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The Cleveland Browns beat the division rival Baltimore Ravens 13-3 in a sloppy, rough, mistake-filled game on Saturday night.

Thanks to Baltimore’s miscues, Cleveland had plenty of opportunities to pick up and extend its lead, and mostly didn’t capitalize on them. If the Ravens could capitalize on their own opportunities with any degree of consistency, they would probably win. Alas, not everything is like that.

The Browns averaged just south of 5 yards per play and actually lost the battle in total yardage, but they were able to turn one of their red zone opportunities into a touchdown and the Ravens didn’t. That was basically the difference in the game.

Nick Chubb was mostly held except for one decent sized run (18 yards in the 2nd quarter) for most of the game. Deshaun Watson was neither efficient (5.8 yards per attempt) nor explosive (Cleveland was averaging more than 15 yards per carry). The Browns couldn’t stop the run for their lives as Baltimore averaged 7 yards per carry. And the Browns made mistakes of their own, with Cade York missing two field goals, Watson picking up three sacks (including one that led to a missed field goal), and the team finishing the night just 5-of-14 on third down.

But the Ravens just kept coming up short in scoring position, turning the ball over twice in the red zone and once down the field and missing two field goals. In the end, it was too much for them to handle and the Browns came away with the win.

Here are some other things to know about this game.

Why did the Browns win?

Mainly because the Ravens shot themselves in the foot a few times, frankly. It’s not like the Browns did that much offensively, and they allowed the Ravens to get into scoring position a few times, only to have Baltimore go scoreless.

Why did the Ravens lose?

They had too many missed opportunities. On their first drive of the game, the Ravens went 71 yards on 10 plays, but scored 0 points after Patrick Rickard was stopped on a fourth-and-1 attempt. On their final drive of the first half, the Ravens got into field goal range, but Justin Tucker shockingly missed a 48-yard attempt. On the opening drive of the second half, Baltimore found themselves in the red zone again, only for Tyler Huntley to throw the pick. And after the Browns opened up a double-digit lead, DeMarcus Robinson fumbled on the first play of the next drive. Oh, and Tucker later made a 50-yard field goal attempt. And they couldn’t convert on fourth-and-5 near midfield. And, and, and, and so on.


The Ravens had a chance to tie the game midway through the third quarter, but Denzel Ward took it away from them. Standing on third-and-10 from the 13-yard line, Baltimore lined up to the right and tried to steal Desean Jackson underneath on a slant route. Ward had other ideas.

It was a poor performance by the Ravens when Devin DuVernay failed to get in Ward’s way and knocked him off the ball, Jackson failed to use his body to protect the ball from the defender and Huntley threw the ball forward. Jackson and into coverage rather than pinning it to his back shoulder. But it was also a great play by Ward, who read the route all the way and ran right through his man to pick off the passing lane.

Cleveland would drive down the field for its first drive, extending its lead to double digits. The Ravens would never be closer.

Highlight the game

There was no high-scoring game worthy of big, highlight plays. So let’s go with David Njoku blocking a guy. You know how he does.

Njoku is an outrageous athlete in the midst of a breakout season. He finished the game with 3 catches for 28 yards, giving him 51 and 551, along with three touchdowns, in his 11 games on the season. He’s nearing career highs in every category and should surpass those numbers soon.

What’s next?

The Ravens fall to 9-5 and are tied for first place in the AFC North with the Cincinnati Bengals. Next Saturday, Baltimore hosts the Atlanta Falcons in the early afternoon. The Browns improve to 6-8 and are still on the fringes of the AFC playoff race. They host the New Orleans Saints next Saturday for an early afternoon game.


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