BALTIMORE (AP) — A redemptive performance by the Baltimore Ravens’ defense provided the defending Super Bowl champions with another win over their favorite patsies, the Cleveland Browns.
The Ravens sacked Brandon Weeden five times, finally driving him out of the game with a thumb injury in the fourth quarter of a 14-6 victory on Sunday.
After yielding 49 points and 510 yards in a lopsided season-opening loss to Denver, Baltimore (1-1) held Cleveland scoreless in the second half. The Ravens came into the game ranked last in total defense in the NFL.
The Browns (0-2) have scored only one touchdown and 16 points in their first two games under first-year coach Rob Chudzinski. Cleveland managed only 85 yards over the final 30 minutes.
Down 6-0 at halftime, Baltimore took the lead on a 5-yard run by Bernard Pierce with 5:13 left in the third quarter. Baltimore added a touchdown with 8:57 remaining on a 5-yard pass from Joe Flacco to rookie Marlon Brown.
It all added up to the Ravens’ 11th straight win over Cleveland, a streak that began when John Harbaugh took over as Baltimore’s coach before the 2008 season. It’s the longest active streak for one team against another.
Flacco went 22 for 33 for 211 yards. Just over an hour before kickoff, his wife gave birth to the couple’s second child.
In the first half, Flacco was 2 for 6 for 9 yards on third down. After halftime, he went 7 for 8 for 87 yards on third down, getting six first downs in the process.
Weeden completed 21 of 33 passes for 227 yards. He was replaced by Jason Campbell with 3:34 left and Cleveland down 14-6.
The Browns turned the ball over on downs with 3:01 remaining, and Baltimore ran out the clock.
Ravens running back Ray Rice left early in the fourth quarter with a strained hip flexor. He was limited to 36 yards and 13 carries before limping off the field and into the locker room.
The afternoon began with a ceremony marking the Ravens’ Super Bowl victory last season. Once play began, it took Baltimore nearly 40 minutes to get on the scoreboard.
Limited to 122 points in the first half, the Ravens moved 80 yards in 12 plays on their opening possession of the third quarter to take a 7-6 lead. Before Pierce scored, Flacco went 3 for 3, completing all three passes on third down.
The Browns led at halftime after Billy Cundiff kicked field goals of 21 and 51 yards and Justin Tucker, the man who replaced Cundiff in Baltimore last season, missed from 50 and 44.
Browns defensive tackle Phil Taylor shoved Rice in the facemask after the game’s second play from scrimmage, turning a third-and-13 into a first down. But Tucker misfired to end the 12-play drive.
Cleveland’s first offensive play was a 53-yard pass to Jordan Cameron, setting up Cundiff’s first field goal.
The game’s next eight possessions ended with punts. The trend turned just before halftime, when a 27-yard completion from Flacco to Torrey Smith led to another missed field goal try by Tucker.
Cleveland then moved 33 yards before Cundiff connected with 11 seconds left.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)