Slow start, strong fin­ish

Baltimore Sun - - RAVENS INSIDER - Jeff.zre­biec@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/jef­fzre­biec­sun

noth­ing be­cause of ill-timed mis­takes.

On their sec­ond drive, they moved into Tucker’s field-goal range, thanks largely to a rough­ing-the-passer penalty on Browns de­fen­sive end Em­manuel Og­bah. How­ever, Flacco was sacked and lost nine yards on third down when nei­ther left guard Alex Lewis nor tight end Den­nis Pitta picked up a blitz­ing Jamie Collins.

The Ravens then got their run game go­ing on their next drive as Ter­rance West ran for 17 yards, full­back Kyle Juszczyk picked up a first down on sec­ond-and-short and rookie Ken­neth Dixon ran for 11 to put the ball on the Browns’ 34-yard line. But on the very next play, Flacco saw Smith matched up one-on-one with rookie cor­ner Briean Boddy-Cal­houn and he took a shot down the side­line. Smith, though, didn’t seem to re­act to the ball un­til Bod­dyCal­houn was set­tled un­der the ball right out­side the end zone.

The in­ter­cep­tion was Flacco’s fourth in the past three games and kept the game score­less through the first quar­ter. That changed on the next drive when the Ravens, thanks to a 17-yard com­ple­tion to Smith and a 12-yard catch by Dixon, had a first down on the Browns’ 13. But af­ter 3-yard runs by Flacco and West, Flacco threw the ball out of the end zone on third down de­spite Smith ap­pear­ing to be open un­der­neath.

Tucker’s 25-yard field goal gave the Ravens the lead, but was a dis­ap­point­ing re­sult against the NFL’s 31st-ranked run de­fense.

To that point, the Ravens de­fense had given up lit­tle ground to the Browns and their rookie quar­ter­back. Kessler, though, got things go­ing with a 14-yard com­ple­tion to Ter­relle Pryor and a pass-in­ter­fer­ence call on Ravens rookie cor­ner Tavon Young. He then found rookie tight end Seth DeValve for a 25-yard touch­down. DeValve beat Eric Wed­dle and fel­low safety Lar­dar­ius Webb was a step late to give him help.

The Ravens and Browns then traded punts be­fore the Ravens got a field goal de­spite an­other ugly two-minute drive. A first-down re­cep­tion by Pitta was wiped out by a hold­ing penalty by right guard Vladimir Du­casse, who was mak­ing his first start of the sea­son in place of an in­jured Mar­shal Yanda.

The Ravens didn’t show a whole lot of ur­gency early in the drive and then they burned through three time­outs just to get the ball to mid­field. But an un­nec­es­sary­rough­ness call on Ibra­heim Campbell put Tucker in po­si­tion to kick a 40-yard field goal as time ex­pired in the sec­ond quar­ter.

De­spite the field goal and the fact that the Ravens trailed just 7-6, there were some boos as the Ravens headed to the locker room.

LLOYD FOX/BAL­TI­MORE SUN PHOTOS

Ravens wide re­ceiver Steve Smith Sr. lunges over Browns de­fen­sive back Ed Reynolds II, below, to score a touch­down dur­ing the third quar­ter.

Tight end Dar­ren Waller shows off the foot­ball af­ter catch­ing a 4-yard pass from Joe Flacco to put the Ravens ahead for good early in the third quar­ter.

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