Instant analysis from the Ravens' 27-10 win over the Browns in Cleveland
By The Baltimore Sun
Dec 17, 2017 at 3:55 PM
The Baltimore Ravens defense forced four turnovers and defeated the Cleveland Browns, 27-10 at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Kevin Richardson / Baltimore Sun video)
How our reporters and editors saw the Ravens’ 27-10 win over the Browns in Cleveland on Sunday:
Jeff Zrebiec, reporter: The Ravens did what they needed to do against a really bad football team, and in the process they kept pace with the Buffalo Bills, who also won to improve to 8-6. There were a few anxious moments, but the Ravens pretty much controlled the game with their defense. They also were able to move the ball despite getting very little going on the ground. And give punter Sam Koch credit. He dropped three punts inside the Browns' 5-yard line and set up a Ravens defensive touchdown with one of them.
Mike Preston, columnist: The Ravens were very business-like in beating the Browns. They weren't dominant but this game was virtually over after the first half. The results will probably be similar for the next two weeks.
Peter Schmuck, columnist: The Ravens made some sketchy decisions early in the game, running Joe Flacco on a risky QB keeper at the goal line and then choosing to pass on second-and-goal inside the 1-yard line, which led to a momentum-shifting stop by the Browns. Though Cleveland would briefly take the lead in the game, the suspense would not last very long, because the Browns quickly showed why they are now 0-14. The Ravens defense forced four turnovers and the offense took control with a balanced, efficient attack. Now it's back to Baltimore for Saturday's game against the Colts, one of the two struggling teams that stand between the Ravens and the playoffs.
Childs Walker, reporter: The Ravens have played extremely clean football this year, avoiding penalties and turnovers at the same time they force interceptions and fumbles in droves. That’s the main reason they’ll go into the last two weeks of the season with a strong shot at claiming an AFC wild-card berth. Also, don’t look now, but quarterback Joe Flacco has played much better since the bye week. He made some truly impressive throws against the Browns and avoided any big mistakes. If the Ravens can ride the same formula, they’ll be clear home favorites in must-win games against the Colts and Bengals.
Ron Fritz, sports editor: Someday, I’ll see my hometown Browns beat the Ravens (and the Steelers for that matter), but it wasn’t going to be today. Even though I thought the Ravens’ offense struggled, punter Sam Koch and the defense took care of an inept Browns offense. I know the Ravens’ last two games are at home against teams that have appeared to mail it in, but I’d have concerns about the Ravens’ offense. One game they can’t run, the next game they can’t pass. But the Ravens need three wins in a row, and this was the first.