Commentary: 'Great bounce back' even if it was just the Browns

Well, the Ravens defense showed improvement.
OK, so that was pretty much guaranteed considering the unit was coming off the poorest defensive performance in team history, having allowed an NFL record-tying seven touchdown passes and a franchise-worst 49 points in a season-opening loss at Denver.
Still, when you play 60 minutes against an NFL team and never allow your end zone to be compromised, you're doing something right.
"We wanted to get rid of the bad taste of the Denver loss," defensive tackle Haloti Ngata said after helping to beat Cleveland 14-6 on Sunday. "We wanted to ... really show what we could do."
OK, the Browns might have the least impressive offense in the NFL, with a quarterback in Brandon Weeden who is not exactly Peyton Manning.
Still, the Ravens came up with five sacks and limited the Browns to less than 100 yards of offense after halftime 10 days after being thoroughly embarrassed in Week 1 of the post-Ray Lewis era.
"You've got to have a short memory - you definitely don't want to give up 49 points every week," outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "We played really good on defense. It could be better, most definitely, but I think we played real solid."
Said coach John Harbaugh: "You give up no touchdowns, that's a tremendous performance."
Well, tremendous might be stretching it against a team that only managed one touchdown at home against Miami last week. Still ...
• They held the Browns to a field goal after making their one big mistake of the day on a 53-yard pass from Weeden to tight end Jordan Cameron in the first quarter that set up a first and goal.
• They stiffened after Ray Rice's fumble gave Cleveland the ball at the Baltimore 45 midway through the third quarter when it was still a one-point game.
• They limited powerful young runner Trent Richardson to 3.2 yards per carry and they harrassed Weeden all day before finally knocking him out of the game.
It was major redemption for a secondary that gave up 450 passing yards and the seven TDs to Manning & Co. last week. Browns wide receivers made only 10 receptions and Cameron picked up just 42 yards after the early big play.
"I feel like we did our job," said rookie safety Matt Elam after making his first start. "We executed, we made plays on the ball."
On the day the sign honoring the Ravens' Super Bowl XLVII triumph was unveiled, Elam was just one of a number of key contributors on defense who weren't around for that win over the San Francisco 49ers last February.
Lewis, of course, is retired. Ed Reed is in Houston. Cary Williams is in Philadelphia. Bernard Pollard is in Tennessee. And Paul Kruger was on the other sideline Sunday playing for Cleveland as newcomers Daryl Smith, Elvis Dumervil, Chris Canty and so many others are now expected to carry on the Ravens' defensive tradition.
They didn't look particularly capable in Week 1. And, OK, they weren't exactly playing the Saints or Packers in Week 2.
Still, when your offense is struggling and losing valuable weapons at a faster rate than Joe Flacco is gaining sons, to put up a goose egg in the second half is doing something.
"It's just another step toward where we want to be," said Smith, who had 11 tackles in his first home game with the Ravens.
A step in the opposite direction from their opener.
There are no finished products in Week 2, but fans will feel a bit less anxiety about the defense after Sunday.
"There are some things we all still need to work on," Dumervil said, "but when the team doesn't give up a touchdown, that's a great bounce back."