Harbaugh is 'wait and see' on Rice's injury
Make no mistake about it, the defense played a huge role in the Ravens pulling out a 14-6 victory over Browns in Baltimore's home opener on Sunday afternoon.
The offense sputtered the entire game, but the defense came through in a big way. They posted five sacks, limited Cleveland to two field goals and blanked the Browns in the second half en route to the victory.
'[If] you give up no touchdowns -- that's a tremendous performance," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "I thought our guys were on the quarterback all day. They played hard, they played solid football, playing fundamentally sound football. "
The Ravens held the Browns to 259 yards total offense, only 65 of which came on the ground. Cleveland got just one of its 13 first downs on rushing and converted only four of 15 third-down chances.
Linebacker Daryl Smith led the way with 11 tackles and 11/2 sacks. Terrell Suggs (one sack), Elvis Dumervil (one sack), Arthur Jones (one sack) and Arthur Brown (one-half sack) all combined to make life miserable for quarterback Brandon Weeden. He completed 21 of 33 for 227 yards but repeatedly got hit by someone in purple and came out late with an injury.
Smith made a number of big plays, helping the defense stop the Browns (0-2) from getting the kind of plays they needed on offense. He had a big role in helping the defense shut down the offense and keep the Ravens close enough to make a move in the second half.
"It's just another step towards where we want to be," Smith said. "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."
This victory is a big change from the season opener, when the Ravens gave up 47 points to Denver. The defense kept coming up with the right plays at the right times.
"The defense kept on fighting, and in the end, it just shows you how to face adversity," cornerback Lardarius Webb said. "We were down for a moment, and they just kept fighting."