The Baltimore Ravens will gladly take their 16-10 win over the Cleveland Browns. However, they don’t like that it was another game in which they had a slow start. The Ravens want to put those slow starts behind them in the future.

Last Sunday’ game included four interceptions by Lamar Jackson but the dynamic quarterback was able to shake off the errors and lead his team to a win.

“Just move on. It’ll still be on my mind, because I’ll still be talking about it, but you have to move on— move on to the next job,” Jackson said after the game. “When you get another opportunity, just go out there and try to be right there.”  

Head coach John Harbaugh added, “Lamar is a guy who makes so many plays for us, and of course, he’s quarterback. The interceptions— one of them was tipped, whatever, but he wants those plays back. 

“He’s mad about them. He’s a massive competitor, yet he doesn’t let it take control of him. He’s able to push it aside, and he’s able to play the next series and give you great football. It’s really a rare trait. To me, that’s one of the things that makes him the quarterback that he is. That’s why I’m so excited that he’s on our team, one of the reasons.”  

The Ravens’ drives in the first half included a punt after they gained 11 yards on six plays, two field goals by Justin Tucker and three interceptions. Baltimore still managed to finish the first half with a 6-3 lead over the Browns.

Fortunately, the Ravens’ defense managed to keep Cleveland from taking advantage. The defense recovered two fumbles, forced three punts and only allowed a 46-yard field goal by Chase McLaughlin before halftime.

As for why the Ravens offense had a slow start, head coach John Harbaugh offered a detailed explanation focusing on their inability to get first downs. He mentioned the turnovers also but the big focus was scoring points when they’re able to put drives together. 

“I think we just need to score more points with our yards and our first downs. So, we’ve had high numbers of first downs the last two [or] three weeks, without a high number of points,” Harbaugh said. “We kind of correlate yards and first downs to points, time of possession. The time of possession was way up. That was a big part of the game— keeping their offense off the field. 

“It helped our defense tremendously. So, our offense contributed in a lot of really good ways, but the points are something that we need to do a better job of. We had opportunities down there that we had to settle for field goals a couple times [on].”

Now that they’ve identified the problem, the next step is to go back to the drawing board to construct a plan to avoid the slow starts going forward. Their first test will be next week in Pittsburgh against the AFC rival Steelers.

Tyler Hamilton
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