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Ravens notebook: Benjamin Watson cautiously pleased with contributions to Sunday’s win

Ravens notebook: Benjamin Watson cautiously pleased with contributions to Sunday’s win
Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson runs after a first-quarter catch. He finished with eight catches for 91 yards. (Lloyd Fox / Baltimore Sun)

As a 14-year veteran, Benjamin Watson is not about to get too emotional about one solid showing like his eight-catch, 91-yard performance in the Ravens' 24-10 win over the Cleveland Browns Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.

"It's one game," the tight end said. "Every game is different. From week to week, you never know how it's going to turn out. Defensively, offensively, a guy can make a play here or a guy can make a play there and you might not hear his name for the couple games.

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"That doesn't mean that he's not doing his job. That means that things change throughout through the course of the season. That's one game. Again, I'm happy to be involved in the offense. Today, I'm happy we got the win, and I know that next week, it may be something totally different."

Still, it was Watson's most productive outing since Nov. 1, 2015, when he finished with nine catches for 147 yards and one touchdown with the New Orleans Saints. Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin noted how effective the offense is when the 6-foot-3, 251-pound Watson is finding seams in the interior of the opposing defense.

"He played a hell of a game," Maclin said. "You can see him kind of getting back into the swing of things and being the receiving threat that everybody knows he can be."

Watson, who missed all of last year because of a ruptured right Achilles tendon in the preseason, still considers himself a work in progress.

"I still think I'm going to get stronger and stronger physically," he said. "At the same time, you can get beat down from playing. So it's kind of the new normal anyway. So there's going to be some ebb and flow."

Bowser's debut: Tyus Bowser could not have asked for a better debut in front of Ravens fans. On Sunday, the rookie outside linebacker sacked quarterback Kevin Hogan late in the second quarter to push Cleveland back to its own 5-yard line. Then on the Browns' next possession, Bowser stepped in front of a woefully underthrown ball by Hogan and returned the interception 27 yards to Cleveland's 40.

That play set up a 2-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Joe Flacco to Maclin with one second left before halftime.

"This is a great day to be a Raven," the second-round draft pick said. "To come out here and play in front of these great fans, it's just a whole new experience, a whole new vibe out here. Just seeing a packed crowd out there, it just brought out a lot of energy."

The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Bowser, who made one tackle in 15 defensive snaps in last week's season-opening 20-0 win over of the Cincinnati Bengals, added two tackles to his numbers and said he hopes this is the beginning of a long career with the Ravens.

"I'm pretty sure that with our organization, this is what's expected because that's what they picked me for," he said. "For the fans, I just wanted to give a little taste of what's to come."

Collins electrifies: One day after getting promoted from the practice squad, Alex Collins was the offense's second most-effective rusher, rushing for 42 yards on seven carries Sunday. But the former 2016 fifth-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks also lost a fumble midway through the fourth quarter.

"I was just fighting for extra yards, fighting too hard," Collins said. "I've got to realize the situation. We were just trying to run the clock out. Just get down after I get the first down. I'll be working on that."

Despite that gaffe, Collins electrified fans with his tough runs off the edges. He was added to the roster Saturday after Jeremy Langford was released. Langford had originally been promoted to the active roster to replace Danny Woodhead (left hamstring).

"Alex stepped up there," coach John Harbaugh said. "He had a little bit of quickness and speed. He was kind of fresh at the end, and I thought it gave us something in the fourth quarter against a defense that was playing fourth-quarter football."

End zone: Maclin has now caught touchdown passes in back-to-back games for the first time since the end of the 2015 season when he had a three-game streak for the Kansas City Chiefs. "It's cool to help the team win," he said. "I've been in this league a long time, and that's what it is to me. I'm helping the team win by putting points on the board." ... On Cleveland's first play of their second offensive series in the first quarter, left tackle Joe Thomas played his 10,000th consecutive snap, which is believed to be the longest streak in NFL history. Thomas has not missed a game since being drafted by the Browns as the third overall selection in 2007 and is one of only five players to make the Pro Bowl in each of their first 10 seasons. ... The Ravens deactivated defensive linemen Willie Henry, Bronson Kaufusi and rookie Chris Wormley, rookie offensive lineman Jermaine Eluemunor, rookie cornerback Jaylen Hill (hamstring), wide receiver Chris Moore and outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith (left knee/ankle). ... Cleveland played without defensive linemen T.Y. McGill (back) and rookie Myles Garrett (high right ankle sprain), wide receivers Reggie Davis and Kasen Williams, rookie offensive tackle Zach Banner, quarterback Cody Kessler, and guard Marcus Martin. ... Punter Sam Koch, middle linebacker C.J. Mosley, and wide receiver Mike Wallace represented the Ravens for the pre-game coin toss.

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