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Ravens vs Browns Final Recap: Defensive game ends in heartbreaking fashion

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Baltimore Ravens v Cleveland Browns Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Baltimore Ravens traveled to Cleveland to take on the Browns in a divisional Sunday matchup.

Running back Alex Collins started the game fast with a 19-yard run on the first play of the game. Several plays later, the Ravens were faced with fourth-and-inches. Quarterback Joe Flacco was able to convert with a quarterback sneak. The drive stalled with a drop from wide receiver Michael Crabtree on 3rd-and-8, leading Baltimore to punt. Crabtree has struggled with drops thus far this season.

The Ravens defense was able to get to Baker Mayfield early, pressuring him into throwing an interception to cornerback Tavon Young.

However, Baltimore’s offense was unable to put the ball in the end zone, with another bad drop from Crabtree on second down and an incompletion to John Brown on third. Justin Tucker gave the Ravens a 3-0 lead with a 44-yard field goal.

The Browns offense was able to find some rhythm on the next drive, making it to Baltimore’s 35-yard line. Safety Eric Weddle was able to sack Mayfield for a nine-yard loss on third down, putting Cleveland out of field goal range.

After another punt from both teams, the Ravens were able to drive down the field to the Browns two-yard line, but Flacco was intercepted on a tipped pass to tight end Nick Boyle. Rookie Denzel Ward was the one to make the interception, making it his third of the season.

Following several more punts from both teams, Cleveland was finally able to score a touchdown. Mayfield led the Browns offense on a six play 78-yard drive, resulting in a 19-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Rashard Higgins. A missed extra point kept the score at 6-3.

Baltimore’s offense was able to get into field goal range with under 10 seconds remaining in the half, but Tucker’s attempt to tie the game was blocked by Ward. Cleveland entered halftime with a 6-3 lead.

Things did not get any easier for the offense to start the second half, as running back Javorius Allen fumbled the ball on a catch-and-run. The Browns were able to turn it into three points with a 35-yard field goal, extending the lead to 9-3. The Ravens answered with a 25-yard field goal of their own, cutting the lead to three points again.

Both defenses continued to play hard, forcing five combined punts before Baltimore was finally able to hit another field goal, this time from 32-yards to tie the game with 3:37 left to play in regulation. Cleveland was in position to win the game with a 55-yard field goal, but the kick was wide left, forcing overtime for the third time this season for the Browns.

Cleveland won the toss and elected to receive the ball to start, but quickly went three-and-out and had to punt. The Ravens marched the ball down the field and seemingly into Tucker’s field goal range after a 17-yard run from Collins. The play was called back for an illegal block in the back on Chris Moore, and Baltimore was forced to punt.

Both teams had failed drives to follow, with Cleveland turning the ball over on downs and the Ravens once again punting. The Browns received the ball with a little over two minutes left in overtime. After a 39-yard pass from Mayfield to rookie receiver Derrick Willies, Cleveland was in potential field goal range. Back-to-back strong runs from Duke Johnson cut the distance shorter, making it a 37-yard attempt. This time, Greg Joseph did not miss, and the Browns won a stunner in overtime, 12-9, improving to 2-1-1.

In a game where the offense struggled immensely to move the ball, quarterback Joe Flacco threw 56 times, completing 29 for 298 yards, zero touchdowns and an interception. Despite starting strong, Collins finished with only 59 yards on 12 attempts. Crabtree finished with 66 yards but had several disastrous drops, including a potential game-winner before the end of regulation.

Weddle, Terrell Suggs, Willie Henry and Brandon Williams all had sacks, while Kenny Young and Za’Darius Smith split one.

Baltimore falls to 3-2 and to second place in the division. They travel to Tennessee next week to face the Titans.