The Ravens are a team on a mission and on Sunday they proved that anyone standing in their way will be eliminated, embarrassingly. Baltimore steam rolled through Cleveland with an impressive 24-10 win against the Browns in a game that they dominated on both sides of the ball. With Ray Lewis on the sideline, Baltimore got the monkey off their back and beat a lowly opponent coming off a big win in the Harbowl on Thanksgiving.
Here are my thoughts on the game:
- Run Ray Run – I think we’re going on three straight weeks without a complaint about Cam Cameron’s play calling. On a dreary day in Cleveland (I think they’re all like that) the Ravens stuck with the ground game and it paid off. Ray Rice rushed for a career high 204 yards in a game in which the Ravens called more running plays, 52, than ever before in their history. The Ravens totaled 293 yards on the ground, the third most in a single game in their team history. Seeing Rice slash through the Browns defense was liking watching the Jamal Lewis days of old.
- O-line stays strong – Part of the success that Rice and Ricky Williams had on the ground can be credited to another fantastic game by the big guys up front. I sung their praises a week ago and I stand by it. The offensive line has gelled during the second half of the season, the left side looked particularly strong against the Browns and Vonta Leach paved the way for Rice to do his thing and out run the linebackers and safeties. It’s a blast to watch.
- Lardarius Webb continues strong season – Cornerback Lardarius Webb is having a Pro Bowl season. He’s stepped up as the team’s best player in the secondary and on Sunday he took a punt 68 yards to the end zone. Webb picked up a special teams unit that had struggled until that point and helped to seal the win for Baltimore.
- Pernell McPhee steps up – Congratulations to rookie defensive end Pernell McPhee who made his presence felt on the Ravens d-line. McPhee sacked Colt McCoy twice and registered three tackles. He was wreaking havoc on the Browns offensive line all day.
- Cundiff shanks two – Is it time to worry about Billy Cundiff? I know the weather was bad, but usually Billy is money from under 50 yards. He missed attempts from 34 and 41 yards in the first half. John Harbaugh told the media he wasn’t worried, I just fear that in bad weather with an important, possibly playoff, game on the line Cundiff might miss a big one.