In the final analysis, clock mismanagement was a major reason the Browns lost to the Ravens.
Trailing 17-0 and trying to get a boost going into the half, the Browns blew a major opportunity to score as they squandered away the final minute of the first half. With first down on the Ravens' eight the Browns called their last timeout with 57 seconds to play. Peyton Hillis ran on first down for three yards and then Seneca Wallace threw a two-yard pass to Evan Moore, but he didn't get out of bounds before he was stopped. With the clock running and about 11 seconds to play, the Browns chose to run the ball. Hillis was stopped for no gain and the clock ran out before the Browns could stop the clock as they had no timeouts.
It got worse in the second half.
Wallace called two timeouts early in the half with mix ups on offense. Trailing 20-14 and down to one timeout, the Browns decided to go for the first down with 4:03 to play on their own 45.
As the play clock wound down, Wallace called the team's final timeout as the clock was about to expire. After the timeout, Pat Shurmur called a short screen to Hillis for no gain and the Browns turned the ball over to the Ravens with 3:55 to play and no timeouts.
The Browns still would've had a chance to get the ball back if they would have preserved any of their timeouts. However, without any they never got the ball back.
The Ravens chose to run the ball three times with Ray Rice and he picked up eight yards to the 37. On fourth-and-two, the Ravens lined up to go for it. However, it appeared they were just trying to draw the Browns off side and as the play clock wound down, Phil Taylor jumped offside to give the Ravens a first down and they were able to kneel down and end the game.
Peyton Makes Bid: Whether he's trying to salvage his season or make himself more attractive as an unrestricted free agent, Peyton Hillis had his best game of the season against the Ravens. Hillis went over the 100-yard mark for the first time this season early in the fourth quarter and finished with 24 carries for 112 yards.
Cribbs Comes Back: KR Josh Cribbs returned a punt 84 yards for a touchdown to get the Browns on the board with 3:07 to play in the third quarter. P Sam Koch punted 47 yards and Cribbs took the punt, broke a couple of tackles and then went across the field for the score. It was the first return for a touchdown on either a kickoff or punt return since he did so against the Chiefs two years ago on Dec. 20, 2009 when he returned two kickoffs for touchdowns (103 and 100 yards). His last punt return for a touchdown was on Sept. 13, 2009 for a 67-yard score against the Vikings.Cribbs' return was the 11th of his career. He now has eight kickoff returns for scores and three punt returns for scores. Cribbs had five kick returns for 113 yards and one punt return for the touchdown. He also had two receptions for 28 yards.
Seneca's Day: QB Seneca Wallace was 19-of-33 for 147 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He was sacked twice and had a rating of 66.1.
Moore Catches: TE Evan Moore led the Browns with five receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown. WR Greg Little had four catches for 40 yards.
Bad Choice: The Browns took the opening kickoff and moved to the Ravens' 31 when on third-and-one, QB Seneca Wallace tried a rollout pass that was intercepted by DB Lardarius Webb. Until that time the Browns had been successful moving the ball on the ground with RB Peyton Hillis.
Sack Men: DL Ahtyba Rubin sacked QB Joe Flacco in the first quarter to pick up his fourth sack of the season . It was the only sack for the Browns. Rubin, LB D'Qwell Jackson and LB Kaluka Maiava tied for the lead with seven tackles.
Rice Under Control: After allowing RB Ray Rice to rush for 204 yards earlier this season, the Browns made it a top priority to stop him. Rice had 23 carries for 87 yards. He caught a 42-yard pass for a touchdown from QB Joe Flacco with 8:57 to play in the second quarter and finished with three receptions for 48 yards. Rice got behind LB D'Qwell Jackson for the score.
Mitchell's First: WR Carlton Mitchell made his first NFL catch in the third quarter on a short sideline route for six yards. Mitchell moved up when WR Jordan Norwood sat out with a concussion. Mitchell finished with two receptions.
Home Cooking: The Ravens finished the regular season 8-0 at home.
Tough Start: On the first play of scrimmage, QB Joe Flacco tried to go deep to WR Torrey Smith and DB Mike Adams interfered with Smith at the Browns' four for a penalty of 60 yards. Three plays later, Flacco hit TE Ed Dickson for a touchdown.