Ravens still have some work to do

He helped slow Cleveland's running attack and finished with two tackles. Harbaugh doesn't want to put McKinney on the bench in favor of Cody just because Cody is a second-round draft pick. McKinney was impressive in training camp. "I'm always ready to play, and I thought I played well today," McKinney said. "It felt pretty good to get out there, and hopefully this will lead to more playing time."

Worst and best

The worst call of the day came with 4:26 left in the third quarter with the ball on the Ravens' 29. With his team ahead 14-10, Rice ran for 4 yards and then 5. On third-and-1, Flacco threw a slant-in to Mason, which fell incomplete.

Why? I don't care if there were eight in the box, pound it for a yard and a first down.

The biggest play of the game was the 14-yard completion from Flacco to tight end Todd Heap on third-and-13 from the Cleveland 46 with 11:22 left. Three plays later, the Ravens scored what proved to be the go-ahead touchdown.

The worst no-call of the day was Boldin's getting interfered with by defensive back T.J. Ward in the end zone with 5:38 remaining. This one was a no-brainer. How big a spotlight?

Boldin had a great day, but without guys like Mason, Heap and T.J. Houshmandzadeh running clearing routes, Boldin wouldn't have been such an easy target. Harbaugh, though, went overboard in trying to give the other receivers credit.

Harbaugh might be sweating this more than the receivers. After the game in the locker room, Houshmandzadeh and Mason were laughing and goofing around.

Too early to judge Flacco

Flacco redeemed himself for at least another week, but he shouldn't be judged week to week. If he stays healthy, the final judgment will come deep in the postseason when the Ravens start facing quality teams.

We already know Flacco is good enough to beat most teams in the NFL, but he has to prove he can be successful in the postseason, when good quarterbacks become great and take over games.

Ryan family tradition?

The Ryan family will never change its blitz-happy defensive philosophy.

Opposing teams have had success against Flacco playing two deep and dropping seven into coverage, forcing him to go through his progressions. The Browns, whose defensive coordinator is Rob Ryan, twin brother of Rex, tried to blitz Flacco and got caught several times for big plays.

It's the same scheme their dad, Buddy, used to win a Super Bowl in Chicago. Buddy, though, had players in Chicago. Rob isn't so fortunate in no-man's land.


isten to Mike Preston on "The Bruce Cunningham Show" from noon to 2 p.m. Fridays on 105.7 FM.
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