CLE-BAL grades: Ravens’ secondary shuts down Browns in win

Cleveland struggles on both sides of the ball in loss to Baltimore in Week 10.

| 4 weeks ago
(Patrick Smith, Getty Images)

(Patrick Smith, Getty Images)

CLE-BAL grades: Ravens’ secondary shuts down Browns in win


Baltimore Ravens 28, Cleveland Browns 7

Here are the top-graded players and biggest takeaways from the Ravens’ 28-7 win over the Browns:

Baltimore Ravens

Quarterback grade: Joe Flacco, 51.3

More of the same from Flacco

The forced go route to Steve Smith. The “what was he thinking?” interception by Joe Haden in the back of the end zone on a forced throw. Flacco did his best to give away this game at times, but was saved by the efforts from his playmakers. Shallow crosses and slants accounted for 166 of Flacco’s 296 yards on the day, and his lone deep completion was the result of a great adjustment from Breshad Perriman.

flacco

Top offensive grades:

Kyle Juszczyk, 82.8

RT Ricky Wagner, 81.0

RB Kenneth Dixon, 78.8

RB Terrance West, 78.3

WR Mike Wallace, 77.2

Running backs both prove worthy

It was tough sledding for the Ravens’ backs for most of the game, as the offensive line struggled mightily to open holes. Most of the yards that came on the ground were solely the creations of Terrance West and Kenneth Dixon. 78 of their combined 103 yards came after contact. Dixon was particularly impressive, albeit on limited touches. On his six carries, Dixon broke two tackles and had another long run called back by a penalty. His 26 snaps were a career-high.

Top defensive grades:

CB Jerraud Powers, 85.3

CB Tavon Young, 85.0

OLB Terrell Suggs, 83.6

CB Jimmy Smith, 82.5

LB Albert McClellan, 80.7

Cornerbacks shut down Cleveland offense

All three of the top cornerbacks for the Ravens had impressive games. Jerraud Powers had a pass defense on the only pass targeted into his coverage, as well as an interception on a ball that was off-target due to the quarterback being hit. Tavon Young allowed four receptions for a measly 10 total yards, and had a pass defense of his own. Jimmy Smith was the only corner to allow a reception over 10 yards, which went for 18. The other four receptions went for a combined 30 yards, and Smith also broke up a pass. They did have some help up front, led by Terrell Suggs’ six total pressures on 24 pass rushes.

Cleveland Browns

Quarterback grades: Cody Kessler, 74.7; Josh McCown, 61.8

Browns bench Kessler, McCown turns ball over as replacement

Cody Kessler led the Browns to their only touchdown of the night before being replaced by Josh McCown. Kessler was decent prior to the benching. He completed 3-of-4 passes targeted 10-plus yards downfield, including the touchdown. When kept clean, he completed 9-of-11 passes and had an above-average grade. The same can’t be said for McCown, who completed just one pass over 10 yards and threw one interception that was his fault.

Top offensive grades:

RG John Greco, 82.0

QB Cody Kessler, 74.7

LT Joe Thomas, 70.3

RT Austin Pasztor, 69.1

RB Duke Johnson 67.3

An all-around ineffective game for the offense

After a nice start to the season, Isaiah Crowell has not played nearly as well of late. He gained just 23 yards on his nine carries, and dropped a pass. He has also averaged fewer than 3 yards per carry in five of his last six games, and forced just two missed tackles during that span. Terrelle Pryor led the team with 48 receiving yards, all of which came against Jimmy Smith’s coverage. Corey Coleman was the only other Browns wide receiver to have a catch, and he managed just 17 yards on three receptions.

Top defensive grades:

NT Danny Shelton, 84.2

LB Jamie Collins, 79.8

DT Stephen Paea, 79.6

LB Chris Kirksey, 76.5

S Ed Reynolds, 75.7

Shelton shines in Cleveland’s offense

If there is any solace that Browns fans can take away from the loss, it’s that nose tackle Danny Shelton is a monster. The Ravens had 11 runs hit off of either A gap (next to the center, on either side) at an average of 2.9 yards per carry. Shelton wasn’t racking up the stops like he has been for most of the season, but he affected almost every run play. Shelton was also one of the lone linemen able to get pressure on Flacco, as he notched two pressures and multiple other wins.

PFF Game Ball: Ravens’ OLB Terrell Suggs

PFF’s player grading process includes multiple reviews, which may change the grade initially published in order to increase its accuracy. Learn more about how we grade and access grades for every player through each week of the NFL season by subscribing to Player Grades.

| Analyst

Matt has been an analyst for PFF since 2013. He is also a contributor to 120 Sports and a former NCAA Division-III football player.

  • James Winslow

    You know your team is bad when Danny Shelton is praised as the team’s best offensive player.

  • Conservatarian TX

    McCown graded higher than Flacco? That alone makes one question the validity of the rest of your grades.

    • Vitor

      Flacco was terrible yesterday, as he has been most of his career besides those playoff games in the SB run. Don’t be misled by the box score.

      Ravens fan here.

      • Conservatarian TX

        Being a Ravens fan doesn’t make one automatically unbiased. Flacco has hardly been terrible his entire career (inconsistent, yes). Ultimately, that wasn’t even my argument. Regardless of how badly you think he played, I fail to see how anyone could objectively grade McCown higher. What did he do in this game to make one think he played better?

        • Vitor

          Man, they both suck(ed).

          Objectively, McCown stayed less time on the field, so he had less opportunities to drag his grade down.

  • Thinkaboutit

    Not a browns fan but I can’t help but to feel like cody Kessler is a pretty good qb, given that he’s a rookie. Also nice to see that Danny Shelton is playing well considering all the flack that he got during the draft for being slow. It sucks that you guys are winless but at least you have some things to be excited about like good wrs, good defensive interior, and a good o-line. Those aren’t bad things to build around, so yeah, there’s that.