As an avid Cleveland Browns fan, would you take a 4-5 record heading into the bye week despite everything that has happened this season? You bet you would.
The Browns protected First Energy Stadium in a huge division win against the Baltimore Ravens that had a playoff-type atmosphere. Heading in to the contest with a three game losing streak, the Browns could have been the same old Browns and suffered another loss to the Ravens. They didn’t.
Behind their poised veteran quarterback Jason Campbell, Cleveland fired on all eight cylinders. Fighting an injury to his mid-section that happened early in the game, Campbell tied a career high, throwing three touchdown passes. The 31-year-old passed for 262 yards and posted a 116.6 rating. When his team needed him the most, Campbell delivered.
With the momentum out of their favor most of the fourth quarter, Campbell engineered a 15-play drive to put the Ravens away late in the game. There is a reason the sly veteran is still in the league and it showed on that drive. But, it wasn’t all the Browns’ crafty quarterback that helped get win no. 4.
Showing true veteran toughness and adversity, wide receiver Davone Bess had his most important game in an orange helmet. After fumbling away the game in last week’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Bess answered his critics catching three important passes for 24 yards and two touchdowns. But, none was more important than the play of the game. In déjà vu fashion to the situation last week, Bess came back to a Campbell pass on 4th & 1. That play was the most crucial play in the entire season.
Coming in to the game with just 21 receptions, third year receiver Greg Little also stepped up. Little caught seven passes for a career-high 122 yards. With tight end Jordan Cameron blanketed most of the day by Ravens defenders, Little benefited and produced in a big way. However, two un-sportsman like conduct penalties are unacceptable.
The offense wasn’t the only impressive thing on Sunday. The Browns stellar defense continued to prove why they are for real. Cleveland sacked Joe Flacco five times and flustered him all day. The Ravens offense had 278 total yards and their rushing game was horrendous with only 55 yards on the ground. Also, seventh round pick, Armonty Bryant is turning in to quite the find. Bryant grabbed his second sack of the season in the limited playing time he has been given.
There is quite a bit a fight in this young orange-and-brown team. As the bye week approaches, the Browns need to rest and prepare for whats ahead. With Campbell leading the charge the rest of the way, the next seven games could get really interesting.
Ryan Ruiz is the Cleveland Browns Beat Writer for The Inscriber: Digital Magazine. You can follow him on Facebook: Ryan (BrownsWriter) Ruiz and Twitter @ryanpruiz24. Ryan is also a Browns correspondent for The Sportsfix. Tune in every Friday at noon on www.thesportsfix.net. Have a question or comment for the “ASK Ryan” column on Fridays? Email Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org