The Ravens barely beat the Cleveland Browns. Almost everyone predicted a blowout, but the Ravens survived. At this point in the season, that's OK.
Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis tried to blame it on "lane integrity," but the bottom line was that the Ravens got their butts kicked up front.
The Browns simply gutted the Ravens in the middle, running right at Lewis and tackles Haloti Ngata and Kelly Gregg. That doesn't happen often, and hopefully this was an aberration. The Ravens, though, did make some adjustments by using more run blitzes in the second half. They also got a strong game from tackle Brandon McKinney.
If the Browns had had a few more playmakers, this would have been a Ravens loss.
"We kind of hit them in the mouth because they are the type of team that thrives on stopping the run and getting you in third-and-longs," Browns left tackle Joe Thomas said. "We kind of had them on their heels. They were searching for answers."
That's because the season is still young, and the Ravens are a work in progress.
Apparently, some of the Ravens players didn't get the memo from coach John Harbaugh about stupid penalties.
Receiver Derrick Mason got a delay-of-game penalty for chucking the ball in the air, and safety Tom Zbikowski and left offensive tackle Michael Oher drew unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties.
Even after the game, Oher walked toward the Browns' sideline as if he still wanted to settle a dispute with Cleveland defensive end Robaire Smith.
"You know, sometimes in the heat of battle, tempers flare, but you have to understand what gets called and what doesn't," said Harbaugh, who drew a $15,000 fine from the NFL last week after making contact with an official.
This team needs a shot of discipline.
Suggs' sharp move
One player who does get it is Ravens defensive end-linebacker Terrell Suggs. On a third-and-28 from the Browns' 2-yard line, Suggs was close to sacking quarterback Seneca Wallace in the end zone but let Wallace loose even though he was draped around the bottom half of Wallace's body.
"I had him but decided not to put myself or my team in a bogus or stupid situation, not with the way they are calling things around here" Suggs said. Are you listening, Mr. Oher?
It's not only Terrence Cody's knee injury that is keeping him on the bench, but also the play of McKinney. After starting defensive end Cory Redding went down with a concussion at halftime, McKinney stepped in and played extremely well.