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Other Week 15 Game Recaps

Week 15 Game Recap: Baltimore Ravens 27, Cleveland Browns 10

What you need to know

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens did what they needed to do to win against the Browns. Joe Flacco played well and was able to make accurate throws downfield for the third consecutive week. Flacco had eyes for Mike Wallace who made plays all over the field against the Browns’ secondary. Ben Watson also contributed multiple plays downfield including a 33 yard catch and run touchdown. Alex Collins struggled to find running room against the Browns stout run defense. Collins left the game with injury and returned but Buck Allen saw most of the carries following the injury. Danny Woodhead continues to play a limited role in the passing game. Jeremy Maclin made a nice 22 yard catch before leaving the game with a knee injury.

Cleveland Browns

In what has become a recurring theme, DeShone Kizer followed an encouraging performance in Week 14 with one of his worst outings against the Ravens in Week 15. Kizer committed two back-breaking turnovers, including another interception in the red zone and a lost fumble in his own end zone which Baltimore recovered for a defensive score. In all it was another dismal performance for a Cleveland team that has just two chances left to avoid a 0-16 season.

Baltimore Ravens

QB Joe Flacco, 78 offensive snaps, Pass: 26 - 42 - 288 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 3 - 1
Joe Flacco moved the Ravens into the red zone on their opening possession. Flacco connected with Maclin down the seam for 22 yards before completing to Wallace and Boyle underneath. An end zone target for Mike Wallace was batted at the line of scrimmage forcing a field goal attempt. The Ravens offense went three and out on consecutive drives thanks to failure to execute in the passing game including a 3rd down drop by Chris Moore. The Ravens offense was not able to capitalize on excellent starting field position. The Ravens were stopped on 4 consecutive plays inside the Browns’ 5 yard line and turned the ball over on downs. The Ravens responded with a touchdown drive. Flacco was nearly perfect on the drive with a very nice 30 yard completion to Mike Wallace and a back shoulder throw to Ben Watson up the seam. Flacco capped the drive with a 2 yard keeper from shotgun formation. Following another turnover the Ravens offense took advantage of excellent field position. Flacco hit a wide open Ben Watson for a 33 yard catch and run touchdown giving the Ravens a two score lead. The Ravens offense was more conservative in the second half and found less success especially with a big lead after a defensive score. Flacco connected with Wallace for a 21 yard completion over the middle to set up a field goal attempt. The Ravens two possessions in the 4th quarter were comprised of almost entirely run plays outside of a 17 yard completion to Michael Campanaro on 3rd and 16.

RB Alex Collins, 30 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 19 - 0, Rec: 5 - 33 - 0 (8 targets)
Alex Collins was bottled up for the most part against the Browns. Collins struggled to find his way into the open field and was frequently met at the line of scrimmage on his carries. Collins caught a screen pass for 14 yards after the Ravens found little success running the ball. Alex Collins was stuffed on consecutive goal line carries from the 1 yard line. Collins was brought down at the 2 yard line on the Ravens next trip to the red zone. Despite not registering a touchdown, Collins was close to scoring on multiple occasions. Collins made an impressive play to pick up 10 yards on a check down but was shaken up on the play after a player appeared to land on his ankle. Collins returned to the game briefly but gave way to Buck Allen who iced the game in the 4th quarter for the Ravens.

RB Javorius Allen, 26 offensive snaps, Rush: 13 - 70 - 0, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (3 targets)
Buck Allen rushed for 65 of his 70 yards in the 4th quarter against the Browns. Allen broke runs of 12, 14, and 16 yards in the quarter with Alex Collins dealing with a minor injury. Allen looked fresh and decisive. Allen broke more tackles and ran with more patience than in previous games. The backfield will still be led by Collins but Allen is more than capable as a backup. It is worth noting that Allen would see a greater bump in fantasy value than Danny Woodhead if Collins misses time with an injury.

RB Danny Woodhead, 23 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 1 - 0, Rec: 6 - 31 - 0 (7 targets)
Danny Woodhead made his first catch over the middle for 6 yards. Woodhead made catches on consecutive plays for 2 and 7 yard gains. Woodhead made a 7 yard catch running a quick out route. Danny Woodhead made a 9 yard catch against man coverage to convert a 3rd down and short. Woodhead looked the most explosive he has looked since returning from injury.

WR Mike Wallace, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 89 - 0 (10 targets)
Mike Wallace got the full attention of Joe Flacco after Jeremy Maclin went down with injury. Wallace made plays all over the field. Wallace made a 9 yard catch running a comeback route against Jason McCourty. Wallace was targeted in the end zone but the pass was batted at the line of scrimmage preventing what likely would have been a touchdown. Wallace made a nice contested sideline catch with McCourty in coverage for a 30 yard gain. Wallace picked up 9 more yards over the middle running a shallow cross. Wallace made another catch running a comeback route for a 12 yard gain. Wallace picked up 8 yards running a comeback route. Wallace made a 21 yard catch running a dig route.

WR Jeremy Maclin, 5 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 22 - 0 (1 targets)
Jeremy Maclin made a 22 yard catch up the seam in front of safety Jabrill Peppers but absorbed a hit to his knee in the process and left the game. Maclin briefly returned but was forced to exit the game. Maclin finished the game with one catch.

WR Chris Moore, 43 offensive snaps (3 targets)
Chris Moore dropped a potential 20 yard completion down the seam with defenders closing in to make a hit.

TE Ben Watson, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 74 - 1 (4 targets)
Ben Watson had one of his strongest games of the season against the Browns. Watson ran a curl over the middle for a 9 yard gain on his first target. Watson made a nice back shoulder catch for a 14 yard gain up the seam. Ben Watson fought through traffic over the middle running a crossing route and got wide open for a 33 yard catch and run touchdown. Watson came wide open again running the exact same route as his touchdown for an 18 yard gain.

Cleveland Browns

QB DeShone Kizer, 64 offensive snaps, Pass: 20 - 37 - 146 - 0 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 7 - 35 - 0
Kizer really took a step back after turning in one of his better performances in Week 14. The rookie quarterback struggled with his accuracy, missing several receivers who were open. He also added to his list of back-breaking turnovers, throwing yet another red zone interception and losing a fumble in his own end zone which Baltimore grabbed for a defensive score. Kizer's first interception came when he threw too high for Corey Coleman. It appeared Terrell Suggs grabbed a handful of his jersey on the pass attempt which threw off his mechanics momentarily. That may have led to the inaccurate pass. His red zone interception came in the fourth quarter. He forced an end zone pass to a triple-covered Isaiah Crowell. Nothing was open on the play and, in retrospect, he should have thrown the ball away. He came close to throwing a third interception in the third quarter on a tipped pass that went straight up in the air. Kizer himself swatted the pass down and away from the defense to prevent the pick. Kizer's accuracy issues included: throwing too high to Corey Coleman on a crossing pattern, although that incompletion was nullified by a holding penalty. He then threw too low to David Njoku who was streaking down the right sideline. A higher throw would have allowed his athletic tight end to go up and get the ball. This was a missed opportunity for Kizer to ‘throw Njoku open’. He also threw a pass behind Josh Gordon that Gordon was still able to reach back and catch. Kizer's strip sack fumble showed his lack of pocket awareness as he had no idea the defender was coming on his blind side. It didn't help that left tackle Spencer Drango was beaten badly on the play but Kizer needed to step up in the pocket on that pass.

RB Duke Johnson, 43 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 23 - 1, Rec: 5 - 40 - 0 (7 targets)
Johnson scored the Browns' lone touchdown on the afternoon. It came on a nice 12-yard run where he bounced the play outside to the left and sprinted to the end zone untouched. He did lose a fumble at the end of a nine-yard reception in the second quarter. He took a big, clean hit from linebacker C.J. Mosley that popped the ball loose. Credit goes to Mosley for causing the turnover. Johnson turned in an impressive catch in the fourth quarter on a low-thrown ball by DeShone Kizer. Johnson was able to grab the pass just before it hit the turf and turned it into a 15-yard reception. Baltimore challenged the ruling but the catch was upheld after replay.

RB Isaiah Crowell, 22 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 72 - 0, Rec: 4 - -7 - 0 (5 targets)
Crowell suffered from a lack of usage in Week 15. The veteran tailback ripped off the Browns' longest play from scrimmage on a 59-yard run in the second quarter. Strangely, he played very little after that run and saw just two second-half touches. There has been nothing of yet to suggest that Crowell got injured on the play. He was used extensively in the passing game, mostly in the first quarter, but unfortunately he finished with -7 yards on his four catches. The Ravens were ready to stop him almost immediately after he made his catches. Crowell saw an end zone target in the fourth quarter on DeShone Kizer's ill-advised interception. Crowell had three Ravens defenders around him but Kizer threw the ball in his direction anyway.

WR Josh Gordon, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 47 - 0 (11 targets)
Gordon turned in a slow game, partially due to the inaccuracy of his quarterback. He had two targets in the first quarter which were tipped at the line of scrimmage. Later in the first quarter he saw a deep target which was overthrown by DeShone Kizer. There was some incidental contact on the play but nothing to suggest a pass interference penalty should have been called. Most of Gordon's receptions were of the short to intermediate variety as he and Kizer continue to struggle to connect on anything deep. Gordon did make a nice catch in the fourth quarter on a pass which was thrown behind him.

WR Corey Coleman, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 16 - 0 (3 targets)
Coleman was held to one or fewer catches for the second time in three games since Josh Gordon returned to the field. Coleman had a few chances to make plays but it is clear he's going to struggle to play anything more than a secondary role in an offense that has had trouble sustaining drives. One of Coleman's best contributions in this game didn't show up in the box score. In the first quarter he drew a pass interference flag which resulted in an 11-yard gain for the Browns. In the second quarter he was wide open on a short slant route but the pass was thrown way too high for him to make the grab. It wouldn't have mattered, though, as the play was nullified by an offensive holding penalty. His only catch came in the second quarter. He made a diving grab to set his team up for a field goal. In the fourth quarter it looked like he could have made another catch but he appeared to be tripped up by the defender before the ball got to him.

TE David Njoku, 32 offensive snaps (3 targets)
Njoku had a quiet game, getting shut out and committing a false start penalty in the second quarter. He did have one chance to make a big play as he saw a deep target in the second quarter. The pass was thrown too low which didn't give Njoku a chance to make a play on the ball. A higher pass would have allowed the athletic tight end to leap up and make the grab.