Browns-Ravens: Report Card

Something other than F's appear on this week's interim, but these are till not acceptable, little Mister...

New (old) quarterback, same dismal results -- that's the way it went for the Browns on Monday night against Baltimore.

Brady Quinn returned to the starting lineup, and the Browns were shut out by the Ravens. That makes three games in a row without a touchdown, and one entire year since a running back has set foot in the end zone with the ball.

Quinn's numbers for the game were as dismal as Derek Anderson's the previous two games: 13-for-31 for 99 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. Passer rating: 23.5.

Yet, coach Eric Mangini said Quinn moved the ball efficiently the first half.

That was when the Browns reached the Baltimore 45-yard-line before punting. It was their deepest penetration of the game.

"When we do things the right way, we give ourselves a chance, but when we do things the wrong way, that's when the game gets out of control," tight end Robert Royal said.

The Browns have been doing things the wrong way almost this entire dismal season.


--Kick returner Josh Cribbs, one of the Browns' best players, was prone on the field after the game after taking a shot to the throat from Ravens lineman Dwan Edwards.

Cribbs was hit after making a lateral on a play the Browns inexplicably ran when they were down 16 points with three seconds left. Edwards was running to get into the play, and he collided with Cribbs, who was not looking.

Cribbs was strapped to a board and carted off, but teammates said he was moving all his limbs and joking while being treated.

"We don't know the extent of the injury, but at the same time we think he will be all right," tight end Robert Royal said.

Cribbs was released Tuesday morning from the Cleveland Clinic, where tests were negative.

--Quarterback Brady Quinn drew the ire of the Ravens for inexplicably going low and hitting Terrell Suggs in the knees while the Ravens were returning an interception.

Quinn said he thought he was making a tackle, and he apologized profusely after the game. But Suggs limped off with a sprained knee, and he could miss a month.

Quinn does not seem like a player who would ever try to hurt another, but he probably will hear from the league about the hit.

"I couldn't be more sorry," he said.


PASSING OFFENSE: F -- The Browns somehow averaged more yards per rush (3.3) than yards per pass (3.2). That kind of passing-game production defies all logic in today's NFL, when teams routinely throw for 300-plus yards. The Browns are not even averaging 120 as a team. The effort against the Ravens looked amateurish, as the Browns tried to use quick throws and a moving pocket to counter Baltimore's defense. All it did was limit Quinn to throws of 4 to 6 yards. His only throws down the field came with less than 20 seconds left.

RUSHING OFFENSE: C -- Though no single player had a big game, the Browns did run for 86 yards on 26 carries. That implies they stuck with the run, and it implies the Browns were good enough at times to get something going. The Browns actually have had some decent performances running the ball, but they refused to rely on it. Any time they have a good run or two, they almost feel compelled to return to the passing game, usually unsuccessfully.

PASS DEFENSE: B -- Pretty good effort, with one major gaffe by CB Brandon McDonald. His whiff on the ball and Derrick Mason in the third quarter enabled Mason to turn and run, setting up Baltimore's first touchdown. Other than that, the pass defense was pretty good. Joe Flacco threw for just 155 yards, and he was sacked three times. Mason led Baltimore with 78 yards receiving, but around 30 of those came on the run after the catch. The Browns defense played pretty well.

RUSH DEFENSE: C -- Baltimore ran for 134 yards but didn't seem to do a lot of damage with those yards. The Ravens can be a punishing offensive team, and they tried to run, but the Browns defense held up pretty well. One problem was Ray Rice's 13-yard touchdown run. It was helped by the fact the Browns couldn't get the right personnel on the field. Baltimore essentially ran the play against 10 defenders.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C -- Hard to believe the Browns could win without their MVP, and they didn't. P Dave Zastudil missed the game with a sore knee. Reggie Hodges took over and did well -- kicking nine times for a 38-yard net. There were no big returns, but no big returns allowed either. Overall, the Browns' solid special teams remained that way.

COACHING: F -- The Browns had two weeks to formulate an offensive game plan for Brady Quinn and came up with the ultimate 3-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust approach. And they did that with the passing game. Two other little things mattered as well. Eric Mangini likes to control his timeouts from the sideline, but he did not use one when the Browns were late getting their personnel on the field as Baltimore called a play from the 13. Result: a Ravens touchdown. Then, down 16 with three seconds left, the Browns inexplicably called a hook-and-lateral with Josh Cribbs, and got Cribbs hurt. Why even call the play? The game was over and it was time to go home. Calling a play like that when you're down a touchdown or less makes some sense. Calling it when you're down 16 invites injury, and that's what the Browns got. It was a ridiculous gaffe.

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