Ravens outlast Browns
BALTIMORE — The regular NFL officials returned to work Thursday night, and the fans gave them a warm welcome back before bestowing their loudest cheers upon the Baltimore Ravens, who never trailed in a 23-16 victory over the winless Cleveland Browns.
Joe Flacco went 28 for 46 for 356 yards, threw one touchdown and ran for another. Cary Williams returned an interception 63 yards for a score near the end of the third quarter to give the Ravens (3-1) a 13-point lead.
And still, the game wasn't decided until a pass by Cleveland rookie Brandon Weeden sailed out of the end zone as time expired. The kept the Browns (0-4) the only winless team in the AFC.
Unlike the controversial ending of the Green Bay-Seattle game on Monday night, which heightened negotiations to get the regular refs back, this game ended without an argument.
As the officials walked onto the field hours before the game, the crew received a round of applause and shouts of encouragement from fans in the lower sections. Head linesman Wayne Mackie and line judge Jeff Seeman both tipped their caps to acknowledge the support.
And then, before the pregame coin flip, referee Gene Steratore, a Uniontown native, greeted the players at midfield by saying, “Good evening, men, it's good to be back.”
After a scoreless first quarter, Baltimore went up 6-0 on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Flacco to Torrey Smith. The conversion failed.
On the Ravens' next drive, rookie Justin Tucker kicked a 45-yard field goal. Cleveland got back into the game with an 11-play, 94-yard march directed by Weeden, who connected with Greg Little for 43 yards before rookie Trent Richardson ran in from the 1.
The Browns were forced to play most of the game without wide receiver and punt returner Joshua Cribbs, who left with a head injury after absorbing a hard hit late in the first quarter.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Timmons feels pressure to transform Steelers back into contender
- Despite fulfilling promise to mother, Steelers’ Tomlin not yet satisfied
- In open AFC North, it’s anyone’s game
- Versatile linebacker Moats getting up to speed with Steelers
- Steelers defensive back Thomas isn’t conceding starting position yet
- Report: Steelers worth $1.118 billion
- Pounceys vow to defend themselves against nightclub allegations
- Steelers’ Pouncey investigated in alleged assault