltimore.
Cundiff made a 21-yarder in the first quarter and a 51-yarder with two seconds left before halftime.
The Browns (0-1) got the ball back with 31 seconds left after Baltimore’s Justin Tucker missed his second field goal wide right. The first miss was from 50 yards, the second from 44.
Instead of taking a knee and entering halftime up 3-0, rookie Browns coach Rob Chudzinski called for passes. Brandon Weeden hit tight end Jordan Cameron for 12 yards and Greg Little for 18 to set up the field goal.
Baltimore (0-1) celebrated last year’s championship before kickoff.

Some observations:
** Rookie Barkevious Mingo continued to make a good first impression in his debut.
He recognized a screen, stopped his pass rush, reversed field and tackled running back Ray Rice.
He also drew a holding penalty with a strong rush on a punt.
** End Desmond Bryant and outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard combined for a sack of Joe Flacco on third-and-1 from the Cleveland 47-yard line.
** The Browns’ pass protection that was abysmal in the opening loss to Miami again was a problem.
On one play, the coaches kept running back Trent Richardson and tight end Gary Barnidge into protect, but both were beat as quarterback Brandon Weeden was pressured into an incompletion.
On third-and-10 at the Baltimore 41-yard line, right tackle Mitchell Schwartz was beat around the corner by linebacker Elvis Dumervil for a 9-yard sack.
On third-and-4 at the two-minute warning, the whole line caved in for another sack.
** Chris Ogbonnaya again was the third-down back, replacing Richardson.
** Richardson has already exceeded his 15 touches from Week 1. He has 11 carries for 34 yards and four catches for 17.
** Weeden is 13-for-17 for 158 yards. He’s been sacked three times.

FIRST QUARTER
The Browns scored first and rookie Barkevious Mingo made an instant impact.
It was a good first quarter for the Browns, as they led 3-0 over the Ravens after 15 minutes.
Mingo, the No. 6 pick in the draft, got a sack on his first snap in the NFL. He replaced Jabaal Sheard at right outside linebacker during the first drive and blew past left tackle Bryant McKinnie for a 9-yard sack of Joe Flacco.
Mingo had been out since Aug. 15 with a bruised lung.
Billy Cundiff made a 21-yard field goal for the 3-0 lead after a drive stalled inside the 5-yard line. Cundiff was booed loudly by Ravens fans who haven’t forgotten his miss for them in the 2011 AFC championship game that would’ve forced overtime against New England.
On the Browns’ first offensive play, quarterback Brandon Weeden stepped up in the pocket and found tight end Jordan Cameron for a 53-yard completion – the longest of Cameron’s career – to the 7.
Trent Richardson picked up 3 and 1 yards on first and second down, and Weeden threw incomplete into the end zone on third down.
Some observations:
** Ravens running back Ray Rice must’ve done something to Browns nose tackle Phil Taylor. After Rice was stopped by end Desmond Bryant for a 3-yard loss on the second play of the game, Tucker and Rice went face mask to face mask before Taylor slapped Rice’s helmet and drew a 15-yard penalty.
Taylor was furious and continued to yell at Rice. Browns defensive line coach Joe Cullen tried to replace him with Ishmaa’ily Kitchen, but Taylor refused to leave the field. When Taylor came out later in the drive, Cullen yelled at him.
** Ravens kicker Justin Tucker missed a 50-yard field goal wide right on the game’s opening possession.
** Mingo played six defensive snaps in the quarter and was on the punt return team.
** Flacco’s wife, Dana, delivered a baby boy about noon. He’s their second child. Flacco was at the stadium for warmups when he was born.
** Cornerback Buster Skrine got the start after playing only against three-receiver sets in the opener. He switched roles with Chris Owens.