Shaky performance from the offensive line
After a better than expected start to the season, the Ravens' offensive line took a step back Thursday night. Quarterback Joe Flacco was under pressure most of the night - sacked four times and hit plenty more. Center Matt Birk and left guard Ramon Harewood both surrendered pressure during the first half while left tackle Michael Oher and right tackle Kelechi Osemele both yielded pressure later on. Oher and Osemele also combined for five penalities. In addition, this group struggled to create much in terms of running lanes for running back Ray Rice, who picked up just 49 yards on 18 carries.
The pass defense continues to be an area of concern
Yes, the Browns only put up 16 points, but rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden had some success through the air, something that's becoming a recurring theme for quarterbacks facing Baltimore's defense. Weeden completed just 25 of his 52 pass attempts, and he didn't throw a touchdown, but he did finish with 320 yards. He's the third quarterback in as many games to eclipse 300 yards against the Ravens. Weeden's numbers could've been even better, too, if not for some drops by his wide receivers, most notably second-year player Greg Little. It should be noted, though, that Baltimore's cornerbacks actually played pretty well Thursday night with the exception of Little's 43-yard catch on Cary Williams during the second quarter. Aside from Little's big gain, most of Weeden's numbers came from check-downs to running back Trent Richardson and short passes to tight end Ben Watson.
The Ravens have a lot of weapons offensively
One week it's Dennis Pitta. The next week it's Torrey Smith. Last night, it was Anquan Boldin. It was apparent during training camp and the preseason that Flacco has as deep and talented of a group of pass-catchers as he's had during his time in Baltimore, and it's even more apparent following the first four games of the regular season. Look for tight end Ed Dickson to see his fair share of touches during the course of the year as well.
Outside linebacker Albert McClellan is an underrated part of the Ravens' defense
McClellan saw only limited action against pass-heavy New England Sunday, but received a healthy increase in playing time against a Cleveland team much more built around running the football. McClellan played a key role in limiting Richardson, a very talented rookie running back, to just 47 yards on 14 carries. McClellan had a team-best eight tackles Thursday, including two for a loss. McClellan isn't an elite pass rusher, but is a stout, physical player that is proving to be effective as an edge setter against the run.
Reach staff writer Matt Zenitz at 410-857-7896 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @mzenitz.