The Browns got to start on their 45 thanks to ANOTHER monster kick-off return by Josh Cribbs. DA looks in control after leads the team down the field, quite easily, including going 3/3 on 3rd downs on the drive. Really distributing the ball well off the bat. Capped off by a dart to Joe J in the end zone fore 6, Phil tags on the PAT to make it 7-0.
The Ravens also start driving down the field quite effortlessly, aided by a somewhat shady PI call on Daven Holly. The Dirty Birds are in close but Steve McNair shows he is 42 and throws one right to Leigh Bodden who carries it like a loaf of bread and fumbles it out of bounds at the Browns 22 as he is tackled.
As then DA threw a perfect strike on the first play after the TV timeout to Braylon Edwards who deked Chris McAllister on a simple, yet effective, head bob and 78 yards later, 13-0 Browns. Cue Mr. Dawson, 14-0.
The Browns run D looking stellar as always as Willis McGahee runs wild and the Ravens magically appears in Browns territory. The Lord Billick goes stupid and decides to let Steve McNair throw a few. Delay of Game, Horrible Pass, Illegal Chop Block. McNair looks absolutely confused. Cue the ghost of Matt Stover, WIDE RIGHT!
Cribbs lines up at QB, 2 Yards to the right. Then DA shows his bad side by throwing into triple coverage, Brownie Nemesis Ed Redd picks it and the Ravens are in scoring position. But a strange thing happens, the Browns D hold and the Ravens are forced to settle for 3. 14-3 Good Guys.
Browns turn to the run as Jamal busts one for 28 followed by Jason Wright for 16. The offense stalls in the Red Zone but something important happened. On third down DA drops back, no one is open... and he threw it away. Brilliant! He actually learned something. An easy 3 for Phil, 17-3!
Darnell Dinkins' giant head causes a fumble on the ensuing kick-off and David McMillan recovers on the Dirties 31! DA missed a wide open K2 on third down and 4 and Phil comes in for 3... and hooks it left... but wait... Ravens offsides... FIRST DOWN BROWNS! Jason Wright busts loose to the 1. Jamal jumps over and extends, touchdown! Uh oh, replays clearly show he didn't get in. Easy challenge for Lord Billick. Browns line up for the PAT. Easy challenge for Lord Billick. Scott Player calls for the snap, Lord Billick throws the red flag, the kick is good! Refs tell Lord Billick he's to late, start temper tantrum #1. Browns 24, Ravens 3.
Ravens driving with a little over 2 minutes left. They have McGahee held up in the backfield and he scampers away for 28, ugly. Wimbley hits McNair late and the Birds gets another 15, thank you very much. Ravens inside the ten but the much maligned Brodney Pool tips away a pass intended for Todd Heap and they must settle for 3. 24-6 Browns at half.
Phil kicks off the start quarter number 3 and its a touchback. Must have hit the leg curl machine at half. 3rd and 1 and the D gives up 400, ugh. Holly drops a gift interception. Insert "that's why he plays defense" cliche. But the D holds and Stover pushes it wide right again!!!
Chud keeps it fresh on offense and the Browns get a nice little drive going and then DA threads on into Winslow on 3rd and 7 and K2 takes it for 49 to the 3. Browns can't poke it in but tack on 3 from Phil. 27-6 Cleveland.
Another touchback from Phil. Damn. it's getting late in the 3rd and the Ravens are still running down by 21. Pool whiffs on a perfect safety blitz and McNair hits Williams for 16. 4th and 3 at the Browns 47 and Leigh Bodden breaks it up! End of the 3rd quarter, Browns still up 27-6.
Browns go 3 and out as DA almost gets picked. First punt on the game by the Browns and the bald and beautiful Scott Player. He booms it to the Ravens 15. Senior citizen can contribute to society! Holly sniffs out a screen in the backfield but Wimbley misses on a sack and McNair hits Mason for 10. McGahee on the draw for 19. How can the D not be expecting that?!? Ravens driving way too easily once more. Converting 3rd downs at will. Browns are late on every blitz. McNair hits Sypniewski for a TD with 7:14 left to make it 27-13.
Ravens squib to avoid Cribbs. Browns come out throwing hitting K2 for 11. Kudos to Chud for playing to win and not, not to lose. Vickers drops another one but DA threw it behind him. Third and 5, DA drops back, pressured, no one open... runs up the middle and slides for 2. OMG he learned again, he just did the smart thing and ate it! Player pins the Ravens to the 19.
Ravens finally come out in no huddle down by 14 with +/- 6 minutes left. Driving with ease again. Receivers open everywhere. McNair deep over the middle to no one. Browns only rushing 3 and getting no pressure. 4th and 3, McNair to Mason for 8. Browns in the prevent and the D looks tired. Finally some pressure as Wimbley forces an intentional grounding making it 2nd and 20. Ravens false start 2nd and 25. McNair scrambles for 4 but gets hammered by Wimbley and Fraser. Fraser bats down the third down pass to make it 4th and 21 and Daven Holly breaks up the pass. Billick challenges... DENIED. Temper tantrum #2.
Browns run 3 plays and Scott Player pins them back at the 13 with 32 seconds left. Ravens run 1 play, Good Night Baltimore. BROWNS WIN 27-13!
A great win, the Browns took control for the opening kick and never looked back. Chud called a brilliant game, not abandoning the run even though it was tough going, and played to win. DA played smart minus two throws and was almost totally clean in the second half. Lewis, K2 and Edwards all made plays when needed. The D gave up a ton of yards but came up witht he stops when they needed it. Still not good, but they got the job done. The Browns totally out coached Lord Billick and Company, which was nice.
The best win of the RAC era and the Browns go for the elusive 2nd consecutive win against the deadly New England Patriots and former Browns coach Bill Belichick. This one will be tough but lets savor the great win.