Joe Flacco rose to the occasion on the NFL Network's Thursday showcase, throwing for 356 yards, and scoring two touchdowns: one on an 18-yard pass to Torrey Smith and another on a one-yard run that prompted much celebration from the Ravens' QB.
The same can't be said for his opposite number, as Brandon Weeden performed as you'd expect a rookie quarterback to fare against Baltimore's defense. Completing just under 50 percent of his passes, Weeden painted the Browns into a corner following a third-quarter interception to Cary Williams, who ran the ball back 63-yards for a touchdown. Ultimately, this was too much for the Browns to overcome, despite a pair of late field goals from kicker Phil Dawson.
Thursday's game featured a scary moment in which Browns' WR Josh Cribbs lost his helmet in a strong but routine tackle which sent the receiver's head crashing into the turf without protection. He left the game and did not re-enter, though initial reports say the receiver is fine.
Neither team had an effective running game. Neither Ray Rice nor Trent Richardson was able to have a serious impact, as both running backs were held to under 50 yards rushing on the night. Richardson scored on a one-yard run in the second quarter, but was silenced after that.
Cleveland's defense did an excellent job getting after the quarterback, sacking Joe Flacco four times, but it wasn't enough to unhinge the QB. Baltimore's defense got a few good shots on Brandon Weeden, including this hit during the first quarter.