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Ravens soar over the Browns, 27-10, as Cleveland falls to 0-14

Loss No. 14. The Cleveland Browns lost to the Baltimore Ravens, 27-10, in the home finale at FirstEnergy Stadium. The game was filled with more head scratching, dumbfounding mistakes and play calls that caused the team’s 14th loss of the season. The Browns were totally outplayed by the Ravens. Baltimore outgained Cleveland 376 yards to 266 yards. The Browns turned it over four times, while the Ravens were able to stay clean during the victory. Here is how the game transpired.

The Ravens received the opening kickoff and put together a long, methodical drive. The Browns surrendered 62 yards in just over six minutes, but the defense stood strong in the redzone to hold the Ravens to a field goal. Following the opening field goal, both the Browns and Ravens went three and out on their next two series. But, the standstill commenced toward the end of the quarter when Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer threw an interception in the team’s third possession of the game, handing Baltimore good field position to add to their lead. The quarter ended with the Ravens threatening to extend their 3-0 lead.

The Browns defense opened the quarter with a bang. The Ravens made their way to the one-yard line with 2nd-and-goal on the markers. Nevertheless, the Browns defense stood tough and withstood the Ravens next three plays, turning Baltimore over on downs to turn the momentum of the game. Immediately following the big defensive stand, running back Isaiah Crowell popped a 59-yard run on the first play to rejuvenate the Browns offense that had a total of zero yards in the game. With the Browns offense humming after the big play, running back Duke Johnson finished off the five play, 96-yard drive with a 12-yard touchdown run to give the Browns the 7-3 lead. But in usual Browns fashion, the lead did not last. The Browns defense could not continue their bend, but do not break playing style. The Ravens drove 75 yards to the endzone in 11 plays, capped by a two-yard touchdown scamper by quarterback Joe Flacco. On the next Browns drive, a Duke Johnson fumble set up another Ravens scoring drive. In three plays, Baltimore went for 45 yards for a touchdown. The Browns salvaged the half with a field goal as time expired, making the Browns halftime deficit, 17-10.

The Browns and Ravens began the second half with a punt fest. After four straight punts in the game, the Browns committed the first big mistake of the half. On the four-yard line, Kizer was strip sacked by Za’Darius Smith, who blew right past left tackle Spencer Drango. Ravens defensive lineman Brandon Williams recovered the fumble in the endzone for a touchdown. The Browns followed up that drive with what looked to be a promising drive. But, Cleveland was unable to convert a 4th-and-1 play from the Baltimore 39-yard line, ending their threat of cutting the deficit. The Ravens took the ball after the turnover on downs and drove down the field, ending the scoring drive with a field goal. At the end of the three quarters, the Browns trailed 27-10.

Cleveland showed some hope at the beginning of the fourth quarter as the offense rolled down the field and into the redzone. But, Kizer continued his underwhelming performance with a mystifying decision that ended the possible scoring drive and likely the ball game. Only the head scratching play call by Hue Jackson could match the decision by Kizer. The play all but ended the game. The Browns and Ravens traded punts and the Ravens were then able to run the clock out and end the misery for Browns fans. The Ravens win the game over the Browns, 27-10.

The game was a microcosm of the entire season. The Browns were mistake-filled with crushing turnovers that killed drives. Kizer was not good, continuing his trend of playing up and down. The young quarterback continues to make the biggest mistakes of the game to derail the game for the Browns. The Browns defense played O.K. like they have for a lot of the season, but they collapse inopportune times. The play calling at times on offense and defense left many confused like it has for most of the season. The game was a great representation of the overall season to this point.

The Cleveland Browns have two games left to end the sadness that is the 2017 Browns season. At 0-14, the Browns travel to Chicago to face the 4-10 Bears. Can the Browns get a Christmas miracle and beat the Bears for their first win of the season? Tune in next week to find out.