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Ravens News 12/15: Heroic Performance and more

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Baltimore Ravens v Cleveland Browns Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

NFL Week 14 PFF ReFocused: Baltimore Ravens 47, Cleveland Browns 42 - Austin Gayle

STORY OF THE GAME

Before making his way to the locker room with an undisclosed injury, Jackson had helped the Ravens to a 34-20 lead with just over four minutes left in the fourth quarter. Mayfield answered with two 12-play scoring drives (including one capped off by a Donovan Peoples-Jones two-point conversion) on the Browns’ next two possessions to claim the lead, 35-34.

Jackson returned to action just as his backup Trace McSorley limped off the field hurt as the clock hit the two-minute warning. Jackson connected with second-year wide receiver Marquise Brown for a 44-yard touchdown on the next play. Running back J.K. Dobbins capped off the score with a successful two-point conversion to put the Ravens ahead, 42-35.

Marlon Humphrey was the star of the show defensively. He forced two fumbles in the game and had a forced incompletion on his way to what should be a 90.0-plus PFF grade on the night.

ROOKIE WATCH

Ravens rookie defenders Justin Madubuike and Patrick Queen both had impressive performances against Cleveland. The duo combined for four defensive stops and zero missed tackles on first review. Madubuike also added three pressures to his stat line.

NFL Week 14 grades: Cowboys get an ‘A’ for pummeling Bengals, Ravens get ‘A-’ for wild Monday win - John Breech

Baltimore 47-42 over Cleveland

Ravens A

The Ravens were able to pull of one of the wildest wins of the NFL season thanks to Lamar Jackson, who actually had to leave the game in the fourth quarter due to cramps only to return to lead an improbable comeback. After missing the entire quarter, Jackson returned at the two-minute warning and promptly threw for 82 yards on two possessions that both ended with Baltimore scores, including Justin Tucker’s game-winning 55-yard field goal. On the possession before the kick, in his first play back from the locker room, Jackson threw a 44-yard TD to Marquise Brown on fourth-and-5 that saved the game for Baltimore. It was a remarkable game for Jackson, who also rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns. It was also a remarkable win for the Ravens, who kept their playoff hopes alive with the victory.

What we learned from Ravens’ thrilling Monday night win over Browns - Grant Gordon

Whenever anyone doubts the importance of a great kicker, it seems as though Justin Tucker reminds them just how crucial having one can be. On a night in which the Browns’ Cody Parkey missed an extra point and his only field goal attempt, Tucker also missed an extra point due to a block (not his fault). But when Jackson and Co. roared down the field, there was little doubt when Tucker lined up for a 55-yard game-winning attempt that Baltimore would come away with three points. Tucker sent it through and the celebration of a phenomenal game reigned, but was there truly any shock about the kick floating the Ravens to victory? Tucker isn’t perfect, but in the NFL world of kickers going through a revolving door, he is as close to perfect as one can be.

Jackson returns to save Ravens with 47-42 win over Browns - Jamison Hensley

Lamar Jackson’s only thought was to rescue his teammates.

Like any other superhero.

Jackson emerged from the locker room, saved the game and maybe Baltimore’s season with a 47-42 win over the Cleveland Browns in a wild, back-and-forth Monday night game in which the teams combined to tie a 98-year-old NFL record.

“I’m still stretching and I’m like, ‘We gotta go out there,’” he said. “It was fourth down, my guys were making great catches and we came out with the victory. As soon as I saw him go down, I came out of the locker room.”

“It’s definitely good that we made that kick, given everything this team is going through right now,’” Tucker said. “It keeps us in the playoff picture. We definitely needed to have this one. What the world saw on Monday Night Football was a Ravens team playing with guts.”

“That was a big-time play. We needed that,” tight end Mark Andrews said. “It’s hard to describe this game because everyone was doing their thing. Just a lot of fun.”

“That’s a really good football team with a lot of heart,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “It’s a game that’s going to go down in history. Our guys had faith and trust and belief and sometimes that’s what it takes.”

The Breakdown: Five Thoughts on Epic Win in Cleveland - John Eisenberg

Although Jackson has accomplished remarkable things in his young pro career, he also has been dogged by whispers about what he hasn’t done. You’ve heard them, right? He can’t lead a team from behind. He can’t beat you with his arm. He can’t win the big one. Regardless if it’s fair, this might be the game that quiets some of those whispers. Jackson devastated a solid Cleveland defense with his legs for most of the night, continually finding running room and making enough plays to put the Ravens in control. But the game all but slipped away while he was in the locker room with cramps, and once he returned, he did his damage with his passing arm. First, he tossed the season-saving 44-yard touchdown pass to Hollywood Brown. Then, after the Browns matched that and the score was tied, he led a game-winning drive with completion after completion to set up the final field goal. Bottom line, in close to a must-win situation, he did exactly what those whispers suggested he couldn’t. He passed the Ravens’ offense down the field and won a “big one” on the road against a talented rival headed to the playoffs.