After a tough loss to the hated Pittsburgh Steelers, the Baltimore Ravens are 5-3 heading into the second half of their season. They’ll kick it off with a prime-time tilt at home against the Cleveland Browns.
Things get going with a touchback on the kickoff by Justin Tucker, and quarterback Robert Griffin III runs into the huddle to get the game started.
The Browns get off to a fast start, with Griffin hitting wide receiver Andrew Hawkins for several long gains to get into Ravens territory. Several decent runs by Isaiah Crowell take Cleveland all the way down to the Ravens goal line, where Travis Coons would kick a field goal to give them the lead.
BAL- 0, CLE- 3
The Ravens start off with a 26 yard completion to Smith Sr., but they quickly stall at midfield and punt it back to the Browns.
For the rest of the first quarter, and into the second quarter, neither team can get anything going offensively. Finally, the Ravens get some hard running out of Buck Allen to take them all the way down to the Browns two yard line.
Flacco hits Ben Watson in the end zone from there, giving the Ravens the lead with 5:09 left in the half.
BAL- 7, CLE- 3
The Browns look to answer, and do so with some long completions to rookie receiver Corey Coleman. Two personal fouls by the Ravens defense result in Cleveland making it down to the nine yard line, where Griffin hits Hawkins for the go ahead touchdown.
BAL- 7, CLE- 10
Mike Wallace provides a spark for the Ravens offense on the next drive, catching several long passes to advance onto Cleveland’s half of the field.
Some nice runs by Justin Forsett push it even further down to the Cleveland six, where Justin Tucker would kick the tying field goal.
BAL- 10, CLE- 10
With 2:40 left to go in the half, Hue Jackson would like his offense to get something going here and they’re aided in doing so by yet another 15 yard penalty from the Ravens defense.
Several completions to Taylor Gabriel and Andrew Hawkins get the Browns down to the Ravens two yard line, where Crowell would punch it in to give them a lead with 1:08 to go in the half.
BAL- 10, CLE- 17
The Ravens receive the ball to start the second half, and on their first third down, Flacco is picked off by Tramon Williams, who adds twenty on the return.
A few runs from Crowell end with the ball on the one yard line, where the Ravens defense stifles Griffin and the Browns. Coons kicks the field goal to make the lead 10 for Cleveland.
BAL- 10, CLE- 20
The Ravens ineptitude continues, and after a three and out, the Browns embark on another threatening drive.
Griffin goes to Coleman, Gabriel, and Duke Johnson several times to get the ball down to the Ravens seven yard line. Coons would add another field goal with 2:31 left in the third quarter to make this trap game very much in doubt for Baltimore.
BAL- 10, CLE- 23
The Ravens desperately need an answer out of their offense, and this time they get it. Flacco goes to Smith Sr. and Aiken to push the ball down to the Browns 11 yard line, where a few runs by Forsett eventually get them into the paint.
BAL- 17, CLE- 23
The Browns get the ball back in the fourth quarter with a chance to put the ball game away. Driving into Ravens territory, they threaten to do just that, until CJ Mosley puts on his clutch pants and recovers a fumble for Baltimore.
With 6:34 left to go, the Ravens don’t have much time to prevent an upset at home. Their problem is compounded when Flacco is sacked on third down, and they’re forced to punt it back to the Browns.
Just a field goal would probably put this one out of reach for the Ravens, and the Browns know that. So does Eric Weddle, who picks off Griffin at the Cleveland forty yard line, adding eight to the return. Game on.
A few rushes by Flacco and Forsett keep the game alive, and a roughing the passer penalty sets the Ravens up down at the one yard line. Buck Allen plunges it in, and Baltimore goes ahead with 5:08 to go.
BAL- 24, CLE- 23
The Browns aren't done in this one though. Griffin takes them right back down the field with some long completions to Hawkins and Gary Barnidge, and just like that, they’re back in the end zone after a 2 yard quarterback draw on third down. They line up to go for two, and they punch it in with Griffin again keeping it himself.
BAL- 24, CLE- 31
The Ravens need to answer, but instead come up with a three and out, punting it to the Browns on their next possession.
The Browns can't quite put the game away, and punt it back to the Ravens after a three and out of their own.
With about two and a half minutes to go in the game, the Ravens need to score a touchdown here.
Flacco hits Watson and Wallace for several long gains to get the Ravens down into the Browns red zone. A few runs get the Ravens close, but a holding penalty on third down set them back late. An incompletion on 3rd and 13 sets the Ravens up with a convert or go home scenario with about a minute to go.
An incompletion on a pass to Smith Sr. ends this one, and the Ravens are 5-4.
Notable Ravens stats:
Flacco had another somewhat shaky performance, completing 53 percent of his passes for 268 yards, a touchdown, and an interception.
Forrest ran it 20 times for 89 yards and a touchdown, while Buck Allen added a score on the ground as well.
Mike Wallace had 7 catches for 100 yards, while Ben Watson caught Flacco’s only touchdown.
CJ Mosley had 16 tackles and a forced fumble that he recovered, while Eric Weddle added an interception.