Instant analysis from the Ravens' 25-20 win against the Browns
Sep 18, 2016 at 3:32 PM
Baltimore Sun columnist Mike Preston is very critical of the Ravens performance in the team's 25-20 win over the Cleveland Browns. (Kevin Richardson/Baltimore Sun video)
Immediate reaction from the Baltimore Sun sports department...
Jeff Zrebiec, Ravens reporter: The Ravens won't be able to overcome the issues that plagued them today against too many other teams. Give them credit for making some plays late and give the assist to a phantom taunting call on Terrelle Pryor. However, until team figures out to run the ball better and more consistently, they are going to play a lot more games like this.
Mark Selig, Ravens editor: The Ravens have defeated two of the worst five teams in the league, and it's been close each time. But winning tight games in the NFL is a talent, no matter who you beat. Joe Flacco is gaining familiarity with his receiving corps; the running game now needs to show up.
Ron Fritz, sports editor: The Browns always find a way -- to lose. Trust me. Still, Ravens have to be concerned they had such a tough time with a woeful team.
Ed Lee, Ravens reporter: The Ravens appeared doomed after that disastrous first quarter, but are suddenly tied atop the AFC North with that furious comeback over the Browns. Had they lost, it might have been the game that one could point to as the start of a downward spiral. Now it might be the turning point for a return to the playoffs.
Childs Walker, reporter: This felt like a surprisingly big victory after the Ravens went down 20-0 on the road. Special teams coach Jerry Rosburg should take a bow, because his unit was the difference. Tavon Young's safety off a blocked extra point and Justin Tucker's long field goals gave the Ravens the margin they needed. There were plenty of troubling signs here, from the Ravens' inability to run on offense to their inability to stop Josh McCown on third down. But it can't be said often enough — 2-0 in 2016 is a vast difference from 0-2 in 2015, no matter the details.
Peter Schmuck, columnist: In a weird sort of way, this was a very positive experience for the Ravens, who could have folded up their play charts and crawled under the Kentucky bluegrass at FirstEnergyStadium after giving up three unanswered touchdowns in the first quarter. They made a lot of correctable mistakes, but they headed back to Baltimore with their second victory, which is all that really matters.
In the future, however, take the field goal that makes it a two-score game at 20-5 rather than going on fourth down, and don't throw a risky pass into the end zone until after you've completed the comeback.
Mike Preston, columnist: The Ravens didn't like their schedule last year, having to travel to the West Coast several times early in the season, but they can't complain about the first two opponents this year. They got the Bills and the Browns, two of the worst teams in the NFL. The Ravens staged a good comeback Sunday, but these were the Browns. The Ravens have a lot of room for improvement and at least they are getting time to make those adjustments with this schedule. The competititon will be a little better next week in Jacksonville.