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Home Sports Originally published September 28, 2012

Ravens Hold off Browns

NFL Football – Baltimore Ravens

by Perry Green
AFRO Sports Editor

    Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco looks for an opening to pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns in Baltimore, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
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The Baltimore Ravens held off a tough division rival and advanced to a 3-1 overall record as they beat the Cleveland Browns, 23-16, in a rainy Thursday night National Football League (NFL) game Sept. 27 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md.

The Ravens have now beaten the Browns 10-straight times, and also advanced their home-game winning streak to 13 games; Baltimore is also on a 10-game winning streak against AFC North divisional opponents, the longest of any active streak in the NFL. Here’s how the game played out:

The Ravens sealed its third win of the 2012 regular season when…
Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden’s pass sailed out of the back of the end zone on fourth down as the game clock expired. Cleveland had one last shot at scoring a touchdown to possibly tie the game, but a desperation pass fell incomplete, ending their chance and causing the Browns to fall to 0-4 overall on the season.

Most Outstanding Player(s) of the Game:
No offensive player dominated the game more than veteran receiver Anquan Boldin, who caught nine passes for 131 receiving yards. Boldin didn’t score any touchdowns but he made several big catches that helped move the first-down chains for the Ravens all game long.

Boldin was followed by second-year receiver Torrey Smith with six catches for 97 yards and a 18-yard touchdown. Smith was on the receiving end of several looks from quarterback Joe Flacco, who completed 28 of 46 passes for 356 yards and a passer rating of 95.8. Flacco now leads the NFL with 1,269 passing yards.

Unsung Hero of the Game:
The Cleveland Browns made it a tough contest for the Ravens and matched Baltimore with 16 points scored on offense; the only difference in the score came when Ravens cornerback Cary Williams returned an interception 63 yards for a defensive touchdown. It was the first interception of Williams’ five-year tenure in the NFL. Cary is usually the cornerback that most opposing quarterbacks pick on as the weakest link of the Ravens secondary. On the Thursday night stage he made the Browns pay with the biggest play of his career.

More Game Notes:
During halftime, the Ravens honored former all-pro running back Jamal Lewis by placing him in the Ravens’ Ring of Honor. Lewis is the Ravens’ all-time franchise leader with 7,801 rushing yards; he’s most known for helping the Ravens win a Super Bowl as a rookie in 2001. He also rushed for 2,066 yards in 2003, the second most rushing yardage in a single season in NFL history.

Five-year veteran running back Ray Rice, the current star runner for the Ravens, recorded 96 total yards on offense. Rice ran for 49 yards on 18 carries while catching eight passes for 47 yards.

Browns rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden passed the ball 52 times, completing 25 for 320 yards but no touchdowns scored; Browns rookie star running back Trent Richardson scored Cleveland’s only touchdown of the game; he finished with 47 yards on 14 carries.

Next-up:
The Ravens (3-1 overall) will take on the Kansas City Chiefs (1-2 overall) on Oct. 7 at 1 p.m., while the Browns (0-4 overall) take on the New York Giants (2-1 overall) the same date and time.