By The Sports Xchange
CLEVELAND — Even when they dig themselves a deep hole the Baltimore Ravens find a way to beat the Cleveland Browns.
The Ravens fought back from a 20-0 deficit Sunday to beat the Cleveland Browns 25-20 and remain undefeated.
The Browns fell to 0-2 in their home opener.
Justin Tucker put the Ravens ahead at 22-20 on a 49-yard field goal with 11:19 to play after Browns kicker Patrick Murray missed a 52-yard field goal. Tucker added a 41-yard field goal with 2:53 left.
The Browns had a chance to win on their final possession, but a pass from quarterback Josh McCown was intercepted by Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley at the goal-line with 13 seconds to play.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is now 14-2 against the Browns since being drafted by Baltimore in the first round in 2008. He completed 25 of 45 passes for 302 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday. He also threw two interceptions but was able to overcome those mistakes.
“You know Cleveland,” Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs said. “They’re a brawler team. We anticipated that, but we just executed. We had a good defense but they just had a better offense. At the end of the day you have to get back to playing football and that’s what we did.”
It was a devastating loss for the Browns, not only because of the final score but also because McCown suffered a left shoulder injury that might prevent him from playing next week on the road against the Miami Dolphins. Also, center Cameron Erving was injured late in the game and was taken from the locker room strapped to a body board with an apparent neck injury.
“We started like a house of fire the first half and then we weren’t able to maintain it and finish,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said. “That’s what happens in the National Football League. You have to keep scoring.”
The Browns jumped to a 20-0 lead a little more than 10 minutes into the first quarter.
McCown, starting at quarterback because Robert Griffin III suffered a broken bone in his left shoulder in the opener, got things going with a nine-play, 75-yard opening drive. He completed two third-down passes along the way and then finished it off with a 31-yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Corey Coleman.
The Browns needed only one play the next time they had the ball to take a two-touchdown lead. Running back Isaiah Crowell shot through a hole at left guard and sprinted 85 yards to the end zone. Crowell had 18 carries for 133 yards.
McCown hooked up again with Coleman to give the Browns a three-touchdown lead on first-and-10 from the 11, but the Ravens blocked the point-after attempt. Ravens cornerback Tavon Young scooped up the ball and returned it 63 yards for two Baltimore points. Momentum started swinging toward the Ravens.
The Browns got a scare when McCown suffered a left shoulder injury during their scoring explosion. He went to the locker room to be examined but returned and did not miss a snap. He kept landing on the injured shoulder but kept getting up.
“We all had little things that we could have done to make the outcome different,” McCown said. “We’ll look at those and make the corrections.”
The Ravens added 10 points in the second quarter to cut their halftime deficit to 20-12. Wide receiver Mike Wallace caught a 7-yard score from Flacco with 1:15 left in the first half and then Tucker kicked a 52-yard field goal on the final play off the half. Flacco was able to shake off two Joe Haden interceptions during his 300-yard outing.
The Tucker field goal was set up by an interception made by Ravens safety Eric Weddle. McCown slammed his helmet on the ground in disgust for throwing the pick once he got to the Browns sideline.
The Ravens kept rolling when the third quarter began. They moved 75 yards in six plays and finished it off with a 17-yard pass from Flacco to Wallace.
Instead of going for two points and the tie, Ravens coach John Harbaugh chose to go for one. Tucker made the kick to slice the Browns edge to 20-19.
The victory was particularly satisfying for running back Terrance West. West was drafted by the Browns in 2014 and cut last year. He led the Ravens with 42 yards rushing.
“It was an OK day,” West said. “My main goal is to help this team win. Winning is first on my list and anything else, my personal goals, will come with it.”