Yesterday was a day of epic highs and epic lows for the Ravens. First the team claimed another victory (and tied a club record with a sixth straight win) on the road in Denver. Then, just minutes later, they lost at home to Cleveland. While the victory in Denver will be good for the team’s confidence, the 20-point loss to the Browns has to send those same players into a tailspin.
Back and forth they went. Perhaps the most emotional moment of the day came in the third quarter. Ravens running back C.J. Spiller took a one-yard touchdown on a fourth down run and was still kneeling when something happened. The referee warned him and everyone on the sideline to stay on the ground, Spiller ignored the instruction and loped towards the end zone. Fans in the stands lit up the Superdome, believing the Ravens had made it into the end zone, a few feet away from the goal line.
After the game, many accused Spiller of diving, thereby moving the football out of bounds for a touchback. However, official Rodney Harrison’s video review showed otherwise. He took a shot to the chest and was out. Just imagine the story if he had been ruled to have stayed in bounds and the Ravens were about to kick the game-winning field goal. So, sorry, anyone fooled by C.J. Spiller’s touchdown celebration. But it might have been a low point in a great day for the Baltimore running back.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco had an up-and-down game, completing 25 of 35 passes for 269 yards, one touchdown and one interception. The quarterback’s lone touchdown was the 71st of his career, tying Steve Young and Warren Moon for 20th on the all-time passing list.
For the Browns, rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield did the job in his first NFL start. He completed 18 of 29 passes for 216 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He was shaken up in the game, suffering a right knee injury when he was sacked in the third quarter. Later, Mayfield told reporters he would be ready to play on Sunday against Atlanta.
One thing to note about the Browns, though. Unlike the rest of the NFL, they are not coached by anyone who has been in the postseason at all. The Browns have not been to the playoffs since 2002. The bottom line is that yesterday was a win-win for Browns interim head coach Gregg Williams, and he will not be stopped from doing what he does best, rooting for the home team.
If you needed a final score estimate, it was 24-22. But you didn’t have to wait long to be right. Just eight minutes later, after the Browns scored again, the score reverted back to 28-22. And then, seconds after that, the Browns capped the game off by taking the field for their walk-off touchdown. So there you have it.
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