In a back-and-forth divisional game on Monday Night Football, the Baltimore Ravens were able to edge the Cleveland Browns 47-42 to keep themselves in the playoff picture in the AFC.
Led by quarterback Lamar Jackson, who left the game with cramps but returned to throw a 44-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Brown to take the lead in the fourth quarter and then set up Justin Tucker’s 55-yard field goal with two seconds left, Baltimore improved to 8-5 on the season to stay even with the Miami Dolphins for the AFC’s final playoff spot.
Following Jackson’s touchdown to Brown, Baker Mayfield was able to drive Cleveland down the field to tie the game with a TD pass to Kareem Hunt, only to see the game yanked away in the final minute thanks to Tucker.
The Browns did have a chance to bring back the ensuing kickoff for a TD, but their return attempt amounted to a series of laterals that ultimately ended with a safety for Baltimore and the five-point win for the Ravens.
The loss dropped the Browns, who were pummeled 38-6 by the Ravens in Week 1, to 9-4 on the season and snapped Cleveland’s four-game winning streak.
“There can either be good or bad to come from this,” Mayfield said. “You can start pointing fingers, but that’s not this team. We know that we need to fight and make the plays to win when we need to.”
During Monday’s game, Cleveland and Baltimore combined for nine rushing touchdowns, tying a league record set in 1922 by Rock Island and Evansville.
In other news, league officials said there will no effort to cut in line to get the coronavirus vaccine prior to the Super Bowl in February and that the NFL will continue spending millions of dollars on daily COVID-19 tests.
“No one should be thinking about the vaccine going anywhere other than our first responders and the most vulnerable people right now,” said NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith. “Football is not an essential business. While JC and I have a fiduciary duty to our players, I don’t think either of us for a nanosecond forget that we’re fortunate enough to be playing a game while millions of people are out there trying to keep up safe, and that’s where the focus should be.”