Ravens Clinch Top Seed in AFC, Eliminate Browns With 31-15 Win

Cleveland notches 12th straight losing season, 19th in 21 years since returning in 1999

December 22, 2019 - 3:13 pm

CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – The Cleveland Browns just couldn’t help themselves Sunday.

They eliminated themselves from playoff contention for the 17th straight year.

Lamar Jackson threw for 238 yards and ran for 103 more on 17 carries, Mark Andrews caught two of Jackson’s scores as the Baltimore Ravens rolled to their 11th straight victory, 31-15 over the Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Jackson completed 20 of 31 passes in the victory, including three touchdowns, for Baltimore in their 13th win of the year.

Baker Mayfield completed 20 of 33 passes for 192 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in the loss, the ninth for the Browns securing the 12th consecutive losing season for the franchise and 19th in the last 21 since returning to the NFL in 1999.

Nick Chubb, who entered the week leading the NFL in rushing, got just 15 carries for 45 yards in the loss.

Browns defensive end Porter Gustin jumped on the first turnover of the afternoon, falling on a Jackson fumble off a read option with Ingram at the Baltimore 45 with 2:12 left in the opening quarter.

Cleveland’s first scoring drive was gift wrapped by the Ravens. 

A holding penalty on Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters took Mayfield’s 18th interception of the season off the board on a fourth-and-2 at the Ravens 37. With the ball at the 23, Kitchens went for it again, and the Ravens were flagged again, this time for jumping offsides, giving Cleveland another fresh set of downs. Cornerback Jimmy Smith was penalized for pass interference in the endzone against Beckham and the Ravens lost the challenge putting the ball at the 1.

Mayfield capitalized with a TD toss to tight end Demetrius Harris for a 6-0 lead with 11:53 remaining in the half. Kicker Austin Seibert pushed the PAT try wide left.

Left tackle Greg Robinson single-handily blew up the Browns’ fourth possession of the afternoon with a holding penalty and false start on back-to-back snaps.

The end of the first half sequence might be the final nail for Kitchens, who loves the two-for-one pre-halftime scoring theory, and the Ravens obliged.

Jackson threw a 39-yard touchdown to tight end Mark Andrews to cap a quick two-play, 63-yard drive in 32 seconds for a 7-6 lead with 1:18 to play in the half.

Mayfield throw three straight times on the ensuing possession with Baltimore out of timeouts instead of running the ball. The Ravens nearly intercepted two of the passes and batted down a third that gave them a second possession in the final two minutes.

After the punt, it took Jackson and the Ravens 46 seconds to score – Jackson to Andrews, again, 14-yard touchdown and a 14-6 lead with 9 ticks on the clock.

Baltimore extended the lead to 21-6 with a 13-play, 69-yard march to open the second half capped by Jackson’s 12-yard touchdown to Mark Ingram.

Austin Seibert ended the Ravens’ scoring onslaught with a 47-yard field goal to make it a 21-9 game. The kick came after Mayfield dodged yet another interception when replay overturned a pick by former Browns and current Ravens linebacker L.J. Fort on second down.

Beckham final caught his third touchdown of the season on a fade from Mayfield with 8:01 remaining in the game. The drive was kept alive thanks to another Ravens penalty on fourth-and-goal. Seals-Jones helped set up the score with a 20-yard catch to the 1 but he couldn’t haul in the 2-point try keeping it a 24-15 contest.

Justice Hill out the game out of reach with an 18-yard touchdown run, virtually untouched, with 3:39 left. On the drive, defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct to continue the drive.

Mayfield heaved a ball deep in Beckham’s direction on the ensuing possession that was fielded easily by Humphrey to seal the victory.