The Cleveland Browns are still in search of their first regular season victory of the year after falling on the road to the Baltimore Ravens, 24-10, on Sunday. The game was decided by turnovers. The Ravens turned the ball over twice, but the Browns upstaged the Ravens, committing five turnovers in a very sloppy performance. Cleveland had chances in the game, but five back-breaking turnovers curtailed their chances.
The Browns once again started the game slowly, this time with a big mistake from quarterback DeShone Kizer. On the team’s second offensive drive, the offense was moving, but faced a long third down play. The young quarterback held onto the ball far too long, allowing the good pass protection to finally wear down and allow a strip sack by the Ravens defense. The turnover by Kizer gave Baltimore a short field, which they turned into a touchdown, giving the Ravens an early 7-0 lead. The Browns were not done turning the ball over in the first. Kizer rebounded from his fumble, leading a quality drive down the field against the Ravens. But, a dropped pass by running back Duke Johnson ended the drive abruptly because the ball off the running back’s hands and into the grasps of Ravens safety Eric Weddle. After one, the Browns trailed 7-0.
The first quarter also gave Browns fans another moment to really recognize and appreciate the greatness of Joe Thomas. With the first four snaps, Thomas achieved 10,000 straight snaps without missing one snap. The future Hall of Famer has not missed a snap in his 11-year career, a true sign of toughness, talent and some luck over that time.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) September 17, 2017
The second quarter saw the Ravens put together another touchdown drive, making the Browns deficit 14-0. Then, the craziness begins. Kizer left the game on the Browns second drive of the quarter, giving Kevin Hogan the chance to make his mark on the game. And boy did he make a quick impression. On his first drive, Hogan led a five play 83-yard drive that was capped off by a 23-yard touchdown reception by rookie tight end David Njoku, giving Hogan his first touchdown pass and Njoku his first touchdown reception. Though the happy fuzziness wore off quickly when the Browns ended the half with horrible execution. The Ravens made a blunder by attempting a long field goal that ended up giving the Browns great field position to add some more points before halftime, but Hogan threw that opportunity away with an interception that gave the Ravens a reprieve and a chance to add points of their own. The Ravens shred the defense on a 37-yard run, which was followed by a short touchdown pass that made the halftime deficit, 21-7.
What a throw and what a catch! Kevin Hogan finds David Njoku for the rookie tight end's first touchdown in the NFL. pic.twitter.com/G1CNRMTWT0
— WaitingForNextYear (@WFNYCLE) September 17, 2017
The third quarter had just a few newsworthy moments. On the team’s first offensive drive of the half, the Browns drove down the field, under the lead of Hogan, for a field goal that cut the Ravens’ lead to 11. Following that drive, Kizer returned, but the Browns failed to put up any more points. The Browns defense shutout the Ravens defense in the quarter.
The fourth quarter was not any better. The Ravens added a field goal to start the quarter and then a turnover-a-palooza transpired. Neither team was able to score the rest of the game with each team committing one turnover in the quarter. Kizer had a quarter to forget, throwing to bad interceptions that ended any threat of the Browns comeback. In the final quarter, the Browns had three drives that all ended in turnovers with the final one ending on downs. The Browns lost to the Baltimore Ravens, 24-10, moving their record to 0-2 on the early season.
The Browns will try to earn their first win of the season next week when they travel to Indianapolis to face the Colts on Sunday.
- The play calling by Hue Jackson was horrendous. He did nothing to help the young quarterback duo of DeShone Kizer and Kevin Hogan. In the game, the Browns rushed just 21 times and threw the ball 42 times. Jackson called numerous head-scratching play calls that just did not help the team succeed.
- The Browns defense was solid, but some of their tackling in the game was not good. The Ravens were able to get quite a few yards after contact, causing drives to be extended.
- DeShone Kizer showed what plagued him in college. He held onto the ball way too long in the pocket. He had inconsistent accuracy, missing targets on numerous throws. And he made some questionable decisions that led to interceptions or incompletions. It was not a good day for the young quarterback.
- One bright spot was Rashard Higgins. He led the team with seven receptions for 95 yards on the day. He really impressed and might have earned a permanent spot on the active roster.
- Can Myles Garrett come back please?