4th Down Passes to Davone Bess
Twice the Browns went to Bess on 4th down. First the Browns drove to the Baltimore 1 yard line on their second possession of the game. With a 4th and goal at the 1 the Browns took a timeout before going for the touchdown instead of settling for the field goal. QB Jason Campbell hit Bess just over the goal line as he got hit by 2 Ravens defenders. Bess held on for the TD. In the fourth the Browns faced another 4th and 1 near midfield, to far away to kick the field goal. Instead Campbell hit Bess on an short route for a 3 yard gain keeping their long 4th quarter drive alive to eat clock and add 3 points on the board.
Impact: High – Both plays had a huge impact on the game. The Browns never lost the lead after Bess’ first TD and were able to run the clock down to 14 seconds after the second play.
Effect: The Ravens played from behind all game, leading to them giving up on the run quicker due to both the deficit as well as the Browns defensive play. This allowed the Browns defense to attack Joe Flacco getting multiple hits on the QB. The second 4th down reception resulted in another 3 to 4 minutes off the clock and a Browns FG giving the Ravens only 14 seconds to try to score a TD instead of over 3 minutes to tie it with a FG or win with a TD.
Doss Fumbled Punt
With the Browns leading 14-10, on their first possession of the second half, the Browns punted from midfield to solid return man Tandon Doss. Doss fumbled the punt and then was unable to secure the ball after landing on it, leading to a Browns recovery.
Impact: Medium – The Browns scored 2 plays later after recovering at 11 yard line. The Ravens went down 11 points with a little over 5 minutes left in the 3rd quarter.
Effect: The Ravens only ran the ball 4 times after this play. Being down 4 would of allowed a much more balanced offensive game plan, instead Flacco was forced to throw the ball regularly for the rest of the game. Two of the Browns sacks came after this play as they “pinned their ears back” to get to the QB. The Ravens never seemed to gather momentum after this play.
Flacco Intercepted by Haden
With the Ravens down 14-3 Flacco threw deep on a play action pass play. Jacoby Jones had beat Chris Owens on the left side of the field but Flacco vastly underthrew Jones leading to 4 Browns players to converge on the ball by the time it came down. Haden was covering Torrey Smith on the other side of the field but was able to corral the deflection for the INT.
Impact: Low – The Ravens hadn’t hit midfield yet and the Browns went 4 plays and out on their ensuing drive. The Ravens scored their first touchdown on the next series.
Effect: The Browns were able to run 3 minutes off the clock but left just over a minute before halftime for the Ravens to score. Flacco seemed rattled all day, uncharacteristic of “Joe Cool” and this throw was at least 15 yards underthrown by the big armed righty. Whether it was the wind, the cold or the Browns Flacco’s deep passing was off much of the game, and with limited attempts after this throw.