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The Browns remain winless and at the bottom of the NFL power rankings.
The Browns have showed some progress, but have yet to deliver for their fans. Ryan Alton examines the torment of another winless month.
The Cleveland Browns (0-4) suffered through another disappointing game on Thursday night, but it's hard to blame kicker Phil Dawson for anything that happened during the 23-16 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Dawson tied an NFL single-game record by converting three field goal attempts from 50 yard or longer during the contest. He hit a 51-yard kick during the second quarter, a 50-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter, and finally, from 52 yards late in the fourth quarter to bring the Browns within a touchdown.
Dawson, who is now a perfect 8-8 on field goals this season, joined six other kickers who have accomplished that same feat. The 37-year-old kicker has played his entire career with the Browns, and over the last two seasons he has increased his range to hit more attempts from 50-plus yards than ever before. During his first 12 NFL season, Dawson hit 10 field goals from beyond 50 yards. From the beginning of the 2011 season through Thursday night's game, he has connected on 11 of 12 such kicks.
Another week, another heartbreaking loss for the Cleveland Browns. Cleveland became the first NFL team to fall to 0-4 this season thanks to a 23-16 defeat at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens.
Contrary to what their record may suggest, the Browns have been competitive all season, losing four games by a combined 25 points. For those of you that aren't math majors, that's an average loss by 6¼ points.
Cleveland couldn't run the ball against the vaunted Ravens defense, amassing just 43 yards on the ground. Rookie Trent Richardson led the attack with 47 yards and a score on 14 carries. Quarterback Brandon Weeden, another rookie, performed admirably with the offense's success resting on his right arm. Weeden completed 25 of 52 passes for 320 yards and spread the ball around nicely. Greg Little caught four passes for 77 yards and was one of four Browns receivers with at least four catches.
While being competitive is nice, Chris Pokorny of Dawgs By Nature says it's time for the Browns to start winning some of the close ones:
Despite putting up a valiant effort in several of their games this season, especially Thursday night's comeback attempt against the Baltimore Ravens, the Browns can't always be "on the verge of winning" – they need to pull out some of these victories.
Cleveland Browns safety T.J. Ward was spotted wearing a cast after the team's 23-16 loss to the Baltimore Ravens Thursday night.
Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur confirmed that return man Joshua Cribbs left Thursday night's game with a concussion after taking a big hit on a punt return with 5:07 remaining in the first quarter. The Browns lost 23-16 to the Baltimore Ravens.
Cribbs crumpled between two Ravens players, lost his helmet, took an additional blow on the turf when his head whipped to the ground and he fumbled on the play.
Shurmur added that the team just has to wait and see where Cribbs is at in his recovery going forward, which is a vague response that makes perfect sense in light of the NFL's new concussion policy and the emphasis on player safety in any situation of suspected head trauma.
Cribbs has been a small part of the offense so far in 2012, catching just four passes for a total of 39 yards, but his bigger contributions have come by being a return threat on punts and kicks in the special-teams phase.
He has returned 11 punts for 144 yards and 12 kickoffs for 341 yards over the first four games of the season.
Here is a look at how Cribbs suffered his concussion on Thursday night:
Dawson kicked three field goals of 50-yards or more in the game, connecting from 51-yards in the third quarter and then 50- and 52-yards in the the fourth quarter.
Baltimore led the entire game. The Ravens scored in the first quarter on an 18-yard pass from Joe Flacco to Torrey Smith. They botched the point-after attempt, but got a field goal later in the quarter to go up 9-0.
Cleveland cut the lead to 9-7 in the second quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run by Trent Richardson. Richardson finished with 47 yards on 14 carries. He also caught 4 passes for 57 yards.
Baltimore scored two touchdowns in the third quarter, sandwiched around a Dawson field goal. Flacco scored on a 1-yard run early in the quarter, then Cary Williams intercepted a Brandon Weeden pass and returned it 63 yards for a touchdown just before the third quarter ended to put Baltimore up 23-10.
Dawson's two field goals brought the Browns within a touchdown. Cleveland got the ball back with 1:05 remaining and drove to the Baltimore 18, but couldn't get it into the end zone on their final play.
Weeden finished 25-for-52 for 320 yards, no touchdowns and an interception. Greg Little caught 4 passes for 77 yards. Cleveland's defense had four sacks and an interception in the game.
Cleveland falls to 0-4 while the Ravens improved to 3-1.
The Baltimore Ravens defense once again tightened up in the third quarter and also provided the team with a touchdown as the Ravens took a 23-10 lead over the Cleveland Browns heading into the fourth quarter Thursday.
Baltimore capped off a 13-play drive with this Joe Flacco 1-yard touchdown run with 9:53 remaining in the quarter to put the Ravens up 16-7:
The Browns made the score 16-10 with 6:52 remaining in the quarter on a 51-yard field goal by Phil Dawson.
The Browns ran just 13 plays in the third quarter. Trent Richardson has 13 carries for 48 yards and Cleveland's only touchdown. Weeden is 19-for-35 for 22 yards.
Flacco has completed 25-for-40 passes for 305 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Ray Rice has 11 carries for 34 yards.
This photo by Evan Habeeb of U.S. Presswire, however, caught the moment of impact perfectly as Cribbs' helmet was flying off:
The impact caused Cribbs to not only lose his helmet — his head hit the turf on the way down and he was also hit in the face inadvertently by the spike of another player involved in the play. Cribbs fumbled on the return and Baltimore recovered.
Cribbs won't return to the game, but he was reportedly walking around on the sidelines and told trainers he was fine after going through concussion tests. He was reportedly knocked unconscious on the field.
The Baltimore Ravens lead the Cleveland Browns 9-7 at halftime of Thursday's game. After a first quarter that saw both defenses dominate, the offenses picked things up in the second quarter.
Baltimore got on the board first, when Joe Flacco found Torrey Smith for this 18-yard touchdown pass:
The Ravens' point-after attempt was unsuccessful, but Baltimore finished off a drive just three minutes later with a 45-yard field goal by Justin Tucker to make it 9-0.
The Browns got on the board with 2:32 remaining in the half with this 1-yard touchdown run by Trent Richardson:
Richardson has rushed for 38 yards on 10 carries in the half.
Brandon Weeden is 11-for-22 passing for 123 yards for Cleveland. Flacco is 16-for-26 for 186 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the half. Smith has four catches for 79 yards.
Josh Cribbs took a hit to the head and then hit his head on the turf in the first quarter against the Ravens Thursday.
The Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens are tied 0-0 after the first quarter of Thursday's game. The teams combined for just 109 yards of total offense and seven first downs in the quarter. Each team also had one turnover.
Both defenses also delivered big hits throughout the quarter. Cleveland's Josh Cribbs left the game and won't return with a head injury after a hit from Dannell Ellerbe on a punt return. Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden absorbed this hit from Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis:
Weeden was 5-for-9 for 38 yards in the quarter.
The Browns only turnover came on the hit Cribbs took. He lost the ball after the initial contact and Baltimore recovered. The Browns evened things up in the turnover margin when Craig Robertson intercepted Joe Flacco in the end zone late in the quarter.
Former Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens running back Jamal Lewis will be inducted into Baltimore's Ring of Honor at halftime of Thursday night's matchup between the two teams at M&T Bank Stadium, according to Nate Ulrich of Ohio.com.
Lewis spent nine years in the NFL, six with the Ravens and three with the Browns, and rushed for over 10,000 yards and 58 touchdowns. In 2003, Lewis was the most dominant running back in the NFL, as he racked up a league-best 2,066 yards on the ground and scored 14 times for Baltimore.
2009 was Lewis's final year in the league. As a 30-year-old, he appeared in nine games, including eight starts, and rushed for an even 500 yards. His best year in Cleveland was his first there, as he ran for over 1,300 yards and nine scores.
Lewis was drafted fifth overall by the Ravens in the 2000 NFL Draft out of the University of Tennessee.
The Cleveland Browns have been trying to make the best of a bad situation while star cornerback Joe Haden fulfills his four-game suspension, but the secondary will face a tough test on Thursday Night Football against Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens' offense. The biggest surprise from the Ravens has been the emergence of Torrey Smith as a legitimate top option in the offense. Smith's speed has allowed Flacco to stretch opposing defenses with down field throws, and that duo has already connected on 10 passes for a whopping 235 yards and two touchdowns. Smith has posted a gaudy 23.5 yards-per-reception average through the first three games, which is the second-highest average in the NFL.
SB Nation's Browns blog, Dawgs By Nature, has a great breakdown of the challenges that Cleveland's secondary will face on Thursday. Here is a small taste of that story:
It's not an excuse, but Haden's absence is still a factor worth acknowledging. Without his presence shutting down opposing No. 1 targets, the Browns' secondary has had some serious struggles in the last two games. After being pushed into a major role, Dimitri Patterson has been inadequate, despite fantastic individual coverage last season. He and the rest of the secondary need to tighten up for a chance to compete against Baltimore's talented, fast-paced offense.
The Browns and Ravens will play at 8:20 p.m. ET on the NFL Network.
Trent Richardson hasn't had the greatest start to his NFL career, but there's no cause for concern just three games into the 2012 season. Thus far, he's had one very solid outing and two that can easily be marked as "needs improvement." Still, his toughest matchup thus far is just ahead of him: Thursday Night Football against the Baltimore Ravens.
The very same Baltimore Ravens that feature a very big and very good linebacker who makes his living on Newton's laws of motion. When a running back is running for positive yardage in Lewis' direction, he makes it a point to push them back in the opposite direction. It's been his job for 15-plus years now and the consensus seems to be that he's not half bad at it.
Richardson isn't shying away from the challenge though, as noted by Ohio.com:
"Why would you stand down for any man? Not to be cocky or talking mess, but if you're an athlete or you're a competitor, why would you stand down for anybody? I know Ray Lewis going to come at me, and I'm going to come right back at him."
For the Browns, their biggest job will actually be getting Richardson to Lewis. One of the biggest keys they've talked about thus far is having less action at the line of scrimmage and getting Richardson into that second level. While they'd like to seal off Lewis whenever possible, most of the time the best thing they can do is ensure Richardson only has to deal with one player. It just so happens that Lewis is likely to be that one player and that he's really good. It will be an early test for the young rookie, but he certainly seems pumped for the challenge.
Regular NFL officials will return to the field on Thursday night for the Week 4 matchup between the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens, much to the delight of fans and players everywhere.
The Cleveland Browns will be without WR Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring), TE Alex Smith (concussion) and LB James-Michael Johnson (ribs) for their Week 4 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. Massaquoi and Smith did not practice on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday and were listed as out on the most recent injury report from the team, while Johnson engaged in limited participation on all three days but will not play on Thursday night.
The Browns already own the No. 23 passing offense in the NFL, so a week without the team's leading receiver could spell trouble for Brandon Weeden. Massaquoi has been a favorite target for the rookie QB so far this season, as he leads the team in targets (18) and receiving yards (145 yards on nine catches). The Ravens have allowed opponents to pass for an average of 289.7 yards per game in 2012, but the defense has gone against high-powered offenses like the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots. Ed Reed and Ray Lewis could be in for a much better day when the teams meet on Thursday night in prime time, at 8:20 p.m. ET on the NFL Network.
The Cleveland Browns will look to score a shocking upset over the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night.
The Cleveland Browns will enter Thursday night's game vs. the Baltimore Ravens as nearly two touchdown underdogs.
Cribbs told Jeff Schudel of The News-Herald:
"Who polices the NFL and holds them accountable?" Josh Cribbs said. "It's just very unfortunate. A lot of times we have to scream and yell at the refs the rules. We have to help them with some calls. It's unfortunate for them. I feel sorry for them. Like Coach said, we do have to beat that team and the refs as well."
Cribbs was questioned about the final play of the Monday night game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks when an apparent interception in the end zone by M.D. Jennings was ruled a touchdown catch by wide receiver Golden Tate and the Seahawks came away with a last second victory.
Cribbs went on to tell Brian Dulik of The Chronicle Telegram:
"I disagree with the call last night. A lot of people do. That’s why it’s on ESPN and everywhere. It was a bad call."
The eighth-year pro went even further when asked about the NFL office’s statement, which supported the on-field call and its subsequent replay review.
"That’s because you’ve got to have the back of your officials, they work for the league," said Cribbs, whose eight career kickoff return touchdowns are an NFL record. "It’s just like I have the backs of my guys here that I fight with, so they must have their back. Everyone knows that.
Cribbs and the Cleveland Browns will take the field against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night in the first NFL game since Monday's controversial finish in Seattle.
Not surprisingly, most NFL experts believe that the Baltimore Ravens will beat the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night.
The Cleveland Browns are hopeful that injured wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi will be available for Thursday night's game against the Baltimore Ravens, but his status is still unknown. Massaquoi left last Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills after injuring his hamstring in the first half.
Cleveland offensive coordinator Brad Childress told reporters on Tuesday that he's not "anticipating" Massaqoui missing the game, but that "there's not much time" for him to recover from his injury. Massaquoi is the team's second leading receiver on the season with nine catches for 145 yards.
His time in Cleveland has been marked by injuries, and the Browns will need all the help they can get in order to upset Baltimore on Thursday. In two games against Baltimore in 2011, Massquoi caught only three passes for 24 yards, one of which went for a first down. In his career against Baltimore, Massaquoi has seven catches for 81 yards in six games.
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