The view from the Cleveland media

The view from the Cleveland media
September 28, 2012, 3:57 pm
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The tenor comingout of Cleveland in the wake of the Ravens' 23-16 win over the Browns onThursday night is largely positive. After all, despite a slow start offensively, the Brownshad the ball in their hands with a chance to tie on the game's final play in avenue where the Ravens hardly ever lose.It was a gameeffort from a young team with some potential, but in the end, it was the sameresult for the Browns, who fall to 0-4 and remain the AFC's only winless team.Here is how someof the Cleveland media saw the game:Mary Kay Cabot,Cleveland Plain Dealer"Brownsquarterback Brandon Weeden and his young, inexperienced receivers grew up a lotin Baltimore Thursday night, making the Ravens sweat it out until the last playof the game when they had a chance to tie it. But in the end, Weeden couldn'tkeep pace with Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and his veteran crew."Craig Lyndall,Waitingfornextyear.com "The ClevelandBrowns certainly didnt embarrass themselves (just like Josh Cribbs said) inlosing 23-16 to the Ravens, but this team seems to be the absolute opposite ofopportunistic. You have to give the Browns credit for having a plan on defense.They got gashed at times, but they kept Ray Rice under control and got somepressure on Joe Flacco. Offensively, youhave to give them credit for running plays that gave them chances to stay closewith one of the best teams in the league, but you have to win at some point.Too many field goals (three) and not enough touchdowns (one.) Staying closefeels like something worth building on for a while. But just being close couldvery well start to weigh heavier and heavier on this team until (or if) theyfinally make two or three more of those big plays and win a game."

Terry Pluto,Cleveland Plain Dealer"The Browns wereplaying a legitimate Super Bowl contender on a field where Baltimore had won 20of its last 21 before Thursday night. Joe Flacco has matured from a goodquarterback to one of the best in the NFL, and he threw for 356 yards. The Ravensentered the night averaging 33 points -- against New England, Cincinnati andPhiladelphia. While Baltimore's defense has not been as dominating as in thepast, these guys still hit you hard enough to make you grab for the aspirin, ifonly you can remember where you put it.
That's why Ifeared the Browns would be embarrassed on national television. Instead, theyplayed with a lot of heart, keeping the game reasonably close and showing thecountry that Trent Richardson has a chance to be an impact running back."Marla Ridenour,Akron Beacon-Journal "Yes, theBrowns are still wildly inconsistent. They couldnt come up with a big play ondefense when within striking distance. Injuries and cornerback Joe Hadenssuspension continue to leave them lacking in depth and talent, especially asthey attempted to cover Ravens receiver Anquan Boldin, who caught nine passesfor 131 yards. There seems no urgency in play-calling when they fall behind inthe first three quarters, the no-huddle apparently lost on page 999 of an imaginary1,000-page playbook. The Browns bench drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penaltywith 5:27 to go, which doesnt reflect well on Shurmur. ... But the Ravensare expected to be Super Bowl contenders. The Browns didnt roll over as theyhad four days before. They rediscovered their pride, which seemed lacking inthe second half against the Bills."
Nate Ulrich,Akron Beacon-Journal "With thelights shining bright on a national stage, the Browns fired their slingshot andjust missed Goliath by a hair. The Browns started their final drive with 1:05left in the fourth quarter and scratched and clawed enough to put themselves instriking distance at the end of the game, but the Baltimore Ravens escaped apotential upset."