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Browns Limping to the Finish; Roughed Up By the Ravens 20-10

Colt McCoy picked a real bad time to practice the term it’s more blessed to give than receive. Sunday against one of the AFC’s best, the Baltimore Ravens, McCoy played his worst game of the year, throwing three picks as the Browns fell to 5-10 on the year falling 20-10.

The Browns scored a touchdown on their second series with some trickery, a WR pass from Mohamad Massaquoi to Brian Robiskie from 29 yards out to make it 7-0 eight minutes into the game, but from there they were outscored 20-3 as the Ravens enforced a more physical brand of football the Browns could not match.

“I think we had a lot of self-inflicted wounds,” Massaquoi said. “They played a great game, but if you look at it, we did a lot of things to hurt ourselves.”

The Browns defense was also no match again for a Ravens run game that put up 161 yards on 38 carries, a 4.2 yards per carry average. Despite Ray Rice being held to less than 100 yards (he had 92), the Browns have now allowed 541 yards rushing (that’s an average of 180.3 yards per game), over the past three weeks, all losses.

As for Ray Lewis saying the Ravens were going to hold Peyton Hillis in check, Baltimore did as promised. Taking quite a few shots when he did get carries, Hillis had 35 yards on 12 carries, with a long of 7 yards.

“They have been a tough team to run against for a long time,” Browns OL John St.Clair said. They did a good job and you have to take your hat off to them. We don’t make excuses, we’ve got to do things to get better.”

That won’t be easy with a team that stops the run even better than the Ravens coming to Cleveland for the season finale next week, the Steelers.

But back to today, Joe Flacco completed 12-of-19 passes with an interception, while Derrick Mason and T.J. Houshmandzadeh both had a touchdown grab for Baltimore (11-4), which earned a postseason spot for the third straight season. The Ravens have won three straight and five of their last six overall.

McCoy wasn’t so good, going 15-of-29 passing for 149 yards with the three picks for the Browns, who have dropped three in a row. They have lost 5 of their last 7 after being 5-7 after beating Miami back on December 5th.

The Ravens built a 13-7 lead late in the half, but the Browns were able to drive for a Phil Dawson 30-yard field goal with three seconds left drew the Browns to within 13-10 at the break.

The Browns went to its bag of tricks again with an onside kick attempt to start the second half, but the ball went out of bounds prior to going the necessary 10 yards and Baltimore took over at the Browns’ 38.

After Flacco picked up a first down with a 13-yard scramble, the signal-caller hit Mason in the left corner of the end zone on the next play to put the visitors ahead 20-10 just 90 seconds into the third.

The Browns offense was never able to recover, as they were shutout in the second half while the Ravens did enough with the one TD and were able to run out most of the fourth quarter clock.

The Steelers are in for the season finale next Sunday at 1pm.

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