If the Browns wanted to write a book on how to sabotage yourself, they could've used Sunday's game against the Ravens as a perfect example. The Browns gave up 13 points in the first half on turnovers and breakdowns on special teams. Again, the Browns are not good enough to overcome the types of mistakes they made and it turned out to be the difference in the game.
Here is our synopsis of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. (However, we had to search for the Good and put it at the bottom.)
Bad Start for O: The tone was set on the first play of the game for the Browns offense. After the Browns stopped the Ravens on the first drive, the offense fumbled the ball away on the first snap from center and gave the Ravens the ball on the Browns' 20. From the shotgun, Jeff Faine snapped the ball low to Trent Dilfer and spotted a struggling Ravens offense an easy scoring opportunity to open the game down, trailing 7-0.
Not So Special: The Browns allowed a 52-yard punt return by B.J. Sams to the Browns' 36. At least two Browns players had their hands on him and missed the tackle. On a short field, the defense held the Ravens to a 39-yard field goal, but again the Browns handed the Ravens another gift.
The defense held on third-and-short, but Alvin McKinley jumped off sides to give the Ravens a first down. On the next play, Chester Taylor broke loose for a 52-yard gain setting up another field goal by Stover to make it 13-0.
Another Bad Play: After forcing a turnover just before it appeared the Ravens would go in for another score, the Browns turned the ball over again as Dilfer was sacked and stripped of the ball. Instead of cutting into the 13-0 lead, the Browns gave the ball up and another field goal to trail at the half, 16-0. The Browns had two fumbles and gave up a long punt return that led to a score. Dilfer turned the ball over twice on fumbles and was sacked four times.
Bad Start II: L.J. Shelton jumped for a false start on the first play on offense on the second series. Unable to move the ball, the Browns had to punt. The Browns did very little on offense in the first half.
Wrong Focus: The Browns were so worried about Jamal Lewis that Taylor did the damage in the early going. Taylor had 69 yards on just six carries in the first half and finished with 92 yards on eight carries. He had a 52-yard run in the first half. The Browns signed Taylor to an offer sheet as a restricted free agent during the off season, but the Ravens matched it.
Lewis had just 59 yards on 24 carries, with a long of just 10 yards.
No O: The Browns offense got their first, first down with 11:05 to play in the second quarter on a run by Reuben Droughns. They followed with another first down on the same series before stalling and being forced to punt.
Was That Johnny U?: The Browns made QB Anthony Wright look like the second coming of Johnny Unitas. Wright was 14-of-16 at one point in the first half, even though he was locked in on Derrick Mason on most of the plays. His first mistake was in the red zone as Andra Davis tipped the ball up and former Raven Gary Baxter picked it off. Mason finished with eight catches for 85 yards and Todd Heap had six catches for 79 yards and a touchdown.
Time Management: Or was it ‘What time management?' as Romeo Crennel failed to go for it on fourth-and-five with under four minutes to play. The Browns had one timeout but elected to not use it as the Ravens ran out the clock.
Nothing Special: After a good start on defense in the second half, Sean Jones was called for a penalty to put the offense inside the ten-yard line, trailing 16-3. Dilfer hit Northcutt on the first play of the drive on a nice throw and catch from the goal for a gain of close to 30 yards. Just when the Browns seemed to be making a move, Terrell Suggs hit Dilfer from behind and Ray Lewis intercepted the pass.
Jones was called again on a punt return in the fourth quarter to back the Browns up again inside their 20.
Michael Lehan was flagged after long punt return by Northcutt with under five minutes to go to and it moved the ball back to the Browns' 25.
No Advantage: The Browns couldn't take advantage of Ed Reed's injury to his foot. Last year's Defensive MVP went down early in the third quarter and was taken to the locker room for x-rays. He did not return.
Good Start for D: The Browns defense was put to the test quickly as they opened on defense. Other than the pass from Anthony Wright to Derrick Mason for a first down on third down on the first series, the Browns did well. They had pressure on Wright and contained Jamal Lewis and Chester Taylor—at least on the first series. The defense gave up a touchdown on the next series after the Browns turned the ball over on their own 20.
The defense played pretty well after being put in a tough position for most of the first half, limiting the Ravens to just three field goals and one touchdown.
One Good One: Droughns had a long run called back on a holding penalty by Aaron Shea on the first drive of the second half. However, the Browns responded after the penalty and had their best drive of the day which resulted in a 24-yard field goal by Phil Dawson to make the score 16-3. The Browns went 61 yards on the drive and took 7:23 but it resulted in just a field goal.
Seeing Green: RB William Green first carry looked like Droughns. He busted up the middle for nine yards and ran very hard on his first two carries in picking up the first down and gaining 15 yards on his two carries. Droughns had 55 yards on 15 carries.