CLEVELAND (AP/WJW) — Lamar Jackson ran for two touchdowns and threw for two more against Cleveland’s top-ranked defense, leading the Baltimore Ravens to a 28-3 win on Sunday over the Browns, who played without injured quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Jackson scored untouched on runs of 10 yards and 2 yards and threaded a 7-yard scoring pass to tight end Mark Andrews with 11 seconds left before halftime as the Ravens (3-1) opened a 21-3 lead.
Baltimore’s electrifying QB added an 18-yard TD pass to Andrews in the fourth quarter to put an exclamation point on the blowout.
“Okay. Obviously, we got beat, we got outplayed, outcoached,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said after the game. “Disappointed in that, but we got to own it. We own it. We win together, we lose together. So, we’re a 2-2 football team. Going to use this bye to take a deep breath as a team and get ready for the long haul.”
The Browns (2-2) didn’t have Watson because of a right shoulder injury and had to start rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson. The fifth-round pick from UCLA looked overmatched in his NFL debut, telling reporters following the game that he got his first game out of the way.
“Nobody likes losing, including me, I’m a big winner,” Thompson-Robinson said.
Cleveland’s offense, already missing star running back Nick Chubb for the season with a knee injury, gained just 166 yards — 53 on a meaningless final drive. Thompson-Robinson threw three interceptions and was sacked four times.
Following the game, OL Joel Bitonio admitted the team wasn’t there for Thompson-Robinson the way he needed.
“Keep your head up, we did not do enough for you,” Bitonio said. “It is a tough spot to come in and not really know if you are going to go or not. He is a rookie going against really any defense in the NFL is tough … He took some hits out there that were tough and popped back up. So I have a lot of respect for him for that. But we cannot let him take those.”
The Ravens had plenty of their own injuries and were missing six starters, including receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Rashod Bateman.
However, they still had Jackson — and he was more than enough.
Cleveland’s defense came in ranked No. 1 in virtually every major statistical category, but Jackson brought the Browns back to Earth.
Watson injured his throwing shoulder last week on a running play in a win over Tennessee. It was the lone blemish in his best performance since arriving last year in a trade and serving an 11-game suspension.
Watson was limited in practice all week and was listed as questionable. After he threw a handful of passes three hours before kickoff, the Browns decided to start Thompson-Robinson.
Jackson’s first scoring run came after the Ravens picked off Cleveland’s young QB, who was shaky throughout the game.
On third down, Thompson-Robinson’s intended pass for Amari Cooper was deflected by cornerback Arthur Maulet and corralled by Brandon Stephens, who returned his first career interception 52 yards to Cleveland’s 10.
Jackson took the next snap from the shotgun, ran left and cut back to score untouched and put the Ravens up 7-0.
Cleveland tight end David Njoku played despite suffering burns on his face and arm while lighting a fire pit at home on Friday. Njoku caught a team-high six passes for 46 yards.
He arrived at the stadium wearing a mask to cover his injuries.
NO AVERAGE JOE
Newly jacketed Hall of Famer Joe Thomas was added to the Browns’ Ring of Honor during a halftime ceremony. He also received his Hall of Fame ring after being enshrined this summer.
A 10-time Pro Bowl left tackle with Cleveland, Thomas didn’t miss a single snap — 10,363 straight — before retiring after the 2017 season.
Browns: C Ethan Pocic (chest) went out in the second quarter. He started the third before leaving with a knee injury. Nick Harris, who was supposed to be Cleveland’s starter last season before getting hurt in the exhibition opener, replaced him. … DE Alex Wright (chest) was also hurt. Myles Garrett also was seen with a boot on his foot following the game.
When asked about all the injuries his team is dealing with, Stefanski said they’re looking forward to being ready for their next game.
“The bye comes when it comes on your schedule,” he said. “Obviously we need to get some guys back healthy. But you’re always going to be beat up, every team in the NFL is beat up, no one is 100%. So you got to work to be better next time.”
Stefanski also said he expects Watson to be back after the bye.
Browns: After a bye, host San Francisco on Oct. 15.