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Browns' onside kick almost catches Ravens

The Cleveland Browns went to their bag of tricks early and often against the Ravens, and one ploy almost got the Ravens.

The Browns opened the third quarter with a well-disguised onside kick, but the football did not travel the requisite 10 yards to become a live ball. Instead, the ball rolled out of bounds two yards short of the 40-yard line.

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On that onside kick, the ball bounded towards cornerback Cary Williams, who is not usually a member of the hands team.

"It caught me by surprise," he said. "I took two steps back, and then I just wanted to make sure that it went past 10 yards. If it didn't go past 10 yards, I wasn't going to touch it."

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Cleveland coach Eric Mangini said special teams coordinator Brad Seely recognized a pattern in the Ravens' kick return unit."They were leaving early on that side, and Brad had felt really strongly about it," Mangini said. "We had executed it really well during the week of practice, and we took a look at it a couple times to make sure that what we had seen prior to us playing was still the same, and it was. They were leaving early on that side, which – if we get a good kick and execute it the right way – we had a chance to recover it. I felt good about it, too, based on what we saw after our other kickoffs."

The gaffe allowed the Ravens offense to begin its first possession at Cleveland's 38-yard line. Three plays later, quarterback Joe Flacco found wide receiver Derrick Mason for a 22-yard touchdown strike.

"I thought it was a really good call by them," coach John Harbaugh said. "A really gutsy call, but it didn't go 10 yards. Cary Williams did a nice job of getting over there, getting on top of it, and recovering it. It really set the tone in the second half. I'm impressed that we capitalized. To go get the touchdown was big."

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