I think everyone knew the Browns weren't a very good team coming in, but having the familiarity of being a division rival it stood a good chance of being a close game. Not! No, this one was a bit of an exercise between men and boys, the Ravens being the men of course. The game was never in doubt from the first series of the first quarter. The Ravens dominated on offense and defense and sent an early message that they were the better team. I think the Browns got the message rather quickly.
Derrick Mason got his 800th career reception on a Sunday afternoon that would see him rack up 118 yards on five receptions, including a 72 yard touchdown. Joe Flacco would set another record passing day finishing 25/35 for 342 yards. Willis McGahee would add another pair of touchdown runs giving him 6 for the season, and Ray Rice finally scored his first NFL touchdown. Kelly Washington had five receptions for 66 yards and a few key first downs. This guy may not be a game breaker but he is a dependable receiver who can be a game changer. Add it up, the Ravens offense can spread the ball around and get points in the Red Zone with a multitude of weapons. This is why I preached against the need to sell the farm for a big name wide receiver, the Ravens really didn't need to, as we've seen.
The Ravens defense once again held their opponent out of the end zone but seemed to slack off a bit in the 3rd quarter. I wonder if they are getting a little bit complacent sometimes with the offense scoring so many points. Overall they did a fantastic job creating 4 turnovers and stuffing the run . I would have liked to see a little more pressure on the quarterback from the base 4 front, but still they got pressure when they needed to. The secondary played in a Cover 2, or two deep zone for much of the game, something you may not have been able to see on television, but the coverage was much better then it was a week ago against the Chargers. The defense should move up a few points this week from the 17th position they found themselves in after Week 2. The defense is getting its act together, and coupled with the Ravens newly explosive offense this team must have future opponents worried.
This one turned out to be a bit of a laugher, but for me it was the icing on the cake for a fantastic weekend, one that started with seeing 14 bands on two stages Saturday at a charity event on my hometown Eastern Shore, each band being excellent and the food and festivities outstanding. Follow that to the next day with a kick ass tailgate in Lot O and a crushing Ravens victory. And oh, giving it a second thought the real icing on the cake may have been watching the Sqeelers go down to the Bengals, giving them a 1-2 record on the season.
Sometimes life is good, very good!