CLEVELAND — The Browns have been looking for a third option on offense all season.
They found two of them against Baltimore.
Davone Bess grabbed his first two touchdown passes of the year and Greg Little came up with big catch after big catch during Cleveland’s 24-18 win over the Ravens on Sunday.
“We’ve got a lot of players,” Bess said. “Coaches do a great job of getting us all looks and getting us all the ball and making plays. The more and more we can all make plays, the more versatile we can be.”
Bess entered Week 9 leading the NFL in drops with nine, according to ProFootballFocus.com. Against Kansas City, Bess dropped three passes and muffed a punt.
He responded with the first two-touchdown game of his career to give Cleveland an early 14-3 lead.
“I really didn’t make it a personal deal,” Bess said. “We knew what kind of game this was going to be. I was just excited and happy to be there for my teammates. When the plays were called, coaches did a great job putting me in position to make a play and
I just executed.”
His biggest catch came in a familiar situation. The Browns were driving to run out the clock and protect a three-point lead late in the fourth quarter. Facing fourth-and-1 from the Baltimore 43, quarterback Jason Campbell was flushed out of the pocket.
Last week Bess dropped a pass in a similar situation. Sunday he hauled it in for 3 yards to keep the drive alive. The Browns milked 6:30 off the clocked then capped the drive with a field goal, leaving the Ravens 14 seconds to score a touchdown.
“The guy got a pretty good jam on me,” Bess said. “They were blitzing and bringing pressure. I turned around on my route and saw Jason scrambling and it looked exactly how it was last week. He was rolling, threw it at me and came over and fell.”
Bess’ first touchdown catch came with Cleveland facing a fourth-and-goal from the Baltimore 1. Browns coach Rob Chudzinski did not hold the wide receiver’s struggles against the Chiefs against him.
“I trust him because I know the type of person he is that he’s going to bounce back from the week before,” Chudzinski said. “You get to know people and you get to trust people and feel about them in this way, and Davone Bess is one of those people.”
While Little didn’t find the end zone, he came up with a number of catches in critical situations. On the first scoring drive, he made a terrific catch through two Baltimore defenders for a 32-yard gain. On the second scoring drive he had back-to-back difficult 15-yard grabs. The second, however, was negated because he drew a taunting penalty.
His longest catch of the game went for 46 yards on a third-and-10 during the Browns’ second-to-last drive.
Little finished with seven catches for 122 yards. The seven catches are a personal best and he eclipsed the
100-yard mark for the second time in his career. However, he left the game with a shoulder injury and did not return.
“It makes it harder for defenses,” wide receiver Josh Gordon said of having Bess and Little coming through. “You can’t just pinpoint one or two players thinking they’re the only guys who are going to make plays. We have plenty of playmakers out here and they did exactly that.”