Ravens Hold on For Win Against Browns

The Baltimore Ravens moved to 4-3 and remain in first place in the AFC North after edging out the Browns 23-20 on Sunday. While the Ravens came away with the win, it still was not the complete performance that head coach John Harbaugh was looking for from his team.

The Ravens defense gave up a total of 336 yards to a Jacoby Brissett led Browns offense, and gave up 91 yards on the ground to Browns running back Nick Chubb. Chubb got the scoring going on the opening drive of the game when the Browns drove right down the field on the Ravens defense finishing with a Chubb two-yard run.

The Ravens would only muster six points through a quarter and a half of football, as Lamar Jackson and the offense continued their struggles for the fourth straight week.

With just over eight minuted remaining in the half, running back Gus Edwards, in his first game back after tearing his ACL and missing all of 2021. Scored from seven-yards out to give the Ravens their first touchdown of the day. Edrwards first half touchdown would be the first of two touchdowns on the day for Edwards as he added 66 yards on 16 carries in his return.

The Ravens would take a 13-10 lead into the half.

While the Ravens have led at the half in every game this season, that has proven to not guarantee wins by the end of the game, as the Ravens have struggled to hold on to leads in the fourth quarter. A Justin Tucker 55-yard field goal to begin the fourth would prove to be the difference as the Ravens took a 23-13 lead into the fourth.

A two-yard touchdown run by Browns running back Kareem Hunt on their opening possession of the fourth would cut the Ravens lead to three with nine minutes remaining.

With the Ravens looking to chew clock and come away with a win, the Ravens offense went to a run heavy attack as they moved right down the field to the Browns 24 yard line. With just over three minutes remaining and the Browns down to their last timeout, all the Ravens had to down was get one more first down to seal the victory. On second down Justice Hill ran right before cutting back up field, looking to make a big gain. Browns linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah knocked the ball loose from Hill’s hand forcing a fumble and a Browns recovery.

The feeling around the stadium was one of disbelief, that the Ravens would once again blow another fourth quarter lead. The Browns began their most crucial drive of the contest looking to at worst tie the game and send it to overtime. A deep pass to Peoples-Jone against Marcus Peter got the Browns down to the Raven 42 yard line with 2:45 left on the clock. Just two plays later Brissett would look long again, this time finding his receiver Amari Cooper for a touchdown. However, Cooper clearly pushed off on Peters nullifying the go ahead touchdown.

After the penalty the Browns would be unable to convert and would be forced to try a Cade York 55-yard field goal. The Browns once again would make a critical mistake, as guard Michael Dunn would be called for a false start pushing the Browns back to now attempt a 60-yard field goal. York’s low kick attempt would be blocked by Malik Harrison, to all but seal the Ravens victory.

After three straight Ravens runs, they would punt the ball back to the Browns with just 16 seconds and no timeouts. An incomplete pass from Brissett on first down left just seven seconds, and once more attempt to for a miracle. Brissett would find Peoples-Jones on the last play deep over the middle, but would be quickly surrounded by Ravens defenders fumbling the ball in the process, and recovered by safety Geno Stone to give the Ravens their second win over an AFC North opponent this year.

The defense struggled against the Browns as they allowed 113 yards on the ground, and 223 yards through the air. But what was the difference was the ability to reach the quarterback. Brissett was sacked five times, including a strip sack by Calais Campbell. Brissett would also be hit five times. So while the defense didn’t have their best game they did what they needed to help the Ravens come away with the victory.

Lamar Jackson struggled once again as he threw for only 120 yards on 16 attempts, the lowest amount of attempts in his career. The strong return of Gus Edwards however clearly helped the running game as Sunday was one of the best rushing performances by the Ravens as a group , as they collectively ran for 160 total yards.

The Ravens will need to clean things up both offensively and defensively as they have a quick turnaround as the head to Tampa Bay for a Thursday night matchup against Tom Brady and the 3-4 Buccaneers.

Injury Notes:

Josh Bynes (Quad) Day-to-Day

Game Notes:

Lamar Jackson joined Cam Newton as the only quarterbacks to rush for 500 yards in each of their first five seasons.

Justin Tucker has made two or more field goals in 105 career games.

Mark Andrews 55-game catch streak was broken after not recording a catch on Sunday.

Justin Houston recorded a season high two sacks.

Patrick Queen led all Ravens with 11 tackles.

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