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Ravens secure clutch victory against division rival Browns


The Ravens faced off against their division rival, the Cleveland Browns, in a game with the potential to change the direction of the playoff race for both teams. Each team looked to clinch a Wild Card spot as the undefeated Steelers looked poised to claim a division title. In the end, Baltimore was victorious, securing a 47-42 win. 

The first quarter started with some offensive momentum on both sides. The Browns received first and made a gradual progression to the end zone on a 7-yard run from RB Nick Chubb. Baltimore responded with a long drive of their own, taking up nearly six minutes of play. That patience paid off with a 5-yard touchdown run from QB Lamar Jackson to even the score. Cleveland drove the ball into Baltimore territory again, looking to kick a field goal as the clock expired.

Cleveland missed a 39-yard field goal to start what would be a wild second quarter. After a 3 and out by the offense and a stop by the defense, Baltimore regained the lead eight minutes into the quarter on a run from RB Gus Edwards after an 8-play, 80-yard march down the field. QB Baker Mayfield and the Browns responded with a touchdown of their own on another run by Chubb to tie it again at 14-14. After yet another 3 and out from the Ravens, their defense managed a huge stop to give the offense another chance to score before the half. With one minute left, Jackson led a huge drive with a dazzling 39-yard pass to TE Mark Andrews and a magnificent 17-yard scramble for a touchdown. The Ravens entered the half with a 21-14 lead and a competitive game on their hands.

Baltimore started the second half hot with a 4-play, 75-yard touchdown drive capped off by a 19-yard run from Edwards to increase the lead to 28-14. Cleveland responded quickly with a 75-yard touchdown drive of their own after a 5-yard run from RB Kareem Hunt. After a failed Baltimore drive, the Ravens defense made a tremendous play from an interception by LB Tyus Bowser. This allowed the offense to score immediately on a 1-yard J.K. Dobbins run to gain a 34-20 lead. The third quarter ended with a Cleveland possession, who looked to score as they drove into Baltimore territory.

The fourth quarter started with the Browns striking at the Ravens defense and scoring on a Mayfield pass to WR Rashard Higgins. Cleveland took a daring yet successful two-point conversion to close the gap at 34-28. A failed Ravens drive gave Cleveland the chance to take the lead, and the Browns managed another touchdown off of a 5-yard scramble from Mayfield to take a 35-34 lead with just six minutes left. With the pressure on the Ravens and a potential playoff spot within their reach, Jackson threw a clutch pass to Brown for 44 yards and the touchdown to take a 42-35 lead after a two-point conversion. With just under two minutes left, Cleveland attempted a late comeback and tied the game after a Mayfield pass to Hunt. Jackson and the Ravens allowed for just enough time and space to give Tucker a 55-yard field goal with just two seconds left to clinch the game. 

This victory could very well decide if the Ravens clinch the playoff spot as the standings move closer into the playoffs to a Wild Card spot. The Ravens look for another victory against the Jaguars on Sunday afternoon to reach closer to the postseason.

Featured Image courtesy of Scott Kisha via Flickr Creative Commons

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Ravens secure clutch victory against division rival Browns