Flacco, Ravens keep Browns winless with 28-7 rout
BALTIMORE — Joe Flacco threw three touchdown passes, and the Baltimore Ravens beat Cleveland 28-7 on Thursday night to leave the winless Browns at a historic low point in franchise history.
Baltimore trailed 7-3 late in the second quarter before gaining control during a third quarter in which Flacco went 10 for 12 with two scores.
The Ravens (5-4) have won two in a row following a four-game losing streak. Baltimore is the only team in the AFC North above .500.
Cleveland (0-10) has opened a season with 10 consecutive losses for the first time since joining the NFL in 1950. The Browns have lost 11 straight on the road since winning in Baltimore in October 2015.
The loss left Cleveland's all-time record at 461-461-10. The Browns have never been below .500.
Down 7-6 at halftime, the Ravens moved 64 yards on their first possession of the third quarter to take a 13-7 lead. Flacco connected with five different receivers on the drive, closing with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Darren Waller.
Browns coach Hue Jackson then opted to insert Josh McCown at quarterback after watching starter Cody Kessler go 10 for 17 for 94 yards. McCown's second pass was intercepted, giving Baltimore the ball at the Cleveland 40 with a chance to break the game open.
The Ravens moved to the 15 before Flacco heaved an ill-advised throw into the end zone that was picked off by Joe Haden.
Baltimore's next drive, however, was run on a short field. After a 32-yard punt gave the Ravens the ball at the Cleveland 43, Flacco threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Steve Smith, and a 2-point conversion made it 21-7.
A 27-yard touchdown throw to Breshad Perriman sealed it with 6:21 remaining and marked the 10th straight game in which the Browns yielded at least 25 points.
Flacco went 30 for 41 for 296 yards and two interceptions.
The first time these teams played this season, the Ravens had to rally from 20 points down to pull out for a 25-20 win.
Baltimore needed another comeback in this one, though the deficit wasn't nearly as imposing.
After their first three series produced two punts and an interception , the Ravens gained possession at the Cleveland 48 following a punt and used a 25-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead.
Kessler followed with a 25-yard touchdown pass to tight end Seth DeValve, and at that point the Browns looked very little like a team that hadn't won a game in 11 months.
Flacco directed a beat-the-clock drive that produced a field goal as the half ended.
SMITH MOVES UP
Smith had five catches for 60 yards and moved into eighth place on the NFL career list with 14,349 yards receiving. He passed Reggie Wayne, and now is in pursuit of No. 7 Marvin Harrison (14,580).
Browns: CB Jamar Taylor (groin) was inactive.
Ravens: LG Alex Lewis injured his right ankle in the third quarter, was carted off the field and did not return. X-rays were negative. ... C Jeremy Zuttah injured his right ankle on Smith's TD.
Browns: Host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 20, the first meeting of the season between the AFC North rivals.
Ravens: Travel to Dallas on Nov. 20 to face the Cowboys, a team they're 4-0 against since the series began in 2000.