BALTIMORE - Something obviously happened to get Browns defensive lineman Phil Taylor so upset.
Taylor became visibly angry after Ray Rice was tackled for a loss of 3 yards by Desmond Bryant on the second play from scrimmage. Taylor and Rice stood as close to nose-to-nose as possible (Taylor is 6-3 and Rice stands 5-8). At that point something happened that triggered a punch to Rice's facemask by Taylor, who was penalized 15 yards.
Taylor was asked if Rice spit on him. He wouldn't yes or no, but he left the impression that all wasn't right.
"Look at the film; you'll see," Taylor said.
Sensing that Taylor was borderline out of control, Browns coach Rob Chudzinski sent Ishmaa'ily Kitchen in as a substitute. Taylor waived off a confused Kitchen, who returned to the sideline while Chudzinski tried to get him back on the field.
"We had some composure issues early in the game that we need to get better at and improve," Chudzinski said.
There apparently weren't any previous issues between Rice and Taylor.
"I don't like any running back I play against," Taylor said. "Look at the film. It is what it is. I have to keep my composure."
MASS CONFUSION: Former Browns coach Pat Shurmur was criticized for not getting plays off quick enough. That was supposed to change with Norv Turner calling plays, but the offense was penalized three times for delay of game.
"I know there were some communication issues on one or two of them and getting the right personnel in there," Chudzinski said. "We'll look at it and make the corrections. It needs to be better, and it will be better."
COLD WELCOME: Browns kicker Billy Cundiff was booed each time he lined up for a field-goal attempt. The fans at M&T Bank Stadium haven't forgotten his 32-yard miss late in the fourth quarter of the 2012 AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots. The Patriots won the game, 23-20, in overtime.
Ironically, Cundiff, who was 1-of-13 from 50 or beyond since 2009, made a 51-yard kick late in the second quarter to give the Browns a 6-0 halftime lead. Ravens kicker Justin Tucker was wide right on kicks of 50 and 44 yards.
BIG NUMBERS: Browns tight end Jordan Cameron followed up a 108-yard receiving performance against the Dolphins with five receptions for 95 yards. He took a Brandon Weeden pass for 53 yards on the Browns' first play from scrimmage.
With 5 more yards, Cameron would have been the first Browns tight end since Milt Morin to register consecutive 100-yard receiving games.
DOWN AND OUT: Defensive lineman Ahtyba Rubin missed a second straight game with a calf injury. Rubin suffered the injury during a practice three days before the opener against the Dolphins.
Billy Winn started in Rubin's place.
TOTAL FRUSTRATION: The frustration level for the Browns' offense is rising. From allowing 11 sacks in two games to the failure of anyone to step up and make a big play, nothing of a positive nature is happening.
"It's a collective issue right now," guard John Greco said. "We need guys to make a play. I'm trying to do my part. The guys next to us are trying to do their parts. We just need a guy to make a play and spark us a little bit, and we'll build chemistry and keep it rolling."
A BIT STRANGE: Browns linebacker Paul Kruger probably felt the urge to walk to the home side of the field more than once. Kruger played four seasons with the Ravens before signing with the Browns in the offseason.
"I wouldn't say bizarre, but it was just a little different to see those guys I was with a lot," Kruger said. "It was a game I really wanted to win. It's hard to come in here and not do what we got to do to win."
CLOSE CALL: Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco faced the choice of being with his wife Dana for the birth of their second child or playing. He chose to play, saying that his wife agreed with the decision.
Dana gave birth to the couple's second boy shortly before noon. Joe took a phone call while on the field for pre-game warmups to receive the good news.
HURTING BIRDS: The Ravens were without receivers Jacoby Jones and Deonte Thompson. Marlon Brown started in place of Jones.
INJURY REPORT: Browns linebacker Quentin Groves injured his left ankle on the opening kick of the second half. He hoped off the field.
INACTIVES: Out for the Browns were tight end MarQueis Gray, offensive lineman Martin Wallace, offensive lineman Shawn Lauvao, Rubin, defensive lineman Armonty Bryant; linebacker Paul Hazel and third quarterback Brian Hoyer.
The Ravens sidelined Jones, running back Shaun Draughn, offensive lineman Jah Redi, offensive tackle Ryan Jensen, Thompson, defensive lineman DeAngelo Tyson and defensive lineman Brandon Williams.