Late for Work 12/15: Ravens’ Surreal Victory ‘Will Be Talked About for Decades’ –

Defense Is Becoming a Concern?

For the second week in a row, the main concern coming from a Ravens win was the performance of the defense.

After allowing nearly 400 yards of total offense to the Dallas Cowboys last week, the Ravens gave up 493 yards to the Browns. It was the most yards the Ravens had allowed since the Kansas City Chiefs gained 517 in Week 3. Cleveland scored 22 points in the fourth quarter.

“Baltimore’s defense has been the strength of their team for most of the season but [last night], they struggled to do much right — especially down the stretch,” Baltimore Beatdown’s Frank J. Platko wrote. “There were a handful of occasions throughout the night in which defenders were out of place and out of sorts.

“The Browns didn’t do anything very out-of-the-box offensively but managed to move the ball effectively nonetheless. The Ravens brought pressure at times but failed to finish plays and get sacks. Mayfield managed to move around the pocket, buy time, and extend plays. … It’s understandable to be riding high after such a momentous win, but it goes without saying that the defensive performance was concerning to say the least.”

The Ravens won’t make any excuses, but injuries to cornerbacks Marcus Peters, Jimmy Smith and backup Davontae Harris didn’t help matters. Mayfield attempted 47 passes and wasn’t sacked once, though the Ravens did get five quarterback hits.

Quick Hits

  • The Ravens, who ran for 231 yards, matched a franchise record with five rushing touchdowns. The two teams combined for nine rushing touchdowns, tying the all-time NFL record for most in a single game.
  • Marlon Humphrey set a franchise record for forced fumbles in a season.