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Joe Flacco leads Ravens to win over Browns; now a win away from division title
The Browns took the opening kickoff and moved from their own 26 to the Baltimore 30 behind the power of Hillis, who gained 30 yards on six carries. But on a third-and-1, Cleveland inexplicably went to the air, and Lardarius Webb intercepted Wallace’s pass for Mohamed Massaquoi.
Flacco immediately threw deep for Torrey Smith, who drew a 60-yard penalty for pass interference on Mike Adams to set up a 5-yard touchdown pass to Dickson.
Later, a 29-yard throw from Flacco to Smith led to a 48-yard field goal by newcomer Shayne Graham, signed in the middle of the week to take over for the injured Billy Cundiff.
After another Cleveland punt, Flacco directed an 82-yard drive that gave Baltimore a 17-0 lead. Rice slipped behind linebacker D’Qwell Jackson on the right sideline, caught a soft pass in stride and sprinted into the end zone to complete a 42-yard scoring play.
That made Flacco 5 for 5 for 94 yards and two touchdowns on third down.
Cleveland moved deep into Baltimore territory late in the first half, thanks in part to a 30-yard pass interference call against Chris Carr. But with the clock inside 10 seconds and the Browns without a timeout left, Wallace handed off to Hillis instead of spiking the ball, and Hillis went nowhere.
“I need to communicate it better, OK?” Shurmur said.
Time expired before Cleveland could get off another play, and the Browns headed to the locker room after being held scoreless in the first half for the second time this season. The other time it happened was also against Baltimore.
Graham kicked a 43-yard field goal in the third quarter to make it 20-0.
The Browns finally scored when Cribbs took a punt on the right sideline, escaped an arm tackle and broke toward the center of the field before outrunning three defenders into the left corner of the end zone late in the third quarter.
“I was wondering where all the defenders were,” Cribbs said. “I saw all the great blocking around me. From there, it was easy. It was just a walk in.”
Cribbs also contributed to Cleveland’s next touchdown, catching a 23-yard pass from Wallace as part of an 80-yard drive that ended with a 9-yard TD throw to Evan Moore midway through the fourth quarter.
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