Browns offense struggles in loss to Ravens
With QB Deshaun Watson out for Sunday's matchup against the Ravens with a shoulder injury, the Browns lost to the Ravens, 28-3.
Rookie QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson, making his first NFL start, and the entire Browns offense experienced a number of struggles throughout the game. Thompson-Robinson connected on 19-of-36 passes for 121 yards and three interceptions. He was also sacked four times for a total loss of 48 yards and fumbled the ball once. He also rushed for 24 yards on four carries.
Thompson-Robinson's interception in the first quarter, which the Ravens returned for 52 yard to set up their offense in the red zone, led to a rushing touchdown by QB Lamar Jackson. He bounced back on the ensuing drive and connected through the air on a handful of passes to advance the ball. K Dustin Hopkins put the Browns on the board in the first quarter with a 53-yard field goal to tighten the score, 7-3.
The Ravens defense, though, forced three 3-and-outs in both the second and third quarters, and the Browns were not able to advance the ball down the field to put anything else on the board for the remainder of the game. Thompson-Robinson's interception halfway through the fourth quarter was returned by the Ravens for 36 yards and set them up for a touchdown with an 18-yard reception by TE Mark Andrews.
The Ravens forced three more 3-and-out situations in the fourth quarter to keep the Browns from scoring. On the last play of the game, after RB Pierre Strong Jr. rushed for 40 yards to give the Browns a first done in the red zone, Thompson-Robinson threw his third interception of the game in the end zone as time expired.
Watson was working through a shoulder injury throughout the week of practice and was limited in practices. He officially was listed as questionable entering the game and went through a pregame warmup before he was determined inactive for Sunday's game.
The Browns defense started the day dominating from the first drive, as it forced three 3-and-outs in the first quarter. The unit applied pressure to Jackson, with a split sack by Jordan Elliott and Za'Darius Smith. However, the Ravens put points on the board after their first interception and never trailed the rest of the way.
The Browns defense saw some slips though in the second quarter in the rush defense, where they missed tackles and the Ravens found ways to break through for a lengthy scoring drive. On three consecutive snaps, the Ravens ran and broke through for gains, with a 22-yard carry to set the Ravens up in the end zone. Jackson ended the drive with a 2-yard touchdown. The Ravens managed to put up another seven points heading into the half with a short pass to Andrews of 7 yards for the touchdown.The Browns defense regained its composure in the third, forcing two 3-and-outs on the Ravens' first two drives of the half, and two in the fourth. However, they gave up a touchdown in the fourth following Thompson-Robinson's second interception, which sealed the game for the Ravens.
Myles Garrett recorded his 80th career sack in Sunday's second quarter, tying him with T.J. Watt as the second-fastest player in NFL history to reach the mark. David Njoku, who was questionable entering Sunday's game after suffering burns in a household accident, led the Browns with six catches for 46 yards.
The Browns head into the bye week in Week 5 and return in Week 6 to face the 49ers at Cleveland Browns Stadium on Oct. 15.