Browns lose again to Flacco
CLEVELAND — There seems to be something about those plain orange helmets that fires up Joe Flacco, Ray Rice and the Ravens.
When they see them, they beat them — every time.
Flacco threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith with 4:26 left as Baltimore won its 10th consecutive game over Cleveland and 11th in a row inside the AFC North with a 25-15 comeback win over the Browns on Sunday.
That’s nothing new for Flacco, Rice and Ravens coach John Harbaugh.
“We’re 10-0 against them,” said Rice, who entered the league in 2008. “You didn’t see Joe blink.”
Smith caught Flacco’s strike and spun away from cornerback Joe Haden as the Ravens (6-2) once again found a way to defeat the young Browns (2-7). It was also Baltimore’s 15th consecutive win following a loss, and it helped the Ravens shake off a disastrous 30-point loss to Houston two weeks ago.
Baltimore improved to 5-0 after a bye week under Harbaugh, who was relieved following another rugged division game that included hard shoves, kicks, taunting and the usual amount of animosity.
“Whew,” Harbaugh said. “That was a fight. That’s a really good football team. They are well coached, tough and physical. They are building something here. They are an up-and-coming AFC North-style team. That was an AFC North battle.”
Phil Dawson kicked five field goals for the Browns, who were again competitive but failed to score a touchdown on five trips inside Baltimore’s 20-yard line. The only time Cleveland got into the end zone, quarterback Brandon Weeden’s 18-yard TD pass to rookie Josh Gordon was nullified by an illegal formation penalty.
“It’s frustrating,” said running back Trent Richardson, who gained 105 yards. “But we can’t point fingers. We all have to be accountable for what we do. I’ve got to run harder. We gotta make better calls. We have to make sure we pick up blocks and catch the ball, and we have to do the right things.”