Cleveland Browns have impressive first quarter against Baltimore Ravens

CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Browns came out firing on all cylinders in their home opener against the Baltimore Ravens, and scored on their first three possessions on the way to a 20-2 lead after the first quarter of play from FirstEnergy Stadium.

Rookie wide receiver Corey Coleman got things started when he hauled in a 31-yard touchdown pass from McCown and gave the Browns a 7-0 lead over the Ravens with 9:45 to play in the first quarter of the home opener.

Facing a third-and-10 after gaining back the 10 yards from an offensive pass interference penalty, McCown took the shotgun snap from center Cameron Erving, dropped back in the pocket and lofted the pass deep down the left side of the field.

Behind the coverage of a Ravens defensive back, Coleman hauled in the pass and got two feet down in bounds before being pushed out of the back of the end zone. An official review of the play upheld the call on the field of a touchdown.

McCown and the Browns went three for three in third-down conversion attempts on the opening drive of the game, and in his first start in 10 months, the veteran quarterback completed three of his four throws for 67 yards with the touchdown.

Prior to the touchdown, McCown completed a 28-yard pass to running back Duke Johnson Jr.

After forcing a Ravens punt on the ensuing drive, the Browns went to running back Isaiah Crowell, and behind an initial block from center Cameron Erving and the left side of the offensive line, he sprinted his way through Baltimore’s front seven. Then, Crowell found another gear and outsprinted the entire Ravens defense down the field and into the end zone for a touchdown.

With Crowell’s touchdown run, the Browns took a 14-0 lead over the Ravens with 6:47 to play in the first quarter.

Wanting to establish the run game after a 122-yard performance against the Philadelphia Eagles, 40 of which came on the final three plays of the 29-10 loss, the Browns went to Crowell five times on their first two drives, and he responded by gaining 101 yards with the long scoring run.

The 85-yard run was the longest ever of any Browns player against the Ravens, and the second-longest scoring rush in franchise history.

Following the touchdown run from Crowell, the Browns’ defense ratcheted up the pressure and forced an interception of Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. Four plays later, they turned the miscue into a touchdown, as McCown completed an 11-yard pass to Coleman.

With the touchdown, the second McCown-to-Coleman scoring play of the game, the Browns took a 20-0 lead over the Ravens, but the impending extra point try was blocked and returned 63 yards for a safety. At the 4:37 mark of the first quarter, the Browns held a 20-2 lead over the Ravens.

The Browns’ third touchdown of the game was set up by the defense, as two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden intercepted Flacco’s pass that was intended for veteran wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. on a second-and-six play from Baltimore’s 29-yard line.

Haden returned the ball nine yards to Baltimore’s 27-yard line.


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