|Baltimore Ravens cornerback Cary Williams is congratulated after scoring a touchdown during the game against the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium. (US Presswire)|
Up 16-10 late in the third quarter Thursday night in Baltimore, Williams perfectly read a throw from Browns QB Brandon Weeden to WR Travis Benjamin and jumped the route. He then took the interception 63 yards down the field for a touchdown, giving the Ravens a 23-10 cushion at the time. The Ravens (3-1) would hold on for the win, 23-16.
Williams came under a lot of scrutiny after giving up 12 catches against the Patriots on Sunday night. But he more than made up for it with a crucial interception that helped give Baltimore a victory and kept the Browns winless at 0-4.
“I've been facing adversity my whole life,” Williams said. “I can't allow the naysayers or the negativity, what people say, or the criticism, to affect me, because at the end of the day I've been so successful.”
When the game turned: Leading just 16-10 in the third quarter, Williams' interception for a touchdown changed the momentum and flow of the game. The Ravens would fail to score again after the pick-six, though the defense did just enough to hold the Browns to two long fourth-quarter field goals.
Highlight moments: On Baltimore's first touchdown of the game, receiver Torrey Smith split Cleveland's cover 2 defense in textbook fashion. He gave a quick look outside before cutting in between both safeties. Joe Flacco threw the ball over the linebacker and Smith caught it in the back of the end zone. … As mentioned, Williams' interception was a perfect read of an out-route from Weeden to Benjamin. Williams admitted he gambled but it paid off as he ran the interception back for six points. … Browns K Phil Dawson made field goals from 50, 51 and 52 yards away -- in the pouring rain. Each kick was struck perfectly with room to spare.
- Ravens QB Flacco -- 28-46, 356 yards, one TD, one INT.
- Ravens WR Anquan Boldin -- nine receptions, 131 yards.
- Ravens WR Smith -- six receptions, 97 yards, one TD.
- Browns QB Weeden -- 25-52, 320 yards, one INT.
- Browns RB Trent Richardson -- 14 carries, 47 yards, one TD; four receptions, 57 yards.
What they said about CB Cary Williams' interception:
- Ravens S Ed Reed -- “He's more deserving of an interception touchdown than any other person on this team. I'm just proud of him, to go through the ups and downs he's gone through and the criticism he's gone through, and the stuff he takes on a personal level.”
- Browns QB Weeden -- “Travis (Benjamin) ran a 5-yard out and I threw it to his back hip. Williams is an aggressive cornerback, and he is a very good cornerback. He made a good play. Of course, I'd like to have it back. That play was seven points and we lost by seven points.”
- Ravens CB Lardarius Webb -- “That was a huge moment. They kept messing with him, but we knew that he would eventually come through. I've been working with him every day since training camp, and I know what he's got. He started off a little slow, but you see the big play potential in him. He makes plays and that's why we believe in him.”
- Browns coach Pat Shurmur -- “He made a good play. Saw it pretty close, right in front of me.”
Numbers you should know: This is the third consecutive game the Ravens have given up more than 300 yards passing. Eagles QB Michael Vick threw for 371 yards two weeks ago, and Patriots QB Tom Brady threw for 335 yards. … The Ravens ran 77 plays to Cleveland's 70. This is the first time Baltimore has run more offensive plays than its opponent all season. Entering Thursday's game, Baltimore was averaging 63 plays per game.
Injury update: Browns WR/RS Joshua Cribbs left the game in the first half after absorbing a hit to the head that knocked his helmet off. S T.J. Ward (right hand), S Tashaun Gipson (knee) and S Usama Young (knee) were also banged up after the game. ... Ravens WR Torrey Smith limped off the field in the fourth quarter but stayed mum on the injury in the locker room after the game. However, Smith said he would be "all right."
Going forward: The Ravens get to rest this weekend before resuming practice Monday to prepare for Kansas City away from home. The Chiefs showed a spark in their running game last week, though that plays into Baltimore's strength on defense. Cleveland gets a week of rest before traveling to New York to take on the Giants. The problematic Browns secondary will once again have to take on a top passing attack without CB Joe Haden.