A recreation between the NFL’s two finest defenses was a shootout. The Ravens fizzled within the fourth quarter, whereas the Browns popped.
The Ravens led 31-17 early within the fourth quarter Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium and appeared poised for his or her fifth straight win. But Cleveland quarterback Deshaun Watson led three scoring drives within the ultimate 11:34, Lamar Jackson threw a pick-six and Baltimore misplaced, 33-31, for the primary time in over a month.
The Browns trailed by one — due to a missed further level after Greg Newsome’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overcoming a shoulder harm and struggling for a lot of the season and Sunday’s recreation, Watson appeared like his outdated self within the ultimate body, main a game-winning 58-yard drive to place kicker Dustin Hopkins in place to redeem himself and ship Ravens followers residence dismayed.
He did, nailing the 40-yard discipline aim and handing the Ravens their third heartbreaking lack of the season. Before Baltimore’s dominant successful steak, it collapsed late in equally weird vogue to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts.
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 recreation over the Browns (6-3) and Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3). The Cincinnati Bengals (5-4), who head to Baltimore for a prime-time Thursday evening recreation, 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 sign caller, has handled a shoulder harm, Cleveland had a successful file because of its dominant protection. The solely protection with a extra convincing statistical case because the NFL’s finest have been the Ravens, who allowed simply 13.8 factors per recreation 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 had a transparent path to stroll into the tip zone after tipping Watson’s move, protecting his wits about him to catch it after which waltzing into the tip zone.
Running again Keaton Mitchell, final Sunday’s breakout star, rapidly made it a two-score recreation on his first contact of the sport, bouncing an inside handoff exterior 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 a minimum of 35 yards in back-to-back video games. He later had a 32-yard achieve on a display screen — solidifying his presence as a home-run hitter within the Ravens’ offense — on a drive that led to a Justin Tucker discipline aim to place Baltimore up 17-3.
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 led to a punt, a blocked discipline aim (on a Tucker 55-yard try) and a Jackson interception. However, Baltimore’s protection didn’t permit the offensive miscues to harm an excessive amount of, holding Cleveland to 2 discipline objectives and stopping the Browns from moving into place for a 3rd.
The Ravens’ first drive of the second half ended the identical approach their opening drive did: with an extended 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 and sprinting for a 40-yard landing from Jackson.
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.
Baltimore appeared to seal the victory after a muffed punt from former Ravens broad receiver James Proche led to a 1-yard landing run for Gus Edwards — his seventh previously 4 video games. The Ravens had a 97.1% win expectancy after Justin Madubuike sacked Watson with 11:34 to go, in keeping with ESPN, however Watson rapidly spearheaded a scoring drive, culminating in a 10-yard move to Elijah Moore.
Jackson then threw his second interception, as his tipped move landed within the arms of Newsome, who matched Hamilton’s pick-six with one in every of his personal for a 34-yard return. Hopkins’ further level, although, was broad left to provide the Ravens a slim 31-30 lead. The Ravens’ offense stalled once more, giving the Browns a chance for the shock comeback.
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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