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Browns vs. Ravens Final Score: Cleveland falls short in 47-42 shootout

It was a game-of-the-year candidate, but it didn’t go the Browns way.

Baltimore Ravens v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

It was a crazy game. Cleveland was so close to winning, losing, winning, losing, etc. Some may call it a game-of-the-year candidate. But ultimately, it was Justin Tucker’s 55-yard field goal to win it at the end. Let’s get to the recap of the game.

1st Quarter

The Browns received the ball to begin the game, and things didn’t start the best when QB Baker Mayfield took a hit on the first play. But it was smooth sailing from there, including two first downs by TE David Njoku, WR Jarvis Landry throwing a pass to RB Nick Chubb, and the team even surviving back-to-back fumbles by WR Rashard Higgins. On 1st-and-goal from the 7 yard line, Chubb punched the ball in for a touchdown to give the Browns a 7-0 lead.

On Baltimore’s first offensive drive, QB Lamar Jackson kept slipping, but he also kept re-gathering himself and using his mobility to create yardage and move the chains. CB M.J. Stewart was beat and flagged for pass interference on a deep ball that helped Baltimore get a big chunk of their yardage. Down in a goal-to-go situation, Jackson’s keeper on 3rd-and-3 from the 5 yard line took him to the end zone for a touchdown, tying the game at 7-7.

The Browns moved the ball well on their second offensive drive, but a missed connection to FB Andy Janovich and a false start by TE Harrison Bryant set the team back. The Browns were in position for a 39-yard field goal attempt heading to the second quarter.

2nd Quarter

On the first play of the second quarter, K Cody Parkey’s attempt from 39 yards out was no good, as it stayed to the left of the upright. Fortunately, the defense picked Parkey up, registering sacks on second and third down by DE Olivier Vernon and DT Sheldon Richardson, respectively. After the punt, the Browns’ offense took over again at their own 35 yard line.

After picking up one first down, the Browns’ next drive stalled when Higgins tried to body catch a second down pass (allowing the defender to knock it away), and Bryant took his eyes off the ball on third down (perhaps thinking that Mayfield was going to scramble and run with it). Then, P Jamie Gillan’s punt went to the end zone after the Ravens’ return man duped the Browns’ coverage units into thinking he was making a fair catch up the field.

The Ravens’ rushing attack picked it up a notch on their third drive of the game, as Jackson and RB JK Dobbins picked up chunks of yards at a time. DE Myles Garrett also had to leave during the drive after sustaining what looked to be an elbow injury. A few plays later, RB Gus Edwards punched it in from 11 yards out, giving the Ravens their first lead of the game at 14-7 with 7:49 to go in the first half.

After having six straight incompletions, Mayfield completed a much-needed first down to Landry, followed by a 37-yard flag route to WR Donovan Peoples-Jones to get Cleveland into the red zone.

After an 8-yard run by Chubb on first down, he went untouched 14 yards up the middle for a touchdown, tying the game at 14-14 with 4:16 left in the first half.

Because the Ravens would be getting the ball first in the second half, it made it all-the-more important for the Browns’ defense to get a stop heading into the intermission. They got off to a great start with that when Vernon sacked Jackson for an 11-yard loss on first down — and then Baltimore ran two run plays after that to set up a 4th-and-15 heading into the two-minute warning.

After the punt, the Browns took over at the 35 yard line with two timeouts to work with. Unfortunately, after one completion, RB Kareem Hunt was blasted on second down, leading to a dropped pass. Then, a third down completion was negated by offensive pass interference, and grounding was called on Mayfield on the next play. Cleveland punted, and Baltimore actually took over with much better field position with 1:01 to go at their own 44 yard line, after just a 35-yard punt by Gillan.

The Browns forced two straight incompletions, and then on third down, the play was dead — Jackson rolled away for his life and lobbed the ball up to TE Mark Andrews, who ended up being wide open for a 39-yard gain because Stewart had lost track of him when he started ball-watching Jackson.

One play later, Jackson took off for a 17-yard touchdown, putting the Ravens up 21-14.

Baltimore’s end-of-half quick strike no doubt drew parallels to the Browns’ miscues in Week 1, and the Ravens capitalizing with a quick strike touchdown to change the complexion of the game. Mayfield’s Hail Mary attempt to close out the first half was thrown out of the back of the end zone.

3rd Quarter

The Ravens got the ball to begin the second half, and on their first third down situation, they continued to kill Cleveland on the ground. Jackson ran the read-option and when Garrett went after the running back, there was an enormous hole for Jackson, who took off for a 44-yard gain. On the next play, Edwards again ran with ease for a 19-yard touchdown, breaking a tackle of LB Mack Wilson, to put the Ravens up 28-14 in a flash.

Cleveland’s offense responded with a mix of runs and passes — but through the air, it was a 14-yard completion to Njoku and then a 26-yard pass to Hunt up the right sideline that got Cleveland into a goal-to-go situation again. On 2nd-and-goal from the 5 yard line, Hunt powered it in over the middle for the score. Unfortunately, Parkey’s bad night continued, as he missed the extra point, keeping the score at 28-20 with 9:06 to go in the third quarter.

After getting to midfield, Jackson tried to float a few balls downfield to receivers who had a step on their man — but he overthrew the ball in both instances, forcing the punt unit to have to come on.

And then, disaster struck — Mayfield hadn’t thrown an interception since Week 7, but his outside throw was intercepted on a one-hand stab by LB Tyus Bowser, who returned it to the 1-yard line. One play later, Dobbins punched it in to make it a 34-20 game — the only marginal good note was that DT Vincent Taylor blocked the extra point.

With 4:21 left in the third quarter, Cleveland had very little margin for error, needing two touchdowns and to hold Baltimore. After getting close to midfield before the end of the quarter, Cleveland went for it on 4th-and-4 — and converted with a 12-yard slant to Landry. The Browns caught the Ravens with 12 men on the field just before the end of the quarter, setting up a 1st-and-5 from the 38 yard line. The final play of the quarter was a 10-yard run by Hunt, setting the Browns up at the 27 yard line.

4th Quarter

Facing another 4th-and-4 at the 27 yard line, the Browns had to go for it. Mayfield stood in the pocket, faced pressure, then started to run. He could’ve run for the first down, but saw CB Marcus Peters fall down and WR Rashard Higgins wide open, connecting with him for the 27-yard touchdown to make it a 34-26 game.

Cleveland unconventionally went for two, and Mayfield didn’t see anyone at first. Then he found Hunt on the delay release, but Hunt had the ball bounce off his hands — and luckily, the ball went into the hands of a diving Peoples-Jones to make it 34-28 with 13:36 to go!

In a twist that no one saw coming, Trace McSorley came into the game at quarterback for Baltimore, as Jackson was dealing with cramps in the locker room. The Ravens went three-and-out, thanks to WR Maquise Brown dropping a wide open first down catch.

And just like that, the game swung back into Cleveland’s favor. The Ravens couldn’t stop Hunt, Chubb, or throws to Higgins on the outside. The Browns quickly got into scoring range, but things got tight when Njoku couldn’t haul in a high pass that hit him in the hands in the end zone. On 3rd-and-goal from the 5, Mayfield waited, and waited, and then took off, finding an opening along the right side and slid into the end zone for a touchdown! Parkey made the extra point to give Cleveland a 35-34 lead with 6:33 to go!

McSorley was still in at quarterback, and the Browns got two stops on the first two downs to set up a 3rd-and-10. McSorley had the benefit of Richardson slipping on his rush, and got the completion to Snead for a first down. Two runs later, the Ravens had the ball to midfield, drawing closer to field goal range. Adding yet another twist, McSorley hurt his knee on a 3rd-and-2 play where he was hit for a loss of four yards.

That set up 4th-and-6 from the 45 yard line at the two-minute warning. And of course, with no other quarterbacks, Jackson raced back onto the field to grab his helmet for the biggest play of the season for both teams. This is it. A conversion, and the Ravens likely get in field goal range for Tucker. If they don’t get it, Cleveland basically secures a playoff spot. What happened?

It didn’t go Cleveland’s way. The Browns brought pressure up the middle, and Baltimore blocked it up. Jackson rolled right and could’ve easily ran for a lot of yards, but instead he found Brown uncovered for a 44-yard touchdown. Baltimore ran for the two-point conversion to re-take a 7-point lead at 42-35.

The Browns still had a chance to tie it, having all three timeouts with 1:51 to go. Mayfield began the drive with a 30-yard strike to Peoples-Jones up the left sideline. Before you could even blink, Hunt scored on a 22-yard touchdown from Mayfield, taking less than a minute off the clock, to make it a 42-41 game. Parkey again had to make a pressure extra point, and he connected to tie it up at 42-42 with 1:04 to go.

Here we go again — little time, could Jackson get into scoring range again, or would the game go to overtime?

Jackson started with back-to-back 14-yard throws to Andrews, putting the ball to the Cleveland 47 yard line and only needing about 7 yards to get in range for a long field goal try. They ended up getting in range a few plays later for Tucker — a 55-yard attempt to win it — and he drilled it, putting Baltimore up 45-42 with 0:02 to go.

The Browns tried to play the lateral game, but ended up leading to a safety, making the final score 47-42. Cleveland drops to 9-4 on the season, but are still one game ahead of the Ravens. Cleveland now has to sweep the New York teams coming up.

Up Next

The Browns will play on the road on Sunday, December 20, in their Week 15 match-up against the New York Giants. The game will be at 8:20 PM ET on Sunday Night Football.

Quick Hitter Stats

  • QB Baker Mayfield: 27-pf-46 for 341 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT. 5 rushes, 23 yards, 1 TD.
  • RB Nick Chubb: 17 carries, 82 yards, 2 TD. 2 catches, 21 yards.
  • RB Kareem Hunt: 6 carries, 33 yards, 1 TD. 5 catches, 75 yards, 1 TD.
  • WR Jarvis Landry: 6 catches, 52 yards. 1-of-1 for 12 yards.
  • WR Rashard Higgins: 6 catches, 68 yards, 1 TD.
  • WR Donovan Peoples-Jones: 3 catches, 74 yards.
  • 2 sacks for Olivier Vernon.

Quick Hitter Notes

  • What can you say? Crazy effort by the Browns’ offense. Mostly disappointing effort by the Browns’ defense.
  • If we’re thinking big picture, this Cleveland team should take care of business against the Giants and Jets. Even with the loss, the Browns are still the No. 5 seed, and we’re still ahead of Baltimore. Although we did lose that margin for error if the Ravens win out and the Browns lose to Pittsburgh in Week 17.
  • Back to this game — much like the first game, there were a lot of miscues by the Browns in the first half that put them in a deficit. Parkey missed a field goal and an extra point. Instead of running the clock out or scoring in the two-minute drill in the first half, Baltimore got the ball back and scored a touchdown. Mayfield also got burned by what was basically a pick six near the end of the third quarter.
  • For some of that bad, Cleveland did offset it with a few things. They got a lucky bounce when going for two (in a situation where they didn’t even have to go for two). They also had a weird stretch where McSorley came in to play quarterback, allowing the Browns to catch up and take the lead.
  • And then just when it looked like Cleveland would win after stopping an injured McSorley, here comes Jackson on fourth down, back from out of no where, to save the day. Freaking crazy stuff.


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