Lamar Jackson Injured As Ravens Lose Second Straight

The Ravens were in a must win situation coming into Sunday’s game against the Browns. With the Bengals just one game back and the rest of the AFC North within striking distance the Ravens looked to separate themselves from the pack, by sweeping the Browns.

The Browns however had their backs against the wall and looked to keep their own playoff hopes alive, and did so by hanging on to defeat the Ravens 24-22.

The Browns offense, much like the Ravens has struggled all season to score in the first half. Coming off their bye week Baker Mayfield and the Browns offense came out early looking to quickly put away an injury riddled Ravens team.

The Browns opened the scoring midway through the first quarter, going on a seven play 60-yard drive which ended with a Chase McLaughlin 43-yard field goal.

After a Ravens three and out, the Browns extended their lead. This time Mayfield led an 8 play 66-yard drive, finding receiver Jarvis Landry for a nine yard touchdown reception. The Browns led the Ravens 10-0 at the end of the first quarter.

As the Ravens returned to the field they had accumulated an abysmal seven yards through the first quarter. Lamar Jackson looked to change that, but instead his day would be cut short. On second down Jackson dropped back to pass and rolled out to his right. He found Mark Andrews for five yards. But on the play a Browns defender dove down near his ankles, Jackson fell to the turf grabbing at his right ankle unable to get up.

With the injuries piling up for the Ravens the last thing they could now afford would be Jackson being out for a long period of time with his own injury. Jackson was helped to the sideline and was seen on a cart as he headed to the locker room to be evaluated further. Backup Tyler Huntley would once again get a chance to lead the Ravens offense, as he got his first career start in a 16-13 win over the Bears in week 11.

Huntley’s first pass would be incomplete leading once again to a Ravens punt.

While the Ravens scrambled to adjust losing Jackson, the Browns kept their foot down. On the Browns sixth play of the drive Mayfield found Peoples-Jones for 27-yards down to the Ravens 15 yard line. Five plays later the Browns would find the end zone again, as Mayfield found his tight end Austin Hooper for a one yard grab to extend the Browns lead 17-0.

The Ravens however would get some life on the next Browns drive. After another three and out, the Ravens punted back to the Browns. On the second play of the drive Mayfield dropped back looking for Landry, but instead would be intercepted by Ravens cornerback Anthony Averett, his third interception of the year.

The Ravens began their drive with their best field position of the day at the Browns 39 yard line. After two straight completions by Huntley, the Ravens looked to run on third and two. Devonta Freeman was stuffed for a one yard loss stalling the drive leading to a Justin Tucker 50-yard field goal. Tucker’s try would be successful giving the Ravens their first points of the game cutting the Browns lead 17-3.

A Browns punt on their next possession gave Huntley and the Ravens offense the chance to gain some momentum going into halftime. With just under a minute left in the second half, Huntley again looked to the air, but NFL sack leader Miles Garrett came off the edge, stripping Huntley. Miles picked up his own forced fumble and returned it 15-yards for a Browns touchdown.

After their first turnover of the day, leading to a Browns touchdown, the Ravens now faced a 24-3 deficit with just 49 seconds left in the first half. Huntley looked unfazed by the previous drives fumble, as he led the Ravens down the field using his arms and legs to get the Ravens down to the Browns 44 yard line. With 13 seconds remaining Huntley found Bateman on a quick hitch route. Bateman got away from the first defender before going down at the Browns 24 yard line, a 20-yard gain. With just six seconds left, the Ravens would end a horrible first half that saw little offense and star player Lamar Jackson go down with an injury, with a Justin Tucker 42-yard field goal.

The Browns took a 24-6 lead into the half.

The Ravens received the opening kickoff of the second half, and came out looking to change the entire complexion of this game. Ravens running back Devonta Freeman led the charge, rushing for 4, 8, and 5 yards on three of the first four plays of the drive. Huntley would find Andrews for 32-yards down to the Browns 16 yard line on the fifth play of the drive. But the drive would come to a sudden stop, as the Browns got their second turnover of the game. Huntley from the Browns 12 yard line looked to pass, scrambling out to his right trying to make a play. Huntley was loose with the ball and did not see Browns defensive end Takkarist McKinley behind him. Huntley was hit losing the ball, as it was recovered by the Browns. It would be Huntley’s second lost fumble of the game.

The Browns however would fail to capitalize on the Ravens turnover, as a 10 play drive only netted 16-yards ending in a Browns punt.

With possessions beginning to run out and the deficit at 18, the Ravens desperately needed points to remain in the game. On the first play of the drive Huntley scrambled for a pick up of 11-yards. Just three plays later Huntley had one of the best runs of his young career. After being unable to find an open receiver, Huntley ran around looking for an open lane. Huntley made several moves evading four Browns defenders before going down for an impressive 13-yard pickup. A Browns penalty for unnecessary roughness on the play moved the ball an additional 15-yards to the Ravens 46 yard line. The Ravens would move the ball to the Browns 37 yard line, failing to convert on a third and long. Tucker once again came on connecting this time from 55-yards out to cut the Browns lead 24-9, with just over two minutes remaining in the third quarter.

The Browns however looked to get their first points of the second half on their next possession. The Browns methodically moved down the field on an 11 play 52-yard drive that took up 5:35 of game time. But on fourth down Browns kicker McLaughlin lined up for a 41-yard field goal. McLaughlin’s kick would be no good, as it hit the right upright.

The Ravens took over from their own 31 yard line needing to score their first touchdown, if they had any hopes of winning this game. Huntley found Andrews for 13-yards on fourth down. On the next play Huntley again found Andrews, this time for 20-yards as Andrews bullied his way with Browns defenders on his back down to the Browns 37 yard line. Huntley would look to pass on the next play as he found Bateman for a spectacular catch over his defender down to the Browns one yard line. A much needed drive by the Ravens offense was capped off with a Latavius Murray one yard touchdown run. Their first touchdown of the game. Now down 24-15 the Ravens would go for two looking to cut the Browns lead to eight. But Huntley’s pass would fall incomplete as he looked for Andrews in the end zone.

The Browns and Ravens would trade punts on their next two possessions. As the Browns got the ball back with just under seven minutes remaining, the Ravens defense looked to come up with another key stop, much like they had the entire second half. A quick three and out by the Browns gave the ball back to Huntley and the Ravens with five minutes remaining in the game.

Down 24-15, the Ravens needed two scores to win. While playing in just his sixth career NFL game Huntley would lead the Ravens on a 14 play 90-yard scoring drive that made the young quarterback look like an NFL veteran. Another great catch by Rashad Bateman this time on fourth down set the Ravens up at the Browns eight yard line. On the next play Huntley found Mark Andrews in the back of the end zone. A Justin Tucker PAT brought the Ravens within two of the Browns.

With just over a minute left in the game the Ravens needed a successful Justin Tucker onside kick to keep the game alive. Tucker lined up to kick striking the ball. The ball hit the up man on the Browns bouncing back towards the Ravens. Ravens safety Chuck Clark would fall on the ball giving the ball back to the Ravens.

With the best kicker in NFL history on the Ravens sideline, the Ravens only needed about 20-yards to get within Tucker’s range. A deep pass to Marquise Brown sailed long on first down followed by a Clowney sack on second down, giving the Ravens a third and long. Andrews would get the Ravens first positive yards of the drive on 14-yard catch. Now facing a fourth and six, Huntley dropped back to pass. The Browns blitzed forcing a quick throw to Bateman. Bateman would be tackled almost immediately upon receiving the ball by Browns cornerback Denzel Ward. The Ravens would come up four yards short, giving the win to the Browns.

A valiant effort put forth by the Ravens in the second half would be all for naught as the lead given up in the first half would be too much to overcome.

As the game ended however, attention quickly turned to the health and status of quarterback Lamar Jackson. Jackson, according to head coach John Harbaugh did not suffer a high ankle sprain, an injury that can keep players out for several weeks. Jackson will look to practice this week, and the plan is for him to play this Sunday.

Now sitting at 8-5, still in first in the AFC north, thanks to a Bengals loss Sunday to the 49ers. The Ravens attention now turns to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Green Bay will come to Baltimore in first place in the NFC for a 4:25 contest.

Game Notes:

Mark Andrews set a new franchise record Sunday, passing Todd Heap’s 2005 mark, for receiving yards in a season by a tight end.

Rashad Bateman had a career high seven catches for 103 yards.

Justin Tucker had his first successful onside kick of his career.

Brandon Stephens led all Ravens with eight tackles.

Tyler Huntley threw his first career touchdown pass.

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