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

Reggie BushNov 22 05:32p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is likely out for Week 12 and is targeting the Thanksgiving Day game Thursday, Nov. 27, to return.

Marcel ReeceNov 22 04:42p

Oakland Raiders FB Marcel Reece earned more carries after his performance in Week 12 Thursday, Nov. 20. Reece rushed for 46 yards during a crucial 17-play, 80-yard drive late [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 22 04:22p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) is highly unlikely to suit up Sunday, Nov. 23, for Week 12.

Josh GordonNov 22 01:32p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon was officially activated from the exempt/commissioner permission list Saturday, Nov. 22. In a subsequent move, the team waived LB Keith Pough.

A.J. JenkinsNov 22 12:42p

The Kansas City Chiefs have placed WR A.J. Jenkins (shoulder) on the Reserve/Injured list.

Charles ClayNov 21 05:52p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) did not practice Friday, Nov. 21, and he is doubtful for Week 12 against the Denver Broncos. Clay suffered a setback in practice [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 21 05:32p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) did not practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is questionable for Week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach Bill O'Brien said Foster would [ More ]

Jason AvantNov 21 04:52p

The Kansas City Chiefs will sign free-agent WR Jason Avant (Panthers), according to a source. Avant worked out for the team Friday, Nov. 21.

Delanie WalkerNov 21 03:32p

Updating a previous report, Tennessee Titans TE Delanie Walker (concussion) fully participated in practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is listed as probable for Week 12.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 21 03:12p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) is considered a game-time decision for Week 12, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

Adrian PetersonNov 21 03:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's appeal hearing is scheduled to occur Dec. 2, and commissioner Roger Goodell will not be in charge of the hearing. Former NFL employee Harold [ More ]

Larry FitzgeraldNov 21 02:22p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) was not participating during the media-access portion of practice Friday, Nov. 21. Fitzgerald was working on the side during that part of practice.

Delanie WalkerNov 21 02:22p

Tennessee Titans TE Delanie Walker (concussion) has passed his concussion test and is good to go in Week 12 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Giovani BernardNov 21 02:12p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, clavicle) fully participated in practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is probable for Week 12.

Julius ThomasNov 21 02:12p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) is listed as questionable for Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins after putting in a limited practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Emmanuel SandersNov 21 02:02p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) practiced in full Friday, Nov. 21, and is probable for Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins, according to head coach John Fox.

Julius ThomasNov 21 01:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle), who appeared limited during practice Friday, Nov. 21, figures to be a game-time decision against the Miami Dolphins in Week 12. Thomas said [ More ]

Dwayne AllenNov 21 01:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 12 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jonas GrayNov 21 01:22p

New England Patriots RB Jonas Gray (undisclosed) was a no-show at practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Jordan ReedNov 21 01:12p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) missed his third straight day of practice Friday, Nov. 21, and head coach Jay Gruden said Reed has been ruled out for Week [ More ]

Emmanuel SandersNov 21 01:12p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) is participating in practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Adrian PetersonNov 21 11:02a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson said he'll gladly return this season if he wins the appeal of his indefinite suspension. If he loses his appeal and has to sit [ More ]

Latavius MurrayNov 21 10:32a

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) has earned himself a larger role in the offense, according to interim head coach Tony Sparano. His concussion, obviously, will dictate when that [ More ]

LeGarrette BlountNov 21 10:32a

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount was not signed by the team to replace RB Jonas Gray as the between-the-tackles runner. Blount's presence gives the team another tough inside [ More ]

Jeremy HillNov 21 10:02a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill will be the leader in a 65-35 split of the carries with RB Giovani Bernard in Week 12, in the opinion of beat writer Paul Dehner Jr.

Emmanuel SandersNov 20 07:42p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) has done conditioning work and will be evaluated again Friday, Nov. 21.

Eric KushNov 20 07:03p

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared WR A.J. Jenkins, QB Aaron Murray, CB Christopher Owens, WR Donnie Avery, C Eric Kush, CB Jamell Fleming, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif inactive for Week 12.

Matt McGloinNov 20 07:03p

The Oakland Raiders have declared CB Carlos Rogers, TE David Ausberry, OG Gabe Jackson, SS Jonathan Dowling, QB Matt McGloin, OG Tony Bergstrom, CB Travis Carrie inactive for Week 12.

Charles ClayNov 20 06:42p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) did not practice Thursday, Nov. 20, after being limited Wednesday, Nov. 19.

Tauren PooleNov 20 06:42p

The New Orleans Saints released RB Tauren Poole Thursday, Nov. 20.

Jordan CameronNov 20 06:12p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Arian FosterNov 20 05:52p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) did not practice Thursday, Nov. 20, after being limited the previous day.

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