Browns Win In Overtime On Last-Second Field Goal
Written by Brandon Lewis on October 8, 2018
The Browns 12-9 victory Sunday over the Baltimore Ravens was the Browns first win on a Sunday in nearly three years. Greg Joseph kicked a 35-yard field goal with just seconds remaining in overtime to give the Browns their second victory of the season, putting their record at 2-2-1 through the first five games.
While the Browns only put 12 points on the board, Baker Mayfield was slinging the pigskin around FirstEnergy Stadium. Mayfield lit up the second best defense in pro football, throwing for 342 yards and a touchdown to Rashard Higgins on a post route just before halftime. Mayfield spread the ball around as 10 different people caught a pass from the rookie signal caller, wide receiver Jarvis Landry leading the pack with six catches for 69 yards. I thought Mayfield did a really great job of being composed and not letting the Ravens pressure get to him. The interception was not his fault because Higgins ran the wrong route. Overall, I think Mayfield took another positive step forward in his development, and the Browns offense looked alive. However, they do need to do a better job going forward of punching the football into the end zone and not settling for field goals.
The Browns passing game was definitely better than their running game in this game. Starter Carlos Hyde ran the rock 17 times, but only for 63 yards. He ran hard, but there were no holes to be found. Rookie Nick Chubb only ran the ball three times for two yards, and that is after the Browns coaching staff said throughout the week they wanted to give Chubb more carries. The only back that had a little bit of success is Duke Johnson, who carried it five times for 27 yards, but most of the carries were late in the game when the Ravens defensive line was worn out from having to defend Mayfield’s amazing plays. The running game has to do better next week and going forward after taking a step back from last week.
The Browns defense was terrific yesterday. The pass defense kept quarterback Joe Flacco confused all day. While Flacco was able to move down the field against the Browns, the Browns tightened up down in the red zone, limiting the Ravens to just three field goals on the day. Rookie defensive back Denzel Ward is coming into his own already as a “shutdown corner” in the league. Ward had an interception late in the first half on a tipped ball at the goal line, keeping the Browns within striking distance. Ward finished with three pass deflections and looked great against every Raven player he covered. The way the Ravens passing offense had looked over the first month, it is very encouraging to see how the Browns shut them down.
The run defense was better than last week, but it still did not look terrific. Running back Alex Collins ran the ball 12 times for 59 yards, averaging just under five yards a carry. Backup Buck Allen got in the action as well, running it eight times for 34 yards which is just over four yards per run play. If you add in the 23 yards combined between the quarterbacks Joe Flacco and rookie first-round pick Lamar Jackson, the Ravens finished with 116 yards on the ground in 25 attempts, netting an average of 4.6 yards per play when running the ball. Good teams stop the run, and if the Browns want to win more games this season, their run defense has to be as good as the pass defense.
Next week, the Browns remain at home for a date with the Los Angeles Chargers. The Browns will be looking for revenge from last year when the Chargers beat the Browns 19-10 in Los Angeles.