BALTIMORE -- Five things we learned watching the Ravens (1-4) lose 33-30 to the Browns, a stunning defeat for them at M&T Bank Stadium:
1. The Ravens have never been in this kind of October trouble under coach John Harbaugh
Welcome to the AFC North basement. The Ravens are injury riddled, and their next two games are out West against the 49ers and the Cardinals. Things could get worse before they get better. Think about it. The Ravens still haven’t won a home game yet. They had not lost to the Browns since 2007. Things that never happened to the Ravens since Harbuugh and quarterback Joe Flacco arrived in 2008 have happened this year. The forecast for the Ravens right now looks very bleak.
2. Ravens injuries are a huge concern
The list of Ravens injuries that were announced included outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil (groin), cornerback Lardarius Webb (thigh), cornerback Will Davis (knee), and wide receiver Darren Waller (concussion). Ravens running back Justin Forsett , who had 121 yards rushing, Webb remained in uniform on the sideline after his injury, which could be an indication that his injury would not be long-term. However, Dumervil’s injury could be very damaging to the defense, as could the mounting injuries to the secondary. Terrell Suggs (Achilles injury) is already gone for the season, and he and Dumervil combined for 29 sacks last season. Meanwhile, imagine if Brooks, Webb, and Davis are all unable to play Week 6 against the 49ers. The Browns moved the ball up and down the field in the second half. The Ravens may not be able to stop the 49ers, or any other opponent, with a patchwork defense.
3. The Ravens generated offense without Steve Smith (back injury)
Without their leading receiver, the Ravens scored 30 points, which is usually enough. Give credit to Kamar Aiken (four catches, 78 yards) who has stepped up this season more than any other Ravens receiver not named Smith. However, the Ravens stalled out when it mattered most, settling for a field goal at the end of regulation, then going three-and-out on their first possession of OT. Not having Smith in those clutch moments really hurt.
4. Wide receiver Jeremy Ross gave the Ravens a major boost
Ross won’t be going back to the practice squad anytime soon. He had a 46-yard kickoff return, a 17-yard punt rerun, and caught two passes for 18 yards. The Ravens have found a returner, and another target for Flacco.
5. Browns quarterback Josh McCown is a problem for the Ravens
McCown beat Baltimore in 2013 when he was with the Bears. He did it again today, with a superb performance, throwing for 457 yards. McCown may not get respect everywhere, but he should get it from the Ravens.
MORE RAVENS: CB Davis, Webb both leave game in second quarter