BALTIMORE, Maryland — The NFL officials got standing ovations for perhaps the first time in history, and the young Browns were unable to earn a divisional win for head coach Pat Shurmur.
The Ravens posted a 23-16 Thursday night win at M & T Stadium in Baltimore.
A scoreless first quarter featured a horrific hit on Browns return man Josh Cribbs. His helmet flew off, his head hit the turf and bounced and he was out cold on the field.
Five minutes later he was walking off the field, but after tests in the lockeroom the team announced that Cribbs had a head injury and would not return to the game. Shurmur later told reporters that Cribbs had suffered a concussion.
Baltimore got on board in the second quarter when Joe Flacco hit Torrey Smith on an 18 yard TD pass. A Justin Tucker field goal gave the home team a 9-0 lead at the 10:08 mark.
Cleveland got on the board late in the half when Trent Richardson sprinted to the pylon on a one yard TD run.
The two-point deficit changed in the 3rd quarter when the Ravens’ Joe Flacco scored on a one-yard run.
Phil Dawson got three of the points back when he booted a 51-yard field goal in the rain.
Baltimore led 16-10.
The dagger into Browns fans’ hearts came with 27 seconds left in the 3rd quarter when Cary Williams swiped a Brandon Weeden pass and took it 63 yards for the score and a 23-10 Ravens lead.
After that it was a matter of catch up and it was tough for Weeden and company to get things done.
Dawson hit a second field goal to bring the Browns within 10 points, 23-13.
With 4:33 left in the game, Brandon Weeden launched a spiral into the end zone, and it just glanced off the hands of Greg Little.
Dawson converted again; this time from 52 yards and the Browns were within a touchdown, 23-16.
From that point, the clock was on the Ravens’ side.
It came down to a fourth down play by the Browns’ Weeden with no time on the clock.
The pass was overthrown and the Ravens won it 23-16.