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Harbaugh: Ravens' defense giving up too many big passing plays

Running a simple crossing route, Cleveland Browns Greg Little easily outran man coverage from Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed before hauling in a 22-yard pass from quarterback Brandon Weeden.

The big play was one of several Baltimore's pass defense gave up during Thursday's win against Cleveland.

Weeden had five passes of 20 yards or longer, including two to Little, who had the 22-yard grab during the fourth quarter and a 43-yard catch during the second quarter.

The Ravens have yielded 15 passing plays of 20 yards or more in their last three games.

They surrendered just 46 all of last season, which was tied for the ninth-fewest in the NFL.

"We are giving up too many yards right now on basically chunk plays," Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said. "It's been that way all year. We've had three, four, five chunk plays every game that have accounted for 100 or 200 yards, I would say."

The Ravens' pass defense was ranked 28th out of the NFL's 32 teams entering Sunday, giving up an average of just less than 296 yards per game through the air.

Weeden completed just 25 of his 52 pass attempts Thursday, and he didn't have a touchdown, but he became the third quarterback in as many games to throw for at least 320 yards against Baltimore's defense.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was 28-of-41 for 335 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions just four days earlier. Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick threw for 371 yards and a score in leading the Eagles to a 24-23 win against the Ravens Sept. 16. Vick had seven passes that went for gains of 20 yards or more.

Following the loss to Philadelphia, Baltimore cornerback Cary Williams frustratingly stated, "We can't give up big plays."

"It's one of those things where we need to clamp down on the big plays," Williams said at the time. "We can't allow deep balls to get over the top. We can't allow mental errors and busts in defense and coverage. This is a league where mistakes will kill you."

Harbaugh said the Ravens are still in the process of "cleaning up" those mistakes.

They'll need to do it fast.

Only two of Baltimore's final 12 opponents have a quarterback that hasn't been selected to at least one Pro Bowl, and both of the teams that don't - the Washington Redskins and the Browns - have signal callers they selected during the first round of April's NFL draft.

"That's the stuff we really keep working on to clean up," Harbaugh said of the big plays on Friday. "We don't want that to happen. It just puts too much pressure on our defense. ... We are a young defense in a lot of ways, and we are growing through some of those things, and we just have to keep working on that stuff."

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