Nov. 13—The Browns made history by beating the Ravens the way they did Nov. 12, and it could not have happened at a better time for them.
The Ravens built a 31-17 lead on a touchdown pass from Lamar Jackson to Odell Beckham with 11:34 remaining. The Browns fought back with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Deshaun Watson to Elijah Moore with 8:57 to play and then, on Baltimore's second play after the Moore touchdown, Greg Newsome intercepted a pass defensive end Ogbo Okoronkwo deflected and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown to make the scored 31-30. Dustin Hopkins missed the PAT with 8:16 to play.
It would have been a crushing defeat to lose by one point, but the defense had one more stop to make and the offense had one more drive to finish. The Browns took possession on their 20 with 4:55 to play, bled the clock while advancing to the Baltimore 21 on 11 plays and won the game when Hopkins kicked a 40-yard field goal as time expired.
According to a post on X by NFL on CBS, the Browns before playing the Ravens were 0-59 against AFC North teams when trailing by 14 points. Now they are 1-59, and instead of trailing the 7-3 Ravens by 2.5 games in the division, at 6-3 they are just a half-game behind. The deficit actually would have been more than 2.5 games because the Ravens would have owned a tiebreaker with a head to head sweep.
"Don't sweat it," running back Jerome Ford answered on a Zoom call Nov. 13 when asked what the players were saying to each other when the score was 31-17. "Play our game. We have time, and we have downs. So let's continue to play and do our job, and everything will fall into place."
Watson gets attention because he is the quarterback and Myles Garrett gets attention because he keeps coming up with sacks at critical times. But many other plays were crucial to the Browns beating the Ravens.
—Wyatt Teller pounced on a fumble by Watson early in the game-winning drive to retain possession for the Browns.
—Cornerback Mike Ford Jr., playing because Denzel Ward was out with a neck injury, intercepted a pass at the Browns' 37 and returned the ball 10 yards with 43 seconds left in the first half. The Brows didn't score, but the takeaway prevented the Ravens of a scoring opportunity before halftime.
—Middle linebacker Anthony Walker blocked a 55-yard field goal try by Baltimore kicker Justin Tucker with 2:27 left in the second quarter. Walker returned the ball 27 yards to the Ravens' 38 to set up Hopkins' third field goal of the first half.
—The touchdown by Moore was his first of the season. He has not been the explosive player he was billed to be when the Browns acquired him and a third-round pick from the Jets for a second-round pick, but he has 34 catches this season and 15 have been for first downs.
—Kareem Hunt scored on a three-yard run in the third quarter to cut the Ravens' lead to 24-17. He has scored at least one touchdown in five straight games. That is the longest active streak in the NFL.
"This is probably the closest team I've ever been on bonding wise," Ford, a six-year veteran, said Nov. 13 on Zoom. "We all just link up really well. We come together really well.
"Being able to be together so much, you develop emotions for guys. When you have feelings for your teammates and you care about those guys, you don't want to let them down. The camaraderie is great here. I love it."
The Browns have taken the attitude "The next game is the most important game of the season" (not a new concept) because it is the next one. That really holds true this week because the Browns host the Steelers on Nov. 19. The Steelers are also 6-3.
STEELERS AT BROWNS
When: 1 p.m., Nov. 19
Where: Cleveland Browns Stadium
Records: Steelers 6-3, Browns 6-3
Radio: WKRK-FM 92.3, WNCX-FM 98.5, WKNR-AM 850