A sport between the NFL’s two greatest defenses was a shootout. The Ravens fizzled within the fourth quarter, whereas the Browns popped.
The Ravens led by 14 early within the fourth quarter Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium and regarded poised for his or her fifth straight win. But Cleveland quarterback Deshaun Watson led two scoring drives within the last 11:34, Lamar Jackson threw a pick-six and Baltimore misplaced, 33-31, for the primary time in over a month.
“We did not play well enough,” coach John Harbaugh stated. “We did not play the kind of winning football that we need to play to win a game like that.”
The Browns trailed 31-30 — due to a missed additional level try after Greg Newsome II’s pick-six with 8:16 left — with about 5 minutes remaining after they regained possession as Jackson and the Ravens’ offense continued to flounder. After overcoming a shoulder damage and struggling for a lot of the season and Sunday’s sport, Watson regarded like his outdated self within the last body, main a game-winning 58-yard drive to place kicker Dustin Hopkins in place to redeem himself and ship Ravens followers dwelling dismayed.
He did, nailing the 40-yard area objective as time expired and handing the Ravens (7-3) their third heartbreaking lack of the season. Before Baltimore’s dominant successful steak, it collapsed late in equally weird style to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts.
Baltimore appeared to seal the victory early within the fourth after a muffed punt by former Ravens vast receiver James Proche led to a 1-yard landing run for Gus Edwards — his seventh prior to now 4 video games. The Ravens had a 97.1% win expectancy after Justin Madubuike sacked Watson with 11:34 to go, in line with ESPN, however the quarterback rapidly spearheaded a scoring drive, culminating in a 10-yard landing go to Elijah Moore.
Two performs later, Jackson threw his second interception, as his tipped go landed within the arms of Newsome, who returned it 34 yards to match Kyle Hamilton’s early pick-six. Hopkins’ additional level try, although, sailed vast left to present the Ravens a 31-30 lead. But the Baltimore offense stalled once more, giving the Browns a chance for the shock comeback.
The Ravens didn’t path till the ultimate play. Across 10 video games, they’ve trailed for almost half-hour — lower than 5% of the greater than 600 minutes of sport clock — however have discovered a strategy to lose 3 times.
“These are the types of games that you’ve got to win, you’ve got to be great at,” tight finish Mark Andrews stated. “Everyone has got to lock in. … When it comes to that fourth quarter, it’s time to go.”
The Ravens have been outgained (373 to 306) for simply the second time this season and first time in a loss. Half of Cleveland’s yards got here on the bottom, as Jerome Ford (107 yards) gashed the Ravens’ entrance seven behind a beat up offensive line lacking its prime three tackles. The final time the Ravens allowed extra yards on the bottom than they did Sunday (178) was Jan. 1 in a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers (198).
“Very tough,” outdoors linebacker Jadeveon Clowney stated. “These games you’re supposed to win. Our offense scored 30 points. We were supposed to win this game.”
Baltimore would’ve claimed sole possession of first place within the AFC with a win. Instead, the Ravens’ lead atop the AFC North fell to half a sport over the Browns (6-3) and Steelers (6-3). The Cincinnati Bengals (5-4), who head to Baltimore for a prime-time Thursday evening sport, are in final place after falling to the Houston Texans.
The Browns entered M&T Bank Stadium coming off a dominant 27-0 win over the Arizona Cardinals final Sunday. Despite a tumultuous season as Watson, their embattled quarterback, has handled a shoulder damage, Cleveland had a successful report because of its dominant protection. The solely protection with a extra convincing statistical case because the NFL’s greatest have been the Ravens, who allowed simply 13.8 factors per sport by means of their first 9.
Neither unit performed prefer it Sunday, though Kyle Hamilton’s pick-six on the second play of the sport was an early spotlight. The interception was the second of his younger profession, whereas the landing was his first, and it couldn’t have come simpler as he tipped Watson’s go, saved his wits about him to catch it and waltzed into the tip zone. At 14:20 within the first quarter, it’s the earliest defensive rating in franchise historical past.
“It was a good start to the game, but it seems like it was a long time ago right now,” Hamilton stated.
Running again Keaton Mitchell, final Sunday’s breakout star, rapidly made it a two-score sport on his first contact of the sport, bouncing an inside handoff outdoors and racing previous three Browns defenders for a 39-yard rating — his second profession landing.
The East Carolina standout, who scored a 38-yard landing final week along with a 60-yard run, is the primary participant in Ravens historical past with speeding touchdowns of no less than 35 yards in consecutive video games. He later had a 32-yard acquire on a display — solidifying his presence as a home-run hitter within the Ravens’ offense — on a drive that resulted in a 37-yard area objective by Justin Tucker to place Baltimore up 17-3. However, Mitchell obtained just one carry within the second half and ended the sport with 4 touches and 66 yards.
The 14-point lead was the most recent instance of Baltimore’s first-quarter dominance. The Ravens have outscored their opponents 79-16 in them.
The Browns outplayed the Ravens within the second quarter to enter halftime down 17-9. The Ravens’ three offensive drives within the interval resulted in a punt, a blocked area objective (on a 55-yard try by Tucker) and Jackson’s first interception . But Baltimore’s protection didn’t enable the offensive miscues to harm an excessive amount of, holding Cleveland to 2 area targets and stopping the Browns from stepping into place for a 3rd.
The Ravens’ first drive of the second half ended the identical means their opening drive did: with a protracted landing. This time, as an alternative of the 21-year-old Mitchell it was the 31-year-old Odell Beckham Jr. After scoring his first landing since Super Bowl LVI final week, Beckham discovered the tip zone once more, beating his defender on a slant, corralling Jackson’s go and sprinting for a 40-yard landing towards his outdated group. It was Beckham’s solely catch of the afternoon, because the Ravens’ receiving corps was led by rookie Zay Flowers (5 receptions, 73 yards).
The Browns responded with a 17-play, 75-yard drive, changing a number of third and fourth downs. Running again Kareem Hunt barreled into the tip zone from 3 yards, and Watson transformed the 2-point conversion to path 24-17 early within the fourth.
The drive was the start of Watson’s wonderful second half. The 28-year-old was an ideal 14-for-14 passing for 134 yards within the last two quarters after finishing simply six of his first 20 makes an attempt. Watson, who hasn’t performed properly for the reason that Browns gave him a $230 million contract regardless of dozens of sexual misconduct allegations, added 37 yards together with his legs and prolonged a number of third downs to keep up drives. The Browns transformed eight of 16 third downs, whereas the Ravens failed to take action on six of their eight.
“[Watson] made some key plays late in the fourth,” cornerback Brandon Stephens stated. “He’s the heart and soul of their offense, but yes, he came up big. We fell short. That’s what it comes down to.”
As Watson soared, Jackson struggled. After finishing eight of his first 11 passes, Jackson linked on simply 5 of his subsequent 12 with two interceptions for maybe his worst passing day of the season (13-for-23, 223 yards, one landing, two interceptions).
“That pick-six, the tipped ball, that’s unfortunate,” Jackson stated. “We just have to finish the game. We were up 14 points. We just have to finish like we’ve been doing.”
The Browns’ two scoring drives within the fourth each got here with out star cornerback Marlon Humphrey, who left within the third quarter with an ankle damage. The Ravens’ offense was additionally hampered late, as left deal with Ronnie Stanley went down with a knee damage. Neither former All-Pro returned to the sport.
After successful their first two AFC North video games, the Ravens have misplaced their previous two. They’ll have a brief turnaround to stop it from changing into three straight Thursday versus the Bengals.
“[It] makes Thursday that much more important,” Hamilton stated. “Not that it wasn’t already, but we have Cincinnati coming in here, and [we] have to get that win.”
Bengals at Ravens
Thursday, 8:15 p.m.
TV/Stream: ABC/Prime Video
Radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM
Line: Ravens by 2 1/2