CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – The Ravens marched closer to the playoffs while the Browns continue theirs towards infamy.
For only the second time ever, the Browns went winless at home in the regular season – the first came in the 1999 expansion season – thanks to a 27-10 drubbing from the team that used to reside here pre-1996, the Baltimore Ravens.
Rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer threw 2 interceptions and was strip-sacked for a touchdown in the loss.
The Browns are the first team in NFL history to be 0-14 in back-to-back seasons.
Here’s a look at the good and bad from loss No. 14 here in 2017.
– Linebacker Christian Kirksey saved a touchdown on Baltimore’s 13-play opening drive by deflecting a Joe Flacco pass into the end zone that fell just short of the grasp on cornerback Jason McCourty. The play, which came on third down, forced Justin Tucker and the Ravens to settle for a 31-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead. Kirksey finished with a game-high 13 tackles marking the fifth time he has registered double-digit tackles this season.
– Ravens running back Alex Collins was denied twice form the 1-yard line in the second quarter on third- and fourth-and-goal. Defensive tackle Caleb Brantley and Kirksey teamed up for the stop on third down while linebacker James Burgess was credited with the stop on fourth down for a loss of 2.
– On the very next play after the goal-line stand for the Browns, running back Isaiah Crowell ripped off a 59-yard run, his longest carry of the season. Duke Johnson capped the 5-play, 96-yard drive with a 12-yard TD run that saw him take a step to the right before bouncing it left and walking in to the endzone for a 7-3 lead with 8:12 to play in the half. The 96-yard TD drive was the longest for the Cleveland since a 98-yard TD drive in 2010 against Kansas City according to ProFootballReference.com.
– Crowell and Johnson had strong afternoons in the loss. Crowell finished with 72 yards, aided by producing the longest offensive play of the season, which gave him his fifth 50-plus yard carry since 2015 – second most over that span in the league. In addition to the 12-yard TD run, Johnson added 5 catches for 40 yards. He leads the Browns this season in receptions (61) and receiving yards (537), while totaling 6 touchdowns (3 receiving, 3 rushing). Johnson is the ﬁrst NFL running back to record 500 receiving yards in each of his ﬁrst three seasons since Herschel Walker in 1986-88. Johnson is also the only NFL running back with at least 50 catches in each of the past 3 seasons.
– After a strong performance last week, DeShone Kizer was due for a bad one. Kizer started 3-7 for -12 yards with an interception and a rating of 10.7 after 1 quarter. Eric Weddle picked him off to end their third offensive series and mark the fourth straight game that the Ravens’ safety picked off a Browns QB. Kizer’s first pass for positive yardage came with 2:35 left in the half – a 14-yard completion to Josh Gordon. In the second quarter he was 7-9 for 81 yards. Kizer threw into triple coverage and was intercepted by Ravens cornerback Brandon Carr in the back of the endzone with 11:07 left in the fourth quarter. Kizer finished 20 of 37 for 146 yards, 2 interceptions,a fumble and a 46.0 rating.
– Duke Johnson was stripped by Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosely at their own 41 after a 9-yard catch-and-run and Anthony Levine scooped up the loose ball before losing 13 yards on the return. It didn’t matter because Baltimore needed 37 seconds and 3 plays to extend their advantage to 17-7 after Flacco hit tight end Benjamin Watson for a 33-yard touchdown with :59 to play.
– The Ravens entered the game with 29 takeaways this season and they added 4 more to their total Sunday which they turned into 14 points. The third turnover came in the third quarter when Kizer was strip-sacked in the endzone by outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith and defensive tackle Brandon Williams fell on the loose ball on the goal line for
the TD and a 24-10 lead with 7:06 left in the third quarter. Baltimore’s 5 defensive TDs in 2017 ties them with Detroit for second in NFL this season.
– Hue Jackson is now 1-29 as the head coach of the Browns. Cleveland is 4-47 in their last 51, 15-63 since the start of the 2013 season and 20-74 since the start of the 2012 season.
– Jan. 1, 2018 can’t get here fast enough.