Browns Week 10 vs. Ravens: Summary Report and Player Game Balls

November 13, 2023

Andy Billman Tony Camino

Browns Reflections: A Look Back at the Browns Victory over the Ravens

1 – Any more doubts about Deshaun Watson? Is he back after the win in Baltimore?

Andy –

In short, yes, his second-half performance was wonderful, and even though his total numbers did not equate to a legendary quarterback effort, Deshaun Watson led a comeback victory with guts and determination. 

Watson winning on the road against hated Baltimore will live in lore with his teammates, coaches, and inside Berea. The exciting part is that he has room for improvement. 

In one second half, everything has been reset for Watson to succeed at the highest level, and there will no longer be a debate about whether he can do it or if he needs more reps to be accurate. The time is now for Watson to lead Cleveland back to the playoffs; he’s ready!

Tony –

Anyone who has been truly evaluating Deshaun Watson this season and throughout his entire tenure with the Browns knew this stretch was coming, as Watson has now delivered three impressive performances in a row. The flashes were there, the scrambling improvisation was evident from the start, and the big-play connection between him and Amari Cooper continues to flourish.

When it comes to second-half quarterbacks this season, nobody is better than Watson. He currently ranks first in multiple advanced metrics, such as estimated points added and completion percentage over expected in the third and fourth quarters. Watson thrives as the game progresses, only needing to work on getting off to quicker starts (like the entire team).

Watson has returned, and my few doubts have been fading more and more with each passing week. He’s here to stay, and his play is set to improve as he becomes more comfortable and gains confidence. These last three games featuring Watson have showcased why the Browns traded for him. Leading a game-winning drive to complete the comeback upset in Baltimore provides everyone with the moment they’ve been looking for.

2 – How would you elevate Head Coach Kevin Stefanski after the win in Baltimore?

Tony –

I was born in 2000, and without a doubt, Kevin Stefanski is the best Browns coach in my lifetime (not a high bar), as evident in 2020. His play calling and scheme are among the best in the NFL, and he excels at doing the most with the least. Finding ways to win has been his best trait, and winning in Baltimore against a team that was rolling, especially without our top three offensive tackles, might be his best feat yet.

The clock management in this game was executed to perfection as well. The Browns were smart to end the first half and didn’t play overly aggressively in a way that would result in the Ravens getting more points on the board. At the end of the game, the Browns got the ball back with over five minutes left on the clock. Knowing Lamar Jackson could get down the field in a moment’s notice, and Justin Tucker could seemingly hit from 80 yards out, Stefanski knew we couldn’t give the ball back. The play calling and tempo of the offense were perfect, and the Browns marched down the field to win the game while the Ravens couldn’t do anything about it.

Finally, this is easily the most resilient and tough Browns team I have ever seen. The Browns punched the Ravens in the mouth early and often, maintaining that fire throughout the whole game despite facing a huge deficit most of the time. The biggest criticisms of Stefanski have been in that department, and his guys look more motivated and ready to go than ever. This regime in Cleveland is one of the league’s best and needs to be the long-term answer.

Andy –

He’s been outstanding in 2023.

There’s been no more prominent criticism or questioning of Kevin Stefanski’s decision than myself.  I am happy for Stefanski, as he has done a great job in certain critical moments during the season.  His sitting of Watson during the Colts game was the correct decision, and when he followed that with Watson sitting out against Seattle by announcing it on Monday, again, another tough call, but again, I thought correctly.  It allowed Watson time to sit out while getting proper recovery time.  He also is going for punts rather than risky 4th down decisions, and when he does go for it on 4th down, it is the proper moment to do so.

He handled the last four games well, including losing against the Seahawks. His elevating the Browns’ running game to offensive strength while allowing field position and defense to win games has brought Cleveland victories. 

If this keeps up, he will be in the running for a lengthy extension to stay in Cleveland, which will be well deserved.

3 – What was the most significant factor in Brown’s victory on Sunday?

Andy –

Anytime Cleveland is victorious over Baltimore, the run game tilts in their favor. The Browns outrushed the Ravens by 72 yards in this game, which helped control the time of possession while wearing out the Baltimore defense. 

On the flip side, it forced Lamar Jackson to win with passes instead of the running game, leading to a late-game turnover and a punt on their final possession.

Running the ball wins the day every time against the Ravens.

Tony –

This is one of those wins where it truly took everyone, from coaches to players, to secure the victory. They excelled at every level, from the defensive line to the run game, with Watson having a perfect second half. Every single part of this team deserves the utmost credit for the win, making it hard to find a greater team effort around the league.

If I had to pick just one key to this game, it would be the consistent running game. Playing in Baltimore against one of the best-run defenses with James Hudson and Geron Christian at tackles isn’t ideal whatsoever. However, they all held their own, with Wyatt Teller and Joel Bitonio delivering some of their best performances of the season to dominate on the ground.

Once the Browns crossed the 50 on Watson’s scramble late, the success in running the ball consistently allowed them to milk out the clock while gaining more yards to set up a chip-shot game-winner, all while keeping the ball away from Jackson. Along with that, the Browns continued to utilize the run game despite falling behind big early. Everything was key for the Browns to win, but the consistent run game is promising and really put the victory away.

4 – Will the Browns win the AFC North?

Tony –

Down the stretch, the Browns’ schedule appears much easier than the rest of the division. The Ravens face the toughest schedule, and the Steelers’ offense is likely to cost them some games in the upcoming weeks. Winning at home in Week 11 would significantly contribute to securing the division title and providing the Browns with a home playoff game.

If the run game can remain consistent and the passing game continues to improve, the Browns should be well-positioned to win the North. The most challenging part of the schedule is undoubtedly behind them, and now they just need to string together wins against teams they should beat.

While I believe the Browns will clinch the division, achieving this will require consistent football to close the season. This division is widely regarded as the toughest in football, leaving little room for error if they want to come out on top. The Bengals’ defense poses a real concern, the Steelers’ offense is struggling, and the Ravens face a tough schedule to conclude the season. While a playoff berth is the primary goal, securing a division championship and a home playoff game would be nothing short of amazing.

Andy –

Eight more games to be played, and I’m sure there will be plenty of twists and turns, but if the Browns win on Sunday against the Steelers, they are on their way to the AFC North title.

The schedule does give some possible gifts to the Browns, especially with the Bears and Jets at home in December; a path is easily constructed to ten wins.  The Browns just need to beat the Steelers, and well, we all know that is never easy.

Game balls:

Tony – All 53 active players – a true team win (Mainly Deshaun Watson)

Andy – So many deserving players and coaches, that I’m going to give 3 this week.

One to Head Coach Kevin Stefanski

One to Deshaun Watson

One to Wyatt Teller for the fumble recovery and multiple pancake blocks during the game.

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