Ravens 23, Browns 16
at M&T Bank Stadium
Given that Ray Rice rushed for 291 total yards in two meetings Cleveland last season, he was bound to have another big performance Thursday.
Wrong. Instead, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco aired it out again, passing 28-for-46 for 356 yards and one touchdown in a no-huddle offense that lacked consistency throughout.
Flacco, who has never lost in nine games vs. the Browns since being drafted in 2008, also had a one-yard touchdown run. Rice finished with 49 yards on 18 carries, an average of 2.7 per.
The much-maligned defense that gave up 486 and 396 in the last two games allowed the Browns (0-4) to get 357. Rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden threw for 320 yards, but he was just 25-for-52 and failed to throw for a touchdown.
The Ravens weren't efficient on offense as Rice couldn't find room to run and the line allowed four sacks of Flacco.
Player of the game: WR Anquan Boldin, who had only 10 catches for 118 yards in his first three games of the season, had nine catches for 131. Boldin also had three catches, 18, 21 and 21 yards, on the Ravens first drive of the second half that resulted in a touchdown to make it a two-possession game at 16-7.
The turning point: CB Cary Williams jumped in front of a third-down pass from Weeden to Travis Benjamin and went 63 yards for a touchdown that gave the Ravens an insurmountable 23-10 lead with 2:07 left in the third quarter.
Highlights: LB Paul Kruger, who has been limited by a back injury since the start of the season, got his first sack by dropping Weeden on a third-and-7 for a six-yard loss. Kruger also defensed a pass play on the Browns first drive that forced a punt. DT Haloti Ngata collapsed the pocket around Weeden and got so much leverage upfield that it gave Trent Richardson limited room to run. He was held to 47 yards on 14 carries. Before Weeden was sacked, he was hit early and often. In the first quarter alone, Ray Lewis delivered two blows and Kruger hit him once. All three of those hits came on third downs. Lardarius Webb broke up what appeared to be a sure 33-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Norwood in the end zone that couldve cut the deficit to two for Cleveland. Instead, Phil Dawson converted a 51-yard field goal.
Lowlights: Browns WR Joshua Cribbs had to leave the game because of a head injury when he was sandwiched by Dannell Ellerbe and Morgan Cox on a punt return, his helmet flew off and the back of his head smashed onto the FieldTurf. Cribbs didnt return because of a head injury. Flacco threw an interception in the end zone that was grasped by Craig Robertson. It was Flaccos first interception inside the 20-yard line in 125 throws. The last time that happened was Dec. 7, 2009 vs. the Green Bay Packers. After P Sam Koch buried the Browns on their own 6 with a 50-yard punt, Williams gave up a 43-yard catch to Greg Little to led to the Browns first points. Justin Tucker missed his first field goal wide right from 47 yards in the rain after a sack of Flacco and a series of penalties ruined what appeared to be a TD drive. ... A holding penalty on LT Michael Oher negated Rice's best run, a 21-yard gain in the fourth quarter. ... The Ravens had 11 penalties for 100 yards.