It was ugly but a win is a win.
The Cleveland Browns (2-2-1) won their first division game in nearly three years and their first win on a Sunday since December 20, 2015 in a dramatic overtime thriller over the Baltimore Ravens (3-2) by a final of 12-9.
Rookie kicker Greg Joseph, who missed a 55-yard field goal at the end of regulation got to redeem himself by barely hitting a 37-yard field goal with two seconds left in overtime to avoid the Browns becoming the first team since 1974 to tie in two games in a season.
The Browns marched down the field in the final 2:55 seconds of overtime and an unlikely hero in wide receiver Derrick Willies put the Browns in position to win.
On 3rd & 8 at their own 18-yard line, Baker Mayfield found Willies and the rookie wide receiver turned on the jets and moved the ball 39 yards down the field into Ravens territory.
Duke Johnson got three straight carries for 24 yards total and that was enough for Joseph to make the kick.
Mayfield finished the game 25 of 43 for 342 yards with a touchdown pass at the end of the first half to Rashard Higgins but also a interception early in the game because of Higgins running the wrong route.
He was sacked five times and I think blame can go around to both Mayfield and the offensive line. Mayfield knows he has to get the ball out quicker but if receivers aren’t open, the line needs to give him more time to try and make a play.
Higgins was one of four receivers with at least sixty yards receiving but left during the second half with a knee injury. Hopefully we’ll get an update on Monday about the severity of the injury.
Jarvis Landry and David Njoku led the team in receiving with 69 yards on five and six catches respectively. Willies, who got to play because of the Higgins injuries had 61 yards on three catches and may have played himself into more playing time because of his performance down the stretch.
The trio of running backs combined for 100 yards on 25 carries with Carlos Hyde leading the way with 17 carries for 63 yards. The team said that Nick Chubb was going to get the ball more but he ended up with the same 3 carries but for only 2 yards.
The defense came up huge again when they needed to but you can see that there’s still work to do and things they need to clean up.
Denzel Ward has been an absolute hit by John Dorsey and the personnel department and I would go as far to say that he’s the frontrunner to be Defensive Rookie of the Year. He made five tackles, an interception (his third of the season) and also blocked a field goal at the end of the first half.
Jabrill Peppers also had a nice game today. He was all over the field making tackles and big hits and credit to him for blocking out the noise and criticism he got over the last week.
Jamie Collins and Christian Kirksey led the team with 12 tackles each. Collins also had a sack which was one of two sacks (Trevon Coley and Myles Garrett split the other sack). Coley also had a fumble recovery.
The Browns will be back at home next week to face the Los Angeles Chargers (2-2).