Instant Analysis: Not a pretty win for the Ravens

November 04, 2012

Baltimore Sun staffers analyze the Ravens' 25-15 win over the Cleveland Browns.

Jeff Zrebiec, reporter: Like most Ravens victories over Cleveland, it wasn't pretty. But if the Ravens go on and do anything this season, people will probably point to the touchdown drive that ended with Joe Flacco hitting Torrey Smith as the catalyst. Again, the Ravens did little to ease concerns about their flaws, but they did get the job done. I guess that's all that counts as tough to watch as this was.

Aaron Wilson: The Ravens' 25-15 victory over the Cleveland Browns was obviously more of a great escape than a convincing win. Allowing five field goals to Phil Dawson on defense as Cleveland went 0-for-5 in the red zone, and getting some clutch runs from Ray Rice and a game-winning touchdown catch from Torrey Smith at the end, gave the Ravens their 10th consecutive victory over the Browns, improving to 5-0 after byes in the John Harbaugh era. It was a bizarre game in many ways, with a drought of roughly 30 minutes ensuing between first downs for the Ravens from the middle of the second quarter to the middle of the fourth quarter. Between the stretch of offensive ineptitude and the defense being gashed for 105 yards by Browns rookie standout running back Trent Richardson, the Ravens' sixth win of the year qualifies as something for them to learn from moreso than prize.

Matt Vensel, reporter/blogger: The good news is that the Ravens were able to overcome two-and-a-half quarters of offensive ineptitude to beat the Browns. The bad news is we have to suffer through four more of these road games in the next two months. Well, unless the offense figures out how to play four quality quarters on the road, but please don't hold your breath waiting for that one to happen. Also, props to the Ravens defense for holding the Browns to five field goals in the red zone. That was the difference in this one.

Edward Lee, reporter: The Ravens improved to 6-2 courtesy of a quick beginning and a strong start. But the offense ground to a halt in the middle two quarters -- at one point going three-and-out five consecutive times -- and a better opponent would have taken advantage. So there are still some questions for the Ravens to answer as they head into their next home game against the Oakland Raiders.

Peter Schmuck, columnist: My power went out after the first quarter and came back on late in the fourth quarter. What a great bounce back by the Ravens. OK, I made that up, but a win's a win, right?

Ron Fritz, sports editor: The Ravens really lucked out in this one. They were facing a team with an inept rookie quarterback and an equally inept coach. If Pat Shurmur isn't fired after this game for the idiotic decision of going for it with about four minutes left, he's as lucky as the Ravens. I'm sure the Ravens will say a win is a win, but if they continue to play this poorly for long stretches, good teams are going to crush them.

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