Ravens - Browns, 5 Reasons for the outcome

<p>1. An overpowering running game. Between Jamal Lewis' powerful stride and his offensive line's girth and skillful persistence, the Baltimore Ravens trampled the Cleveland Browns for the second time this year with a 35-0 shutout. This road win allowed Baltimore (9-6) to regain sole possession of first place atop the AFC North. Lewis is the NFL rushing leader and a Pro Bowl selection with good reason.&nbsp;</p>

The 5-foot-11, 245-pound runner proved that his single-season NFL record of 295 rushing yards in September against the Browns was definitely not a fluke. Lewis rambled for 205 yards on 22 carries and now stands only 48 yards shy of the exclusive 2,000-yard barrier. He needs 153 yards to tie Eric Dickerson's single-season mark of 2,105 yards. He averaged 9.3 yards a carry on Sunday and scored twice. With 1,952 yards in 15 games, Lewis has gritted his teeth and utilized a North-South running style for 100-yard games in 11 of the Ravens' 15 contests. His personal highlight was a 72-yard touchdown run where he burst through a feeble tackle attempt by safety Earl Little and was off to the races. And he gained 164 of his 205 yards in the second half after being held to 41 yards on 14 carries with a long run of only eight yards at halftime. Lewis' linemen, tight ends, fullback Alan Ricard and the receivers excelled at sealing off a bunched-up Cleveland defense and springing him free when he needed room to operate. Now, Lewis has 1,043 yards in six career games against Cleveland and exactly 500 yards in his two victories this season against the Browns. 

2. Constant pressure.

Behind the quick hands and quick feet of rookie outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, the Ravens never gave beleagured Browns quarterback Tim Couch time to breathe, let alone direct a single scoring drive. Suggs, to coin defensive line coach Rex Ryan's phrase, has become an expert of late at "tomahawking" the football out of quarterbacks hands a la Lawrence Taylor. Suggs forced two fumbles, recovered one and had two sacks to surpass Pro Bowl teammate Peter Boulware's club rookie mark for sacks in one season.

3. Chad Williams' alert play.

The unheralded safety had a crushing hit and he sealed the victory completely with a 52-yard interception return for a touchdown. Williams said he read Couch's eyes and intentions all the way when he stared down Andre Davis, his primary read. Williams' fourth-quarter score put the Ravens ahead by four touchdowns for extra insurance.

4. Turnovers and penalties.

In snapping a four-game road losing streak, Baltimore only committed one turnover, while capitalizing on the Browns' three lost fumbles and one interception. The Ravens were only assessed five penalties for 41 yards.

5. Time of possession.

The Ravens controlled the football for 32:40 compared to the Browns' 27:20.

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.



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