The Browns went to Baltimore needing a victory.
They didn't get it.
The Ravens score 21 unanswered points in the third quarter—14 as a result of two Derek Anderson interceptions-- as the Ravens won 28-10 to drop the Browns to 0-3. Only two teams have made the playoffs in the last 15 years that have started 0-3. They're also 0-2 in the division.
The Browns totally suffered a melt down in the third quarter after leading 10-7. After the first interception by Cris McAlister that was turned into a touchdown, Anderson threw another errant pass to Ed Reed within a minute and the Ravens were up 21-10.
Still with plenty of time on the clock, the Browns' offense committed two penalties that killed their drive and then after a punt return, Mike Adams committed a personal foul to give the Ravens the ball on the Browns' 35. Moments later, Le'Ron McClain scored his second touchdown of the quarter with 5:41 to play from one yard out. The Browns had nine penalties for 65 yards.
At least it started out well for the Browns.
The Browns got on the scoreboard first after D'Qwell Jackson intercepted Joe Flacco and the Browns had the ball at their own 48. A couple of big offensive plays, including a 19-yard touchdown by Jerome Harrison on a screen pass from Derek Anderson gave the Browns a 7-0 lead on the first play of the second quarter. Harrison took the pass as the Ravens' pass rush bore down on Anderson and broke a couple of tackles on the play. Earlier on the drive, Jamal Lewis had a 15-yard run to take the ball to the Ravens' 33 and a swing pass to Lawrence Vickers moved the ball to the 20.
The Browns stopped the Ravens when Adams intercepted Flacco in the end zone. However, the Browns had back-to-back false starts and a short punt and the Ravens tied the game at 7-7. After a 31-yard punt by Dave Zastudil, the Ravens took over on the Browns' 43. The Ravens quickly tied the score as Willis McGahee went over left tackle from five yards out with 6:40 to play in the second quarter.
Near the end of the first half, the Browns moved the ball and advanced to the Ravens' 21 before Phil Dawson kicked a 38-yard field goal to give the Browns a 10-7 lead with 1:04 left in the half. A slant to Braylon Edwards and a third down conversion to Kellen Winslow gave the Browns a first down at the two-minute warning on the 23. Lewis had a four-yard run before Anderson was sacked by Trevor Pryce at the 21 to force the field goal.
The Ravens took the lead for the first time in the game as the Ravens defense forced a turnover in the red zone and they capitalized on it as McClain took it in from the one with 11:13 to play in the third quarter. On the opening drive of the second half, Anderson had a short pass intercepted as it went off Winslow's hands as he was hit by Ray Lewis. McAlister picked off the ball and returned it to the Browns' 12. After seven-and four yard runs by McGahee to the one, Flacco fumbled the snap but was able to recover the ball. McClain scored on the next play.
Just fifty seconds after the Ravens go ahead score, Anderson threw a third down pass right into the hands of Reed, who returned the pass 32 yards for a touchdown and the Ravens were up 21-10 with 10:23 to play. Anderson was trying to hit Edwards on the play.
The Ravens could've scored more points but, leading 28-10, the Ravens ran the clock out inside the Browns' 10. On their next to last possession, they ran on fourth down inside the five.
Bad DA: QB Derek Anderson threw the ball to seven different receivers in the first half. Anderson was 9-of-20 for 101 yards and a touchdown in the first half. His QB rating was 77.3 for the first half. Anderson threw two third quarter interceptions that resulted in 14 unanswered Ravens points and the Browns 10-7 lead turned into a 21-10 deficit. Anderson looked like a deer in the headlights for most of the second half and finished 14-of-36 for 125 yards. He had one touchdown and three interceptions and was sacked five times. His QB rating was 22.9. Even with less than two minutes to play, Anderson threw another interception inside the Browns' 10.
Can't Stop ‘Em: Even late in the game, when Willis McGahee was injured and the Ravens were doing nothing but running, the Browns couldn't stop the run. The Ravens had the ball for over nine minutes in effectively closing out the game. The Browns got the ball back with 1:51 to play inside their five.
Where's Kellen?: The Browns didn't throw the ball to TE Kellen Winslow until 2:20 to play in the first half. His first catch was on third down for a first down. He finished with two receptions for 14 yards.
Bobbling Braylon: WR Braylon Edwards has had trouble hanging onto the football in the first two games. He bobbled a slant from QB Derek Anderson but was able to hang on to the ball for a 17-yard gain. He had three receptions for 27 yards. When the Browns were trying to come back in the third quarter, Edwards committed an illegal block that took away a first down after a nice run by Lewis. Edwards dropped a pass in the fourth quarter. Edwards was the leading receiver with just 27 yards.
D'Qwell's and Mike's Picks: LB D'Qwell Jackson intercepted QB Joe Flacco to stop the Ravens' second drive. The Browns took over on their own 48 and moved 52 yards for a touchdown. On the next series, DB Mike Adams intercepted Flacco in the end zone on a razzle dazzle play as Flacco tried to hit WR Derrick Mason in the end zone.
Hall's First: Rookie LB Alex Hall sacked QB Joe Flacco in the fourth quarter. It was Hall's first NFL sack and the Browns' only sack.
Jumpers: The Browns had back-to-back false starts to thwart a drive after Adams' interception.
Bad Punt: After a sensational day punting into the wind against Pittsburgh, P Dave Zastudil's first punt against his former team went just 31 yards to give the Ravens the ball on the Browns' 43. They took advantage and had their first score.
Jerome's First: RB Jerome Harrison scored his first NFL touchdown on a 19-yard screen pass. Just like last week against Pittsburgh, Harrison didn't see meaningful time after his touchdown. Against the Steelers, Harrison had a 23-yard play and then didn't get the ball again.
Mac's Mistake: DB Brandon McDonald had an interception taken away as he was called for holding WR Derrick Mason. Two plays later, DB Mike Adams intercepted QB Joe Flacco in the end zone.
The Toss: The Browns won the toss to start the game and deferred to the second half. Meanwhile, the Ravens took the kickoff and moved the ball quickly down the field before stalling at the Browns' 30. Matt Stover hit the right crossbar and the Browns averted the early deficit.
No Flak, Flacco: Rookie QB Joe Flacco started the game 7-of-7 for 75 yards. On fourth-and-one, the Ravens went for the first down and was able to get it on second effort. On his eighth pass, LB D'Qwell Jackson intercepted a pass intended for TE Todd Heap. The interceptions were Flacco's only two incomplete passes out of his first 10 passes.
Cribbs Impact: WR/KR Joshua Cribbs made his presence felt on the opening kickoff as he made the tackle. He then had the Browns' first big play as QB Derek Anderson hit him on third down for the first down and a 17-yard gain. He had a 24-yard kickoff return on is first return and a good return to open the second half, but it was negated by a holding call. Cribbs was wide open in the fourth quarter, but Anderson threw a little high and all that Cribbs could do was get a hand on the ball.
Confusion: The Browns looked very confused on their first defensive series and had to take a timeout on third down.
The Zebras: Referee Ed Hochuli, who blew the call in the Broncos/Chargers game last week, was the referee for the Browns/Ravens game. Hochuli sent an apology email to Chargers fans admitting he made the wrong call that cost the Chargers the game last week.