Third OT is the charm for Browns, beat Ravens 12-9

Greg Joseph 37-yard field goal wins it with 2 seconds left in OT

Daryl Ruiter
October 07, 2018 - 4:49 pm
Greg Joseph Cleveland Browns Baltimore Ravens game winner

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

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Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) – As the kick off Greg Joseph’s foot sailed towards the uprights like a knuckleball, time virtually stood still.

Joseph got just enough of the 37-yard boot to clear the crossbar without taking yellow paint with it to give the Browns a 12-9 overtime victory as Cleveland’s sideline erupted in celebration with just two ticks left on the clock.

“I heard it,” Joseph said of the partial block by Ravens safety Tony Jefferson. “I felt good and felt like I hit it good. I was ready to look up and see it go in. You hear the thud on it real quick and just saw it luckily saw it still carry through. Three points is three points. You live, you learn and you move on.”

It was Cleveland’s first overtime win of the season in three games to keep them undefeated at home – 2-0-1 – and it ended an 18-game AFC North winless streak as well as their first victory on a Sunday since Dec. 2015 – a span of 37 Sundays.

“We have weathered that storm,” head coach Hue Jackson said. “The guys, they knew that this time we have to find a way to do it. Do not be denied. That is all that we kept talking about on the sidelines is let’s finish this. Let’s find a way to finish this game. We were able to do it.”

Baker Mayfield orchestrated the game-winning drive and he completed 25 of 43 passes for 342 yards with a touchdown and interception, which came early in the opening quarter by Ravens cornerback Tavon Young.

Following a reverse to Rod Streater that got blown up at 5-yard line and lost 11 with just under three minutes left in OT the chances to win looked bleak.

That was until Mayfield scrambled for 13 before finding Derrick Willies over the middle for a 39-yard catch and run and then Duke Johnson carried three straight times for 24 more yards to set up Joseph’s kick.

“Huge. Duke Johnson is a tremendous football player,” Jackson said. “We are going to have to continue to find ways to get him the ball because he makes plays. He is one of the best players on our team in my opinion, and our job is going to be to continue to find ways to make sure that this young man touches the ball.”

Cornerback Denzel Ward had a spectacular afternoon.

Ward started the day by breaking up a Joe Flacco pass to Michael Crabtree to end the Ravens’ first possession. With 9:34 left in the second quarter Ward jumped a Flacco pass inside the 5 that was deflected by defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah to thwart a Ravens scoring threat for his third interception of the season. And then right as the half ended he swooped in from the right side to block Justin Tucker’s 48-yard field goal try to keep the Browns in front at intermission.

“Came off the edge,” Ward said. “He did not really get hands on me so I just tried to come off as fast as I could, and I got a hand on it.”

Ward also prevented Crabtree from catching a touchdown with 56 seconds remaining in the third forcing Tucker to hit a 25-yard field goal to cut Cleveland’s lead to 9-6.

The Browns lost the field position battle in the first half, by a landslide. Their drives started at their own 9-, 25-, 5-, 3-, 10-, and 22-yard lines but they out-gained the Ravens 416-410 when it was all said and done Sunday.

“They can get as many yards as they want to as long as they stay out of the end zone, then we are doing our job,” defensive end Myles Garrett said. “If we can keep them to field goals, then that gives our offense the best chance to win. Our goal is to keep them off the board completely, but I can settle with three points over six, obviously.”

In the third quarter linebacker Joe Schobert forced a fumble after Flacco completed pass to running back Javorius Allen in the flat and defensive tackle Trevon Coley recovered it at the Baltimore 42. The Browns have recorded multiple sacks and multiple turnovers in each of their 5 games this season and their 15 turnovers forced eclipsed last year’s total of just 13 takeaways.

Following a third-down sack for a loss of 11 of Mayfield by Glenville’s Willie Henry, Joseph hit a 30-yard field goal to add to the lead, 9-3 midway through the third quarter.

Special teams were shaky, again, but in the end they played a pivotal in the victory despite two more holding penalties and a Joseph missed PAT off the right upright. Ward’s blocked field goal at the end of the first half was the first positive impact play of the season for the unit.

Joseph was unable to hit a 55-yard field goal, hooking it wide left with 5 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, but the distance and situation make it difficult to fault him on the misfire. The kick should’ve been closer, but Jarvis Landry cost the Browns between 7-10 seconds by fighting for extra yardage instead of just running out of bounds on a 17-yard catch and run forcing Mayfield to hurry and kill the clock with 16 seconds remaining.

Antonio Callaway, who struggled with dropped passes last week, caught three of five targets for 22 yards but had a critical third-down drop with 9:36 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Tucker’s 32-yard field goal tied it for the Ravens at 9 with 52 seconds remaining in regulation and capped an 11-play, 52-yard scoring drive.

In overtime Jackson went for it on fourth-and-5 at the Baltimore 39 leacving 3:26 on the clock.

“The best part about all of that was that the defense went out there, got another stop and our offense did not flinch when we went back out there,” Mayfield said. “We went out there and did our job. No matter what it is – good plays, bad plays, not getting calls or getting calls – we have to do our job every play. You forget what happened in the past and keep moving forward.”

Jackson and Mayfield were livid with the officials for not throwing a flag when Jarvis Landry was tackled by two Ravens defenders while trying to run deep. The officials said the pass was uncatchable.

In the end, it didn’t matter. The defense forced a quck three-and-out and Mayfield's magic produced a second win in three weeks.