CLEVELAND—To put it simply: The Browns couldn't stop the run.
The Ravens rushed for 290 yards and a whopping 5.3 average for the game. Ray Rice lead the onslaught with 204 yards on 29 carries for a 7.0 average and a touchdown. Ricky Williams outrushed the Browns with 76 yards on 16 carries. The Ravens had 448 yards on overall offense.
The Ravens came into the game ranked 26th in rushing offense. Meanwhile, the Browns were 29th against the run.
As the Ravens put up big rushing numbers, the Browns totaled just 59 yards on 17 carries for a 3.5 average with Peyton Hillis leading the way with 45 yards on 12 carries. The Browns longest run of the game was a 9-yard run by Hillis. Rice had a 67-yard run and Williams had a 15-yard run. The Ravens had seven rushes longer than any by the Browns.
"We have to do a better job of stopping the run," Pat Shurmur understated.
Shurmur said the Browns didn't have an answer for Rice.
"I don't know," Shurmur said. "He's a terrific runner. He did a good job of running the ball. It was a tough day at the office against the run."
Browns players were shaking their heads in the locker room.
"To give up 300 yards (on the ground) and let them control the game like they did…," Mike Adams said with his voice trailing off.
"He was just being Ray Rice," Adams said. "He was running between the tackles. He's so quick and strong, top and bottom. He and Maurice Jones-Drewa are identical."
Rookie Jabaal Sheard was also looking for answers.
"I don't know," Sheard said. "We'll have to go back and watch some film to find out. I guess we need to play harder up front. I missed a few tackles up front. A good back (like Rice) helps the line. We knew they were going to run the ball and you just have to do a better job up front. It's a pride thing when you know it is coming and you aren't stopping it."
Avoid the Shutout: The Browns avoided the shutout by finally getting on the board with 5:55 to play in the third quarter as K Phil Dawson kicked a 21-yard field goal to make it 10-3. The score came after QB Colt McCoy found RB Peyton Hillis wide open for a 52-yard pass to the Ravens' six-yard line as Hillis got behind DB Bernard Pollard.
However, after a two-yard run on first down by Hillis, McCoy hit TE Evan Moore with a slant that went off his hands. A third down pass was broken up intended for WR Greg Little resulted in the field goal. On third down, it appeared McCoy could've run for the touchdown as he was out of the pocket and only needed a couple of yards but tried to hit Little.
McCoy threw a touchdown pass to Moore with 4:22 to play with the Browns trailing 24-3. McCoy was asked if the offense regressed.
"I wouldn't say we took a step back, we let some opportunities slip away," he said. "Ten points is nothing but it's a win for them to hold us to a field goal."
Shurmur was asked if the offense went backwards.
"I wouldn't say it was reversed," Shurmur said. "We went up against a good team. We couldn't stay on the field on third down."
McCoy finished 17-of-35 for 192 yards with a touchdown and an interception and a rating of 63.0. The Browns had one third of their yardage for the game on the touchdown drive.
"Maybe we can play like we did on the last drive," McCoy said. "We have to have a short memory and keep doing what we do best."
The Browns scored their lone touchdown with 4:22 to play as McCoy hit Moore on fourth-and-10 for a 22-yard touchdown. The Browns moved 73 yards in 10 plays in just 2:36 to make it 24-10.
Peyton Play: RB Peyton Hillis accounted for 97 yards for the Browns offense He had 12 carries for 45 yards and caught one pass for 52 yards. RB Chris Ogbonnaya had one carry for 2 yards and five passes for 28 yards to lead the Browns receivers.
Squirrel Gets in End Zone First: A squirrel was able to find the end zone before the Browns did. The squirrel caught the fans attention in the third quarter running around the field before KR Josh Cribbs was set to return a kickoff. The squirrel raced down the sidelines and into the end zone to the delight of the fans.
Moore Time: TE Evan Moore caught the Browns lone touchdown with 4:22 to play in the game on a 22-yard pass from QB Colt McCoy. The play was on fourth-and-10 and the Browns trailing 24-3. Moore had a potential touchdown pass go off his hands in the third quarter in the end zone. Moore had two receptions for 28 yards, but had a crucial drop in the end zone.
"I just didn't catch it," Moore said. "I've got to make those plays. There is no question. It would have made it 10-7, which is much better than 10-3. I have no excuses. I just have to catch the ball. It is that easy."
Big Play Jabaal: Rookie DE Jabaal Sheard continues to come up with big plays as he sacked and stripped the ball from QB Joe Flacco at the 50 and DE Jayme Mitchell recovered to set up the Browns first score. Sheard leads the Browns with 5.5 sacks. Sheard had nine tackles to go with the forced fumble and sack. LB D'Qwell Jackson led the Browns with 12 tackles.
"He did a good job getting the ball out," Sheard said.
Questionable Moves: With the Browns just trailing 7-0 nearing halftime, Pat Shurmur elected to stop the clock twice. A pass interception by DB Jimmy Smith on a pass intended for WR Mohamed Massaquoi gave the Ravens a first down at the Browns' 15 after a 32-yard return. The defense did hold the Ravens out of the end zone after a pass interception penalty by DB Dimitri Patterson gave Baltimore a first down on the three. K Billy Cundiff converted his first field goal with 13 seconds to play from 21 yards to give the Ravens a 10-0 halftime lead instead of 7-0. Cundiff had missed two field goals earlier in the half.
Colt Down: QB Colt McCoy was injured when DE Arthur Jones hit his leg on a screen pass to RB Chris Ogbonnaya. QB Seneca Wallace replaced McCoy and threw a four-yard pass to WR Greg Little on third-and-8. McCoy returned on the next possession. Shurmur said McCoy had the only injury, but said the knee didn't affect him throwing.
"I think I'll be alright," McCoy said.
For Openers: The Browns took the opening kickoff and drove to the Ravens' 39 before stalling and punting. The Browns moved the ball 41 yards with RB Peyton Hillis picking up 24 yards rushing and QB Colt McCoy 2-of-4 for 17 yards.
No Respect: The Ravens moved to the Browns' 26 and decided to go for a first down on fourth-and-one but RB Ray Rice was stopped for no gain by DL Phil Taylor and LB Chris Gocong. On their next possession, the Ravens moved to the Browns' 21 and went for it on fourth-and-one and converted as QB Joe Flacco took a QB sneak for the first down. Five plays later, Rice went in for a touchdown from six yards out.
Nothing Special: Once again, the Browns special teams broke down and DB Lardarius Webb returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown with 6:58 to play after a low punt by P Brad Maynard to make it 24-3.
Challenging: The Browns challenged a call after WR Jordan Norwood caught a pass and then was stripped by DB Danny Gorrer and recovered by DB Ed Reed in Browns' territory. The call was reversed and the Browns were able to punt.
Division Woes: The Browns are 0-3 against the AFC North with two games left with the Steelers and one with the Ravens.
Boiling Rice: Ravens' RB Ray Rice went over 200 yards rushing on the day. He went over 100 yards at the midway point of the first half and had 107 yards rushing on 16 attempts, including a touchdown in the first half. Rice had a 67-yard run in the third quarter to the Browns' six after the Browns first score. RB Ricky Williams scored from one yard out to make it 17-7 with 4:56 to play in the third quarter. Rice finished with 204 yards on 29 carries and a touchdown. He also caught two passes for 10 yards.
Dropsy: After dropping four passes against the Bengals last week, QB Colt McCoy threw to WR Greg Little on the first play and he dropped it. TE Ben Watson and WR Jordan Norwood also had dropped in the first half. Shurmur said the drops are unacceptable.
TE Evan Moore dropped a potential touchdown in the end zone on a pass from McCoy in the second half."You can't have dropped balls," Shurmur said. "Especially, one that hits you in the hands."
Short Memory: The Browns will practice just one day and then head to Pittsburgh to play the Steelers on Thursday.
"I told the guys they need to go have a shower, sleep and then come in and get ready for Pittsburgh," Shurmur said. "Basically we have one day of practice. That's the way it's set up."
Shurmur was asked what he tells the team.
"You have to have thick skin and a short memory."
No Mo: Despite being active, RB Montario Hardesty did not carry the ball. He was listed as having played, but wasn't seen from scrimmage.
"He's fine," Shurmur said. "We could've used him but with the short turnaround it might be best we didn't."
Missing FGs: After the Browns recent trouble on special teams, the Ravens' K Billy Cundiff was wide left on a 34-yard field goal attempt in the first half. Just before the half, the Ravens drove to the Browns' 23 and Cundiff was wide right again on a 41-yard attempt.
Yount Debuts: LS Christina Yount made his debut with the Browns after replacing LS Ryan Pontbriand as the team's long snapper. He had no bad snaps on 8 snaps on punts and one after a touchdown and on a field goal in rainy conditions.
Who Says No Love for UM: Former Browns and Michigan players Steve Everitt and Leroy Hoard were honorary captains for the Browns. Everitt wore his infamous Browns bandana that he wore under his helmet when the Browns moved to Baltimore.