The Ravens appeared to be headed towards one other blowout victory.
Less than 5 minutes right into a massively necessary AFC North recreation in opposition to the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium, they have been already up 14-0, courtesy of a wild Kyle Hamilton interception that he tipped to himself and returned for a landing on the second play of the sport and an explosive 39-yard landing run by rookie Keaton Mitchell.
But the Browns additionally boast one of many league’s finest defenses, their very own dynamic quarterback and a tricky floor recreation, which shredded the Ravens for 178 yards. All of it, together with some self-inflicted errors by Baltimore, was sufficient for Cleveland to rally from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit and win, 33-31.
Here are 5 issues we discovered from the sport.
Ball safety continues to be an issue
The Ravens got here into Sunday simply plus-one in turnover differential, and with quarterback Lamar Jackson having extra fumbles (10) than landing passes (9) this season. That unsettling development continued Sunday, with Jackson throwing two expensive interceptions.
Baltimore did intercept Deshaun Watson as soon as and get well a fumble by former Ravens receiver James Proche II on a muffed punt return, however Jackson’s ill-timed turnovers price them dearly.
The first interception within the closing minute of the primary half on the Browns’ 37-yard line ended any likelihood Baltimore had of burying the Browns, who they already led 17-3 on the time. The second halfway via the fourth quarter, a deflected cross to fullback Patrick Ricard within the flat that cornerback Greg Newsome II snatched out of the sky and returned 34 yards for a landing, pulled the Browns to inside a degree.
“The guy [Browns defensive end Ogbo Okoronkwo] just tipped the ball,” stated Jackson, who accomplished 13 of 23 passes for 223 yards and a landing. “Saw Pat was open in the flat. The guy tipped the ball, and the ball just flew 10 yards in the air. He made a great play on the ball and just scored.”
The first interception, on a cross meant for Rashod Bateman, Jackson accepted full accountability for.
“I have to put more power behind the velocity on that ball,” he stated. “It was an underthrown pass.”
They have been simply the fourth and fifth interceptions Jackson has thrown this season, however mixed together with his six fumbles misplaced he has turned it over 11 occasions in 10 video games.
Keaton Mitchell is the again the Ravens have been lacking
Offensive coordinator Todd Monken stated Thursday that rookie operating again Keaton Mitchell had earned extra alternatives after he racked up 138 yards and a landing on 9 carries final week.
He rapidly made probably the most of them in opposition to the Browns with a 39-yard landing run on the Ravens’ sixth play of the sport. The holes have been big on the left facet of the road, however Mitchell’s game-breaking velocity was evident as he turned the nook and flew previous the angling Browns defenders in pursuit, hitting 20.99 mph on the run, in response to Next Gen Stats. He additionally grew to become the primary participant in franchise historical past to have a landing run of a minimum of 35 yards in consecutive video games.
Yet, the Ravens mysteriously went away from him within the second half, with Mitchell getting only one contact.
“It’s just kind of the way it went as far as the play calling,” Harbaugh stated. “It wasn’t a part of the plan or anything like that.”
Perhaps Mitchell ought to have been extra of the plan.
The undrafted rookie out of East Carolina has 12 carries for 172 yards and two touchdowns. He additionally has three catches for 37 yards, together with one which went for 32 yards in opposition to Cleveland.
“When I got the ball, I just saw a big hole, and I let my speed work,” Mitchell stated of his landing Sunday.
Inexplicably, although, Mitchell solely bought 4 complete touches in opposition to the Browns, who struggled to comprise him.
Meanwhile, Gus Edwards had 11 carries for twenty-four yards and a landing, and Justice Hill added two carries for 7 yards. Jackson additionally had eight rushes for 41 yards.
Kyle Hamilton continues to indicate his versatility
Coming into this season, the thought was that Hamilton, who performed all around the discipline for the Ravens final yr, could be utilized in a extra conventional security position. That hasn’t been the case, as Mike Macdonald’s deployment of the second-year star out of Notre Dame has been sensible in optimizing his myriad expertise and complicated opposing offenses.
Sunday, it took all of two performs to pay dividends in opposition to the Browns.
On second-and-6 from Cleveland’s 29, quarterback Deshaun Watson dropped again from the shotgun and tried to hit tight finish David Njoku within the left flat. But Hamilton, enjoying up on the line, raced in unblocked, threw each arms up within the air and tipped Watson’s cross to himself earlier than crusing into the tip zone 18 yards for the rating.
Hamilton completed with eight tackles, two passes defensed and a quarterback hit however was understandably perturbed afterward, saying, “It was a good start to the game, but it seems like it was a long time ago right now.”
“It’s another hard lesson to learn,” he stated. “[We] just have to treat the scoreboard like 0-0 at all times. [I] feel like we could’ve done a better job of that, just intensity-wise, but [there’s] a lot of stuff to work on. Luckily, we have a game on Thursday to fix it.”
The Ravens have trailed for simply 28 minutes, 46 seconds of this season — about 5% of the 600 minutes they’ve performed — but they’ve someway managed to lose three video games.
Zay Flowers is the Ravens’ finest large receiver
Much was made about Odell Beckham Jr. when the Ravens doled out $15 million for the previous All-Pro large receiver, but it surely’s Zay Flowers who has simply been Baltimore’s finest receiver and was once more Sunday.
The rookie out of Boston College had 5 catches for 73 yards, however the numbers don’t come near telling the entire story. His playmaking skill is, outdoors of Jackson, the very best on the group.
Midway via the fourth quarter and with the Ravens clinging to a one-point lead on third-and-8 from their very own 27, Flowers hauled in an 11-yard cross to increase the drive. In the third, he had an 18-yard seize working his method open in the course of the sphere. In the second, he had consecutive catches of 16 and 14 yards through which he picked up a handful of yards after every catch due to fast ft and shifty strikes.
And even when he didn’t have a catch he confirmed how harmful he might be, breaking free on a deep route up the proper sideline through which he was open however Jackson overthrew him.
Flowers’ 5 catches and 6 targets led the group, and the Ravens have to proceed to search out methods to get him the ball.
Special groups points crop up once more
The Ravens have now had an additional level try, punt and discipline purpose attempt blocked this season after defensive deal with Jordan Elliott bought his hand on Justin Tucker’s 55-yard try within the second quarter Sunday. Tucker, probably the most correct kicker in NFL historical past, can be simply 1-for-5 this season on makes an attempt from past 50 yards.
The block finally led to a Browns discipline purpose with simply over a minute left within the first half and, because it turned out, one which finally proved to be extraordinarily beneficial in the long run.
It was simply the newest of a handful of points which have popped up for a often dependable unit.
There was the punt return for a landing the Ravens gave up in opposition to the Bengals in Cincinnati in Week 2. There was the “miscommunication” of a good catch on a free kick in opposition to the Colts in Week 3. There was the blocked punt for a security in opposition to the Steelers. There was the onside kick the Ravens didn’t get well earlier than hanging on in opposition to the Arizona Cardinals.
Whether it’s been a scarcity of execution or miscommunication, that is one other development, very similar to a scarcity of ball safety, that’s regarding.
Bengals at Ravens
Thursday, 8:15 p.m.
TV/Stream: ABC/Prime Video
Radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM
Line: Ravens by 2 1/2