BALTIMORE — Well, it happened again. The Ravens beat the Browns in a far different way than you can ever imagine. Imagine this: The Browns’ defense intercepted Lamar Jackson four times in the game. The Browns’ offense took those four interceptions and cashed them in for three points. Too many times all night long, the Browns would get the ball and the Browns’ offense could not move the ball, couldn’t sustain drives and couldn’t win the game.
Yet, once again within six points and getting the ball with 1:10 left and no timeouts at their own 25-yard line, the Browns didn’t move the ball an inch. Four downs and out. Once again, just like at Arrowhead Stadium, just like in LA against the Chargers, just like against the Steelers, the Browns -- in crunch time, game-winning drives when game-winning drivers are needed -- they don’t get it done.
Baker Mayfield had another tough night: 18 for 37 in the game. 247 yards, no interceptions, one touchdown on a great catch to David Njoku, but still a lot of really difficult decisions that turned into bad plays that turned into turning the ball back over to the Baltimore Ravens.
The Ravens took a page out of the Bill Belichick playbook: Stop the Browns from running the ball, you beat the Browns because their passing game just is not threatening enough that they can live on that one aspect of the offense. Stop the Browns running the ball, and they were shut down all night long.
Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt couldn’t get it done in the offensive game plan of running the football, and the Browns became one dimension -- and that is their weakest dimension offensively.
Now they’re 6-6 and they hit the bye week. When they come back, they hit the Ravens again -- this time in Cleveland. But doesn’t it seem right now like the Browns are maybe like a .500 team? Win one week, lose the next week. A far cry from that 11-5 and that thrilling ending to their season last year, and of course the playoff win in Pittsburgh.
I know that dreams were high coming into the season, but those are being diminished very quickly. The AFC at all, and certainly the AFC North, is moving past the Browns now 6-6 left to scramble the rest of the way with must-wins each and every game remaining on their schedule. To be honest with you, that might not even get it done.