BALTIMORE, Md.-- The defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens returned home after a humbling and embarrassing 49-27 loss in Denver last week.With a tweaked defense and a well deserved home opener with the Super Bowl XLVII banner revealed, the Ravens earned a win over the Cleveland Browns.
Joe Flacco and the Ravens remained scoreless through the third quarter until Benard Pierce scored a 5-yard touchdown, giving the Ravens a 7-6 lead. Flacco then threw a touchdown to Marlon Brown with 8:57 to go up 14-6 over the Browns. The Ravens defense kept the Browns from scoring again.
This game also meant a second chance for Tandon Doss, who was cut earlier this month in the final 53-man roster. Replacing Jacoby Jones on punt returns,Doss is one of the only four healthy wide receivers on the roster and was made active in this game.
Rice started the second half with a 14-yard gain. Flacco was not quiet as he went 3-for-3 for 44 yards on the drive, hitting three receivers in Smith, Brown and Brandon Stokley.
Cleveland's struggles continued with their inability to score on key downs or find separation with the Ravens' secondary. Baltimore sacked Browns Brandon Weeden five times today, then leaving the game with a thumb injury in the fourth quarter.
Weeden was 21-of-33 for 227 yards, without a touchdown or an interception. Cleveland tight end Jordan Cameron caught five passes for 95 yards.
For the Ravens, Ray Rice ran for 36 yards on 13 carries with a fumble. Concerns arose when Rice went down with a hip injury and Pierce entered as running back in his place. It appears to be a hip flexor strain with the initial tests showing no issues.
Joe Flacco finished with 22-of-33 for 211 yards and a touchdown. Torrey Smith had a good performance catching seven passes for 85 yards. Marlon Brown showed great strides catching a touchdown for the second straight week.
"The game didn't go exactly how we wanted to, but that's how we've won football games around here," Flacco said. "We're able to win like this, and sometimes you have to do it in a ugly way."
The struggle to find an identity for the Ravens is still up for grabs, however they were able to pull out a win and go 1-1 on this new NFL season. Next week the Baltimore Ravens will host the Houston Texans, who just escaped with a win in overtime in week 2.