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Much-needed win: Cleveland Browns hang on to beat Baltimore Ravens 24-22, keeping playoff hopes alive

Cleveland needed a fourth-down stop on the final drive to preserve the victory.

CLEVELAND β€” Early on, it looked like it would be easy.

We should know by now that's never the case with the Browns team. Regardless, the afternoon ended with their biggest win of the year.

The Browns held on to beat the Baltimore Ravens 24-22 Sunday, improving their record to 7-6 and keeping their playoff hopes alive. After racing out to a 24-3 lead, Cleveland needed a huge fourth-down tackle by Denzel Ward on the final drive to preserve the victory.

After a week off to rest his many injuries, Baker Mayfield looked sharp in the first half, and ended up completing 68.8% of his passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns. Although the QB did have an interception that set up a Justin Tucker field goal, Myles Garrett appeared to deliver the decisive blow just before intermission with a strip-sack touchdown that made him the franchise's all-time sacks leader for a single season.

RELATED: Browns QB Baker Mayfield says he feels the best he has since Week 2

Garrett got to Ravens backup Tyler Huntley on the play, as he was in for Lamar Jackson after the former MVP suffered an ankle injury. The Utah product would go the rest of the way, throwing for 270 and a touchdown himself.

Despite a 24-6 halftime advantage, Cleveland struggled to run the ball and burn clock, with Nick Chubb averaging just 3.5 yards per carry and Kareem Hunt exiting with a knee injury. Baltimore tight end Mark Andrews had 115 yards and a scoring grab to cut the deficit to two with 1:17 remaining, and moments later, his team miraculously recovered the onside kick to give itself a chance to win.

But the Ravens' luck would run out, as a sack by Jadeveon Clowney made it third-and-20. After gaining 14 yards on the next play, Huntley hit Rashon Bateman in the flat, but Ward came in and nailed him for the stop, and the Browns went into victory formation.

The victory is Cleveland's first over Baltimore since September of 2019, and the first in four tries for head coach Kevin Stefanski. The defensive front combined to sack Jackson and Huntley four times, while John Harbaugh's squad also committed 10 costly penalties for 125 yards.

Now firmly in the postseason picture, the Browns will host the Las Vegas Raiders this coming Saturday at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Silver and Black's own playoff hopes took a hit this week thanks to a 48-9 drubbing by the Kansas City Chiefs.

JIMMY'S TAKE: Browns' defense carries them in big win over Ravens

What follows is a comprehensive, drive-by-drive live recap of today's action, with the most recent plays and updates closest to the top. Stay tuned for more analysis all afternoon on both 3News and WKYC.com.


0:56: On fourth down, Denzel Ward comes up with a big open-field tackle of Rashod Bateman, and the Browns will hang on and win.

1:15: Justin Tucker's onside kick attempt deflects off Andy Janovich and into the hands of Chuck Clark. The Ravens get it back at their own 41 with a chance to win the game.

1:17 - Browns 24, Ravens 22: Rashod Bateman makes an incredible fourth-down catch before Tyler Huntley finds Mark Andrews for an 8-yard touchdown. An onside kick attempt will be upcoming.

5:26: Another Browns three-and-out leads to a Dustin Colquitt punt that deflects into the end zone, although a holding penalty on the Ravens gives them the ball at their own 10.

6:51: A strong Browns pass-rush forces a Ravens three-and-out, and this time they elect to punt after an intentional grounding flag. JoJo Natson returns Sam Koch's punt to the Baltimore 46-yard line.

7:20: This time, the Browns go three-and-out and take only 96 seconds off the clock. Dustin Colquitt punts it out of bounds to the Ravens 20, and Baltimore has a little momentum.

8:56 - Browns 24, Ravens 15: A fourth-down strike to Mark Andrews and a long catch-and-run by Rashod Bateman sets up a 1-yard touchdown by Latavius Murray. However, Baltimore elects to go for two, and Tyler Huntley's pass is intercepted. It remains a two-possession game.

11:33: The Browns eat up yards and burn more than five minutes off the clock, but Chase McLaughlin's 41-yard field goal attempt clanks off the left upright. The Ravens take over at their own 23 down only two scores.


2:05 - Browns 24, Ravens 9: Both teams are dealt costly flags on the drive, but eventually Justin Tucker nails his third field goal of the day, this time from 55 yards out.

6:45: Baker Mayfield is forced to exit the game for a concussion check after taking a big hit, but appears ready to come back in.

At any rate, the Browns are forced to punt after a holding penalty nullifies a D'Ernest Johnson first-down run. Dustin Colquitt's initial boot pins the Ravens at their 1-yard line, but yet another flag forces him to re-kick, and Baltimore will instead start at its own 17.

12:03: Lamar Jackson has been ruled out for the rest of the game, which means the Ravens will have to rely on Tyler Huntley under center.

The second-year Utah product leads Baltimore deep into Cleveland territory, but as he scrambles right, Takkarist McKinley knocks the ball loose. Ifeadi Odenigbo recovers it, and a late hit on Devonta Freeman gives the Browns possession at their own 28.


0:00: A shot kickoff by Justin Tucker is returned 13 yards by Andy Janovich to run out the clock on the first half of play.

0:02 - Browns 24, Ravens 6: A scramble by Tyler Huntley and a screen to Rashod Bateman set up a 42-yard field goal by Justin Tucker.

0:49 - Browns 24, Ravens 3: Myles Garrett comes up with the play of the year, stripping Tyler Huntley of the ball as he's trying to throw it before picking it up himself and running it in for a 15-yard touchdown. The play also gives him the Browns' official single-season record with 15 sacks on the year, passing Reggie Camp's mark set back in 1984.

1:43: A heads-up play by JoJo Natson gives the Browns the ball at their own 40 after the kickoff, but the offense is stopped after a quick first down, with Baker Mayfield's third-down pass almost getting picked off again. Dustin Colquitt's punt is a beauty, pinning the Ravens at their own 9.

3:30 - Browns 17, Ravens 3: The Ravens' offense still can't go anywhere, but the NFL's best kicker in Justin Tucker boots a 50-yard field goal to get them on the board.

5:24: Whether it was a miscommunication or just a bad throw, Baker Mayfield's pass intended for Jarvis Landry is intercepted by Anthony Averett. He returns it 21 yards to the Cleveland 39, giving Baltimore excellent field position with a chance to get back in the game.

6:13: With Tyler Huntley in at quarterback, the Ravens go three-and-out again, with Troy Hill bursting through to knock the rookie out of Utah back four yards. Sam Koch's fourth punt puts the Browns at their own 32 following a brief return.

8:15 - Browns 17, Ravens 0: More flags and some solid running by Nick Chubb get the Browns to the 1-yard line, where Baker Mayfield fakes to his running back before hitting a wide-open Austin Hooper for a touchdown.

14:20: The Ravens' offense stalls thanks to a couple of penalties, but the big story is Lamar Jackson, who limped off the field after a low hit from Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. Backup QB Tyler Huntley's third-and-long pass landed incomplete, and Sam Koch's punt is returned by JoJo Natson to the Browns 23.

Some injury updates: Kareem Hunt is questionable to return after hurting his knee, while Lamar Jackson had to be carted off the field with an ankle issue. Despite the scary scene, he is also listed as questionable to return.


0:38 - Browns 10, Ravens 0: A good play-action passing game highlights a solid Browns drive, with Baker Mayfield eventually finding Jarvis Landry on the right for a 9-yard touchdown. It's the five-time Pro Bowler's first receiving TD of the year.

5:36: A three-and-out β€” highlighted by a big Denzel Ward hit on Devonta Freeman β€” leads to another Sam Koch punt. Demetric Felton muffs it again, but falls on it at the Browns 34.

7:30 - Browns 3, Ravens 0: Two Baltimore pass interference penalties aid Cleveland, which gets a 43-yard field goal from Chase McLaughlin.

11:20: Following a quick first down, Lamar Jackson is sacked by John Johnson III and Jadeveon Clowney before Takkarist McKinley comes up with a third-down stop. Sam Koch comes out to punt, and Demetric Felton muffs the kick before recovering it at his own 15.

13:31: The Browns start the game with a three-and-out, finishing the series with an 8-yard catch by Kareem Hunt on third-and-11. Dustin Colquitt (signed due to the absence of Jamie Gillan) punts it 38 yards to the Baltimore 32, and the Cleveland fans have some boos for their team.


Noon: Besides the three players on the COVID list, the following Browns players will be inactive today:

  • WR Anthony Schwartz (concussion)
  • CB Greg Newsome II (concussion)
  • S Ronnie Harrison Jr. (ankle)
  • S Richard LeCounte III
  • TE Harrison Bryant (ankle)
  • DT Tommy Togiai

Newsome suffered a concussion on the final play of Friday's practice, while Bryant hurt his ankle two weeks ago, meaning Cleveland is down to one healthy tight end (Austin Hooper). Grant Delpit will start at safety for Ronnie Harrison (listed as questionable all week), and rookie James Hudson III will start at right tackle after All-Pro Jack Conklin was placed on IR.

For the Ravens, corner Marlon Humphrey is out with a shoulder injury, while his secondary mate Jimmy Smith is with his pregnant wife and will also miss the game. Fullback Patrick Ricard, a key blocker, is also inactive with back issues.

11:30 a.m.: Check out some of our favorite photos of fans tailgating in the Muni Lot this morning!

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