BALTIMORE (AP) — The Cleveland Browns took on the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium Sunday afternoon and won in a big way!
But it was an uphill battle. The Ravens led the Browns 17-3 heading into the second quarter.
At halftime, the Baltimore Ravens held onto their lead with a score of 17-9 over the Browns.
Rolling into the third quarter, it was questionable if Deshawn Watson was going to return to the field following what looked to be a back injury right before the halftime break. However, he did come back into the game.
Former Browns player Odell Beckham Jr. scored the touchdown against Cleveland early, moving the score to 24-9 with a good kick from Justin Tucker.
Safety Juan Thornhill is questionable with a calf injury and CB Denzel Ward, who was cleared of concussion protocol, is officially out with a neck injury, the NFL announced in the third quarter.
The Browns got the ball back, and answered with a 10-minute long 17-play drive. Kareem Hunt got the ball into the end zone for the touchdown and Watson scored the 2-point conversion, making it a 7 point game.
Following two great quarterback sacks from Myles Garrett, the Ravens punted at the start of the fourth quarter … and were able to take the ball from the Browns at the 10.
After what felt like 100 flags, the Ravens finally scored a touchdown that was not called back. The score moved to 31-17.
The Browns refused to take that lying down, moving back down the field quickly and scored a touchdown with the help of WR Elijah Moore, with Hopkins scoring the extra point. The score moves to 31-24.
The fourth quarter continued to be wild, with cornerback Greg Newsome getting his first touchdown in the NFL with a pick. Hopkins, who has come through for the Browns all game, failed to get the extra point and the score moved to 31-30.
Hopkins got another chance at the end of the game, scoring an excellent 3 points from 40 yards, making the score 33-31 in the end. Ravens fans were stunned and so were the Browns fans.
See moments from the game in the photo gallery below:
The Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns have relied on a similar formula for success this season — a star quarterback paired with one of the league’s top defenses.
Lamar Jackson has been healthy and played every game so far. Deshaun Watson hasn’t — but he’s expected to be on the field when the teams meet on Sunday.
“Deshaun is a playmaker,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “He’s going to do it on time with the rhythm passing and the quick game. He can do it with play-action — the boots and the play-action stuff off of their zone run game — and then he can do it as far as extending the play.”
Baltimore beat Cleveland 28-3 earlier this season, but that was with Watson out and Dorian Thompson-Robinson making his first career start. When the teams meet again in Baltimore on Sunday, the two-star quarterbacks should be ready. The matchup between them is actually pretty rare.
Watson’s injury kept him out of the Browns-Ravens matchup this October. Last season, the first meeting pitted Jackson against Jacoby Brissett with Watson suspended. The second matchup was between Watson and Tyler Huntley because of an injury to Jackson.
Jackson and Watson did face off twice when the latter was with Houston. The Ravens beat the Texans 41-7 in 2019 and 33-16 in 2020.
The quarterbacks shouldn’t expect an easy game on Sunday. The Browns (5-3) are ranked No. 1 in the NFL in total defense, with the Ravens (7-2) at No. 2. Cleveland is coming off a 27-0 win over Arizona in which the Cardinals finished with only 58 net yards, the lowest total by any team in the NFL this season.
In fact, the Browns defense is responsible for the three lowest yardage totals of the season, with the Ravens defense at No. 5 on that list after holding Seattle to 151 yards in a 37-3 rout last week.
“They’re very talented,” Watson said. “I mean, they know exactly what they want to do. A lot of guys played a lot of football, a lot of depth in that defense, and they make you earn everything.”