2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Ravens happy with 'ugly' win against inept Browns

By DAVID GINSBURG - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-16 02:47

BALTIMORE (AP) - The Baltimore Ravens were far from overpowering in their home opener. Compared to their first game, however, they looked positively Super.

Baltimore stumbled through a scoreless first half against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday before emerging with a 14-6 victory.

The day began with a pregame ceremony in which the Ravens and their fans celebrated last season's Super Bowl championship. It took until the second half for Baltimore (1-1) to show its potential to repeat.

The Ravens blanked Cleveland (0-2) over the final 30 minutes, allowing only five first downs and 85 yards.

``It's just another step toward where we want to be,'' said linebacker Daryl Smith, who replaced the retired Ray Lewis in the middle of the defense. ``We still have a lot of work to do, and with each game and each week, the chemistry will be where we want it to be.''

The Ravens made a vast improvement from Week 1, when they got blown out 49-27 at Denver.

Cleveland, on the other hand, failed to build upon its season-opening 23-10 home loss against Miami.

Five things we learned about the Ravens and Browns:

1. FLACCO CAN MULTI-TASK: After his wife gave birth to their second child around an hour before the opening kickoff, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco led his team to a much-needed victory. His numbers - 22 for 33, 211 yards and one touchdown - weren't stunning.

But the Super Bowl MVP did get a win. He directed a touchdown drive in the third quarter and threw a 5-yard TD pass to rookie Marlon Brown with 8:57 remaining.

``Anytime you have a child, it's one of your best days,'' Flacco said. ``The game didn't go exactly how we wanted it to, but that's how we've won football games around here. Sometimes you have to do it in an ugly way.''

Flacco planned to tell coach John Harbaugh shortly before the game that his wife was going into labor and he intended to leave. The quarterback ultimately decided against going through with the joke.

``I'm glad he didn't do it,'' Harbaugh said. ``He would have had me, hook, line, sinker and in the boat.''

2. WEEDEN HURTING: Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden's status is uncertain after he slammed his right thumb against the helmet of an onrushing lineman in the fourth quarter.

Weeden sprained his thumb and did not participate in the final series. By that time, he had already been sacked five times.

X-rays were negative, and the quarterback hopes the swelling will go down before next week's game against Minnesota.

``It's hard to figure out anything,'' Weeden said. ``We'll know more (Monday).''

3. DEFENSE REBOUNDS: The Ravens came in with the 32nd-ranked defense in the NFL after being torched for 510 yards to Denver. This game was far more typical of a team that takes pride in its ability to smother the opposition's offense.

``After that game against Denver, we wanted to come back and show what we could do,'' tackle Haloti Ngata said. ``It was a great effort all around.''

Elvis Dumervil, who had his first sack with Baltimore, said, ``We were just playing fundamental football. Great effort, great energy. There are some things we all still need to work on, but when the team doesn't give up a touchdown, that's a great bounce-back from the Broncos.''

4. STILL WINLESS: Browns first-year coach Rob Chudzinski knew it was going to be difficult to rebuild the team, and he was right. The defense has been sound, but Cleveland has scored only one touchdown in two games.

``We're not going to accept where we are at,'' Chudzinski declared. ``We are going to keep working, and keep getting better.''

Running back Trent Richardson, who was limited to 58 yards in 18 carries, said: ``I won't accept losing. I've never lost at any level. I will fight to do everything I can to turn this around, and I will take my teammates with me.''

5. HOLD THE RICE: Ravens running back Ray Rice rushed for only 36 yards and sustained a strained left hip flexor in the fourth quarter.

Harbaugh said an MRI likely would not be performed, which is good news. But his status for Baltimore's upcoming home game against unbeaten Houston is up in the air.

Fortunately, the Ravens have second-year back Bernard Pierce, who scored Baltimore's first touchdown and ran for 57 yards.

``Bernard did a heck of a job, and he's a tremendous running back,'' Harbaugh said. ``We believe in him.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Giovani BernardOct 31 11:12a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, shoulder) is unlikely to play in Week 9.

Trent RichardsonOct 31 10:32a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) is not on the injury report for Week 9, and should be able to play Monday, Nov. 3.

Rashad JenningsOct 31 10:12a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) is aiming to return for the Week 10 game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Ronnie HillmanOct 31 09:12a

Updating previous reports, Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (shoulder) is expected to have his normal workload in Week 9, despite his limited practice repetitions.

DeAngelo HallOct 31 08:52a

Washington Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall (Achilles') tore his Achilles' again at home and had surgery to repair it Thursday, Oct. 30.

Ron JohnsonOct 30 08:22p

Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (back), DE Michael Bennett (toe), C Stephen Schilling (knee), CB Tharold Simon (knee), CB Byron Maxwell (calf), LB Malcolm Smith (groin), DT Jordan Hill [ More ]

Patrick WillisOct 30 07:52p

San Francisco 49res CB Tramaine Brock (toe) and LB Patrick Willis (toe) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Jimmie Ward (quadriceps) and CB Chris Culliver (hamstring) practiced in full.

Chris MatthewsOct 30 07:42p

The Seattle Seahawks re-signed WR Chris Matthews and TE Brett Brackett to their practice squad Thursday, Oct. 30.

Scott WellsOct 30 07:42p

St. Louis Rams OG Rodger Saffold (shoulder), CB Janoris Jenkins (knee), DT Aaron Donald (shoulder) and S Cody Davis (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Rodney McLeod [ More ]

Luke JoeckelOct 30 07:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars OT Luke Joeckel (concussion) has recovered nicely from the concussion he suffered in Week 8, and he could play in Week 9 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Joeckel [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 30 07:22p

New Orleans Saints RBs Khiry Robinson (forearm) and Pierre Thomas (shoulder) are both inactive in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers Thursday, Oct. 30.

Arian FosterOct 30 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (knee) was limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Johnathan JosephOct 30 07:12p

Houston Texans LBs Brian Cushing (knee), Brooks Reed (groin) and Jeff Tarpinian (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. RB Alfred Blue (ankle), LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee), CB Johnathan [ More ]

David HawthorneOct 30 07:12p

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB Austin Johnson, LB David Hawthorne, C Jonathan Goodwin, RB Khiry Robinson, WR Nick Toon, RB Pierre Thomas, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 9.

Amini SilatoluOct 30 07:12p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Amini Silatolu, CB Bene Benwikere, OT Byron Bell, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR Philly Brown, FS Thomas DeCoud, OG Trai Turner inactive for Week 9.

Justin TuckOct 30 06:42p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), WR Vincent Brown (hamstring), CB Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring), CB Keith McGill (groin), CB Carlos Rogers (knee) and WR Kenbrell Thompkins (non-injury) did not [ More ]

Anthony CollinsOct 30 06:42p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Anthony Collins (foot) and LB Brandon Magee (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. C Evan Dietrich-Smith (knee), WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring) and DE Michael Johnson (hand) were limited.

Brian RobisonOct 30 06:32p

Minnesota Vikings DT Shariff Floyd (ankle, knee), TE Chase Ford (foot), CB Jabari Price (hamstring), CB Josh Robinson (ankle) and DE Brian Robison (glute) were limited in practice Thursday, [ More ]

Louis VasquezOct 30 06:22p

Denver Broncos S Quinton Carter (hamstring) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Lamin Barrow (concussion), TE Virgil Green (calf), LB Steven Johnson (ankle) and OG Louis Vasquez (illness) [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanOct 30 06:22p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (shoulder) was limited in practice for the second straight day Thursday, Oct. 30.

Billy WinnOct 30 06:22p

Cleveland Browns WR Rodney Smith (hamstring) and DE Phil Taylor (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DE Desmond Bryant (wrist), S Jim Leonhard (ankle), LB Barkevious Mingo (shoulder), [ More ]

Jordan CameronOct 30 06:12p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Chris JohnsonOct 30 06:12p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson, who carried the ball just three times for seven yards in Week 8, said he's frustrated with his limited role in the offense. [ More ]

Tom CrabtreeOct 30 06:02p

The New Orleans Saints waived TE Tom Crabtree Thursday, Oct. 30.

Patrick PetersonOct 30 05:42p

Arizona Cardinals S Tony Jefferson (head) and TE Troy Niklas (ankle) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DE Calais Campbell (knee), LB Kenny Demens (knee), S Rashad Johnson [ More ]

Cyrus GrayOct 30 05:22p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Jamell Fleming (hamstring) and LB Josh Martin (hamstring, knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Eric Berry (ankle) and CB Christopher Owens (knee) were [ More ]

Demario DavisOct 30 05:22p

New York Jets CB Darrin Walls (calf, knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OT Oday Aboushi (shoulder), CB Phillip Adams (groin), LB Antwan Barnes (knee), OG Willie Colon [ More ]

Keenan RobinsonOct 30 05:12p

Washington Redskins S Ryan Clark (ankle, shoulder) and OT Trent Williams (knee) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Ryan Kerrigan (wrist), LB Trent Murphy (knee), CB Tracy [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 05:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) practiced in full for the second straight day Thursday, Oct. 30.

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 05:02p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) will start against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 9, barring any setbacks this week in practice, according to head coach Jay Gruden. [ More ]

Mike PounceyOct 30 05:02p

Miami Dolphins OG Daryn Colledge (illness, back) LB Chris McCain (foot) and TE Dion Sims (toe) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OG Nate Garner (neck), LB Koa Misi [ More ]

Andre BranchOct 30 04:42p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Will Blackmon (finger), DE Andre Branch (groin), DE Chris Clemons (non-injury), LB Geno Hayes (non-injury) and DT Roy Miller (non-injury) didn't practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB [ More ]

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