Game Balls: More Mayfield magic lifts Browns to OT win over Ravens

Impact players make impact plays in 12-9 victory to end division winless streak

Daryl Ruiter
October 08, 2018 - 12:00 am
Cleveland Browns fans hold Baker Mayfield sign

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

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Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) – In 31 other NFL cities, at one time or another, winning a game on a Sunday afternoon is normal.

For the Browns and their fans, the abnormality is cause for unbridled celebration and chants of “Baker Mayfield” as fans left FirstEnergy Stadium.  

Sunday afternoon’s 12-9 overtime win over the Ravens marked the first AFC North victory since a 33-30 overtime win at Baltimore Oct. 11, 2015 and the first W on a Sunday since a 24-10 win over San Francisco at home on Dec. 13, 2015.

That leaves just one more losing streak remaining for the Browns to cross off their bucket list – the 23-game road streak, which dates to that 2015 win in Baltimore.

Whether it was Greg Joseph banking a PAT off the right upright or Antonio Callaway dropping a critical third-down pass in the fourth quarter or 10 penalties or Jarvis Landry failing to get out of bounds to preserve time with less than 25 seconds remaining in regulation or a no call from the officials on a fourth down pass that saw Jarvis Landry get tackled by two Ravens, mistakes are so much easier to cope with after a victory.

And that’s the position the Browns find themselves in.

Celebrate what hopefully will become the new norm and make Cleveland a Browns town again.

Here’s who gets our game balls.

Baker Mayfield – Mayfield was sacked five times, hit on at least 10 occasions and had eight of his passes broken up by Raven defenders and he didn’t flinch. He didn’t flinch after being backed up at his own five facing a daunting second-and-21 with 3:30 to go in overtime. His final line: 25 of 43 for 342 yards – which ranks second for a rookie QB in franchise history – with a touchdown, interception and rating of 81.7. He did what no Browns rookie QB has ever done: beat Baltimore. 

That’s two game balls in three weeks for Mayfield and the Browns are 2-1 with him on the field.

Derrick Willies – Willies caught three of five targets for 61 yards but it was his 39-yard catch and run late in overtime that set up the game winning-kick. Without it, the Browns probably are 1-2-2 or 1-3-1.

Duke Johnson – Duke ran three straight times after Willies’ catch in overtime for a combined 24 yards and he finished with 35 yards on five total carries. When it mattered most, Johnson ran the best.

Denzel Ward – Ward continued his stellar rookie campaign with an interception that thwarted the Ravens’ lone touchdown-scoring threat of the game in the second quarter at the three. The No. 4 pick also added three pass break-ups, five tackles and a blocked field goal at the end of the first half.

Greg Joseph – Yes, had Joseph not banked a PAT off of the upright, the Browns probably don’t need overtime to win. He also missed from 55 yards with five ticks left in regulation, but it was a long shot at 55 to begin with. His game-winning 37-yard field goal was partially blocked and barely went through – but it did, and the Browns won.