Having a football game on the day after Christmas just seems strange. I feel more like I should be using gift cards at Best Buy rather than watching a Ravens game, but regardless here are my thoughts on Baltimore’s 20-10 win over the Browns.
- The Browns proved early that they had nothing to lose in this game. Cleveland jumped out to a 7-0 lead over Baltimore on a wild cat play after the Ravens went three and out in their first drive. Cleveland continued this trend with an attempted onside kick and constant deep passes on Baltimore’s secondary.
- Colt McCoy’s poor performance helped the Ravens defense in the first half. McCoy threw two interceptions in the first half, one to Lardarius Webb in the Browns’ opening drive and the other to Ed Reed. Reed picked off a terrible hanging pass from Colt McCoy and then came up with one in the end zone in the fourth quarter. He now has 9 interceptions against the Browns, the most versus any opponent and 9 two-interception games. And, to top it all off, his jacket caught on fire on the sideline.
- Joe Flacco showed great poise in the pocket during Baltimore’s first drive in the second half. Despite a constantly collapsing pocket, Flacco was able to rush for a crucial first down that set up their second touchdown of the day. Flacco did fail to see another blindside blitz in the third quarter which forced him to throw an interception on a pass intended for Anquan Boldin down the sideline.
- Ray Lewis backed up his smack talk and the Ravens defense shut down Peyton Hillis after allowing him to rush 144 yards earlier in the season. Hills averaged just 3 yards a carry and was virtually silent throughout the game.
Regardless of how it looked on the field, the Ravens clinched their third consecutive playoff berth with the win in Cleveland. What were your thoughts on the game?