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Game day blog: Ravens at Browns (Week 13)

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 4, 2011

Final score: Ravens 24, Browns 10 (game story; box score; notebook; Marla Ridenour's column)

Game action

End 1Q: Browns 0, Ravens 0 -- Browns quarterback Colt McCoy hurt his right knee and missed his first snap of the year when he was replaced by Seneca Wallace with about five minutes left in the opening quarter. McCoy suffered the injury when Ravens defensive end Arthur Jones dived into McCoy’s legs and dragged him down as he threw a pass on second-and-7 from the Browns’ 26-yard line. McCoy tossed the ball on the sideline later in the quarter. His return is probable, the Browns announced. Earlier in the first quarter, the Browns stopped the Ravens on fourth-and-1 at Cleveland’s 26. Middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson and defensive tackles Phil Taylor and Ahtyba Rubin each played a part in stuffing Ravens running back Ray Rice for no gain during the play.

End 2Q: Ravens 10, Browns 0 -- The Ravens captured a 7-0 lead after Rice rushed for a 6-yard touchdown with 13:17 left in the second quarter. Rice had seven carries for 48 yards during the 12-play, 61-yard march. During the ensuing series, McCoy re-entered the game with 13:12 left in the second quarter. On third-and-3 and the Browns’ 49, McCoy threw a pass to wide receiver Jordan Norwood. Officials ruled that cornerback Danny Gorrer forced Norwood to fumble and safety Ed Reed recovered it. But Browns coach Pat Shurmur challenged call, and the officials overturned it after determining Norwood never caught the ball. The Browns then punted to the Ravens’ 6 instead of surrendering possession near midfield. The Ravens were on the verge of extending their lead at the end of a 12-play, 78-yard drive, but kicker Billy Cundiff missed a 34-yard field wide right with 4:37 left in the first half. It was Cundiff’s first miss of less than 40 yards this season. Cundiff had a chance to redeem himself later in the second quarter, but he missed a 41-yard field goal with 59 seconds left before halftime. The Browns, however, couldn’t create any momentum after the missed field goals. Instead of running out the clock after the second miss, the Browns kept throwing. McCoy’s pass to wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi was intercepted by rookie cornerback Jimmy Smith along the sideline. Five plays later, the Ravens settled for Cundiff’s 21-yard field, which he made to extend the Ravens’ lead to 10-0 with 13 seconds left in the second quarter. Ravens running back Ray Rice had 17 carries for 107 yards (6.3 average) and a touchdown in the first half. Ricky Williams, Rice's backup, had six carries for 43 yards (7.2 average) at halftime.

End 3Q: Ravens 17, Browns 3 -- The Browns cut their deficit to 10-3 when Dawson made a 21-yard field goal with 5:55 left in the third quarter. McCoy’s 52-yard pass to running back Peyton Hillis gave the Browns a first down at the Ravens’ 5. But the Browns had to settle for a field goal after a pass went through the hands of tight end Evan Moore in the back of the end zone on second down, and safety Bernard Pollard broke up a pass to rookie wide receiver Greg Little in the back of the end zone on third down. The Ravens fired back immediately after the Browns scored for the first time. On first-and-10 at the Ravens’ 27, Rice broke off the longest run of his career, a 67-yard gain that set up Williams’ 1-yard touchdown run with 4:56 left in the third quarter.

End 4Q: Ravens 24, Browns 10 -- The Ravens put an exclamation point on their AFC North victory when Lardarius Webb returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown with 6:58 left in the fourth quarter. McCoy later connected with tight end Evan Moore for a 22-yard touchdown with 4:22 left in the fourth quarter. But by then, the outcome had virtually been decided.

Pregame notes

Inactives: Browns -- QB Thaddeus Lewis, SS T.J. Ward (foot), OL Steve Vallos, OL Oniel Cousins, TE Jordan Cameron, LB Quinton Spears (hamstring) and DE Auston English. Ravens -- LB Ray Lewis (toe), WR LaQuan Williams, WR Tandon Doss, CB Chykie Brown, CB Chris Carr (back), RB Anthony Allen (thigh) and OLB Sergio Kindle.

Lineup changes: Browns -- Usama Young will start at strong safety in place of Ward, who's inactive for his fourth consecutive game. Ravens -- Dannell Ellerbe will start at inside linebacker in place of Lewis, who's out for the third game in a row.

Top storylines -- 1. Browns running back Montario Hardesty is active and expected to play today for the first time since he tore a muscle in his right calf Oct. 30 against the San Francisco 49ers. It would be the first time Hardesty and starting running back Peyton Hillis have played together since Oct. 16, when Hillis injured his left hamstring against the Oakland Raiders. Hardesty tried to come back from his injury last week, but he sat out during the Browns' 23-20 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals after his calf bothered him in pregame warm-ups. 2. The Browns’ rough journey through the AFC North will continue today when they host the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens lead the series 17-7 and have won six games in a row against the Browns. The Browns are 3-17 in their past 20 divisional games, including 0-2 this season. They’ll face the Ravens again on Christmas Eve. 3. The Browns are hoping to play the role of a spoiler. The Ravens have the edge in the race for the AFC North title because they have defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3) twice this season. But all three of the Ravens’ losses this season were on the road against sub-.500 teams, and the Browns want to provide another upset. 4. Browns quarterback Colt McCoy will receive a chance to redeem himself after being dominated by the Ravens last season. In the Browns’ 20-10 loss on Dec. 26, McCoy threw three interceptions and finished with a passer rating of 27. Ravens standout free safety Ed Reed intercepted two of McCoy’s passes. McCoy is 0-6 against AFC North opponents.? 5. The Ravens have won two games in a row even though star linebacker Ray Lewis has been sidelined with an injured toe. Lewis did not practice all week, but he has not yet been ruled out. If Lewis doesn’t play, he’ll certainly make his presence felt from the sideline by issuing orders to the NFL’s third-ranked defense, which is highlighted by Reed, linebacker Terrell Suggs and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. 6. Browns-Ravens connections: Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome played tight end for the Browns (1978-90) and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. ... Ravens senior personnel assistant George Kokinis spent part of the 2009 season as the Browns’ general manager. ... Ravens defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano was the Browns’ secondary coach (2001-04). ... Ravens assistant head coach/special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg was the Browns’ special teams coordinator (2001-06). ... Ravens defensive line coach Clarence Brooks held the same job with the Browns (1999). Northeast Ohio connections: Ravens wide receiver Lee Evans is a native of Sandusky who attended Bedford High School. ... Ravens safety Haruki Nakamura is a native of Elyria who went to St. Edward High School. … Ravens linebackers coach Dean Pees was the coach at Kent State University (1998-2003).

Preview stories via Ohio.com -- 1. The Browns' offensive linemen are preparing for the Ravens' fearsome pass rush. 2. Matchup of the week: Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco hopes to maintain his perfect record against the Browns. 3. Keys to the game. 4. Storylines. 5. Numbers to watch. 6. Injury report. 7. Quote of the week. 8. Predictions.

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