Whatever happened in the Browns game on Saturday was going to be a win-win for me. Obviously, as a Browns fan I want the team to win every game, especially those against the Steelers and the Ravens. At the same time, I really want a Quarterback in this draft and if the Browns won out, that would severely limit their chances at being able to take Robert Griffin III without trading up. It sucks that the Browns lost, but they definitely gave a better effort than many people thought. People were really down on this team and with a line that was almost 2 TDs (-13.5), 75% of the money in Vegas was on the Ravens. Even with some bad miscues, the Browns had a shot to win it at the end of the game, but just couldn’t execute.
The Game certainly looked ugly for a while even though it ended up being close. By about 9 minutes to go in the 2nd quarter, the Browns were down 17-0 and the Ravens had scored on each of their first three drives. The Browns D wasn’t playing great, and the Ravens got a couple good breaks in the way of a 60 Pass Interference call on mike Adams that was somewhat questionable and a poor throw by Senca Wallace that led to an Interception. It’s a wonder the Browns even covered after watching their 1st half play.
Just a luck would have it, the one time during the first half the Browns got a drive going, it was blown by mis-communication. Evan moore caught a pass that everyone thought took him out of bounds, but not everyone realized the clock was still going. Pat Shurmur was trying to signal to Seneca to spike it and stop the clock but Seneca tried to catch the defense off guard and called a running play. Needless to say, it failed and the Browns didn’t score. Some were blaming people in the organization from Shurmur all the way to Holmgren but this lies with a veteran backup outsmarting himself into stupidity.
The Browns 2nd half turned out much better and they showed that there is still some reason to have hope in this team. Ray Rice ended up not having a great game against the Browns, partly because the Browns held him to 7 rushes for 16 yards in the 2nd half. The Browns big break came when Josh Cribbs returned a punt 84 yards for a Touchdown, his first return TD in over 2 years and his first punt return TD since week 1 of 2009. This clearly was the big play they needed to energize them as the D stepped up and picked off Flacco in the end zone. The Browns took that momentum, with a nice big play by Cribbs again (this time in the passing game) and led the team all the way down the field for a TD.
After that, the game stayed where it was. The Browns forced a 3 and out and were getting close to FG range, but didn’t convert on a 4th and 5. They had a minute shot to get the ball back with a tiny bit of time, but Phil Taylor was drawn offsides and blew that minute chance. It’s a rookie mistake, but in all likelihood did not cost the Brown the win.
The Browns didn’t give the fans a Christmas miracle, but beating the spread on the road against the Ravens and almost winning is a nice Christmas present.
About the Author
Written by Bradley Ross
Bradley Ross was born and lived most of his life in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. He grew up with a passion for sports and Cleveland teams, instilled in him by his father. He is currently studying Business/Journalism at Cuyahoga Community College and plans on transferring to the Ohio State University in the winter with an expected graduation date of 2013. He is currently a Staff Writer for the Tri-C Voice Newspaper, which was a recipient of an award for the best non-daily newspaper at a 2 year college (northeast region). He runs multiple blogs off of the blogger platform including The Take By The Lake, a sports blog. Sports is his passion and he enjoys being able to write about them and cover them. He also enjoys improvisational humor, long walks on the beach, and writing in the 3rd person. Follow him on Twitter @BRoss_Voice.