When a team walks away from draft day before the season begins it’s hard to envision how much the players selected will factor into the success for the current campaign.
The Ravens got huge contributions from two of its rookies in Joe Flacco and Ray Rice to beat divisional rival, Cleveland Browns 37-27 and push their record to 5 and 3.
Joe Flacco continues to prove correct those around Baltimore who have nicknamed him Joe “Cool”. With Baltimore down two scores in the third quarter, he calmly directed two drives to tie the score at 27 with a 28 yard pitch and catch to Derrick Mason. He finished throwing for 248 yards and two touchdowns and most importantly no turnovers.
The Baltimore rushing attack is an important part of the their offensive attack and with Willis McGahee a game time scratch due to an ankle injury their was at least some cause for concern. Ray Rice removed any doubt as he rushed for a career high 154 yards, including huge runs to set up scores later in the game. The game seems to have slowed down for him and he is now another viable weapon either on the ground or catching passes out of the backfield.
Derek Anderson had a decent day tossing two touchdowns of his own and could have had a third that fell through the hands of Braylon Edwards. But, his costly interception to Terrell Suggs slammed the door on any chance of a Cleveland comeback with 2:43 left in the game.
The Ravens will continue it’s travels on the road as they head to play their bye week makeup at Houston, while the Browns drop to 3-5 and will welcome the Denver Broncos to the shores of Lake Erie to open football on Thursday night.