Here is my thoughts on the Ravens vs Browns game from week 14. We analyze all the star players and their performances.
This was the game of the year. And it had almost everything in it. Comebacks. Drama. Stakes. Trick plays. NFL records. Game winning score.
When the Ravens got their first touches in the fourth quarter, Lamar Jackson was in the locker room dealing with cramps. Trace McSorley came in and tried to continue the offensive success. He didn’t get a lot of help. Marquise Brown had two drops and the drive quickly ended in a punt. Brown had dropped another key drop earlier in the game. The Browns got the ball and marched down the field for a touchdown. Down one, McSorley went back to work. He led the Ravens into Browns territory and then got hurt going into the two-minute warning. As McSorley went down Lamar Jackson exited the locker room. On his first play after the injury, on 4th and 5, Jackson scrambled right and threw a deep touchdown to Marquise Brown.
The Browns quickly marched down the field and evened the score up. With 64 seconds to work with, Jackson brought the Ravens into field goal range. From the Clevland 37, Justin Tucker kicked the game-winning field goal. John Harbaugh said it perfectly after the game “If you wrote a movie about this, people wouldn’t believe it”.
Jackson was superb on these two drives. He went 5-6 passing for 82 yards. His only incompletion was a spike to stop the clock.
With the playoffs on the line, the Ravens played great offensively. They ran for 234 yards and five touchdowns. Lamar Jackson threw 17 passes, completing 11 of them, while also throwing one touchdown and no interceptions. Seven of his 11 completions were first downs or touchdowns. He was very efficient throwing and running the ball. Jackson led the Ravens rushing attack running for 124 yards on nine carries and two touchdowns. Gus Edwards had a two-touchdown performance and J.K. Dobbins had the other rushing touchdown.
The offensive playcalling was fantastic. Greg Roman surprised the Browns by using backside runs. Normally, the run goes with the pulling guard. Twice, the run went away from the pulling guard. The Browns didn’t have an answer for the Ravens offense. Roman also used his personnel well. Mark Ingram got one snap. The first one. Roman called a flea-flicker which didn’t work. (Flea flickers don’t work as well with mobile quarterbacks because, normally, defenses have a defender or two in the backfield watching the quarterback.)
Both sides struggled defensively. The Ravens did a good job knocking the ball out. They forced three fumbles in the first quarter. Two of the fumbles were forced by Marlon Humphrey. All of the loose balls were recovered by the Browns, but that’s mainly luck. The Ravens recorded the only turnover of the game. Tyus Bowser dropped back into coverage and Baker Mayfield made a bad decision to throw to the left sideline. Bowser has an interception in three of the last four games.
The Ravens were down to their 11th cornerback of the season. Marcus Peters and Jimmy Smith went down mid game. Peters returned. Smith didn’t.
The Ravens struggled to generate a pass rush. They didn’t record a sack. Don Martindale didn’t call a lot of blitzes. The Browns were running a lot of screens and Martindale had to pull back his defenders. That said, most teams get pass rush pressure with four players.
Both teams in the Ravens vs Browns matchup missed opportunities. Lamar Jackson missed some deep balls, and Cody Parkey missed a fieldgoal and an extra point.
The turf was atrocious. Players on both teams were slipping and sliding and Trace McSorley’s injury was directly due to the poor footing.
Yannick Ngakoue was a big presence, even though the stat sheet doesn’t reflect it.
The last time there were 20+ points within the last two minutes in a game was 2013. I’ve not had a chance to research it, but the Ravens Vikings 2013 snow game had 20+ points in the last two minutes. I don’t know if another game had it later on in the season or postseason.
This is my analysis of the Ravens vs Browns game from last week.