CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Monday night’s game against the Ravens was one for the ages.
Unfortunately, the Browns came up short, losing a thriller 47-42 that saw the two teams throw haymakers at each other until the final whistle and will probably earn them a rematch in primetime next season.
The Browns have suffered a multitude of soul-crushing defeats over the years but Monday night felt different.
“We believe we can play with anybody,” running back Kareem Hunt, who combined for 110 yards from scrimmage and a pair of touchdowns, said.
“Honestly, this just shows that we can play with anybody. We have to find a way to win those type of ball games like that.”
Hunt fought to get the ball over the goal line on a 22-yard throw from Baker Mayfield to get the Browns back even at 42 with 1:04 to play which gave Lamar Jackson all the time he needed position the Ravens to win it on a 55-yard field goal with 2 second left.
“Not to come away with a win is tough,” Hunt said. “We have to find a way. I am proud that we fought. I feel like everybody left it out there on the field.”
Jackson was sensational – 124 yards and a pair of touchdowns rushing and 163 and a score through the air.
“We knew that going into it that you are not going to pitch a shutout versus Lamar Jackson,” head coach Kevin Stefanski said. “He is going to get his. Having said, that there are a bunch of plays I know we can do better. We have to really look at those and make sure that we correct those mistakes.”
The Browns have responded to adversity all season and Monday night was no different.
“We know that we can fight,” Mayfield said. “We just have to make the critical plays when we need to and just put ourselves, like I keep saying, in a position to win. We are going to use it in a positive way. I know this team. I know the guys in this locker room. I know the staff. We are going to handle it correctly.”
They fell behind in the second half by 14 twice – 28-14 and 34-20 – but rallied thanks to a supreme effort by Baker Mayfield, who completed a season-high 28 passes for 343 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
“We just have to build on the fact that this team fights,” Mayfield said. “I am really proud of this team for fighting. That is what I would take out of this game, but we just have to be better.”
He also ran for a third score that gave the Browns a 35-34 lead with 6:33 remaining.
“We never lost our belief in the fact that we had a chance to win that game,” Mayfield said. “Even down two scores, just continuing to fight and fighting for each other.”
While there’s plenty to hang their hat on and build on, Stefanski kept it real after the game.
“I do not want to go down the moral victories [path],” Stefanski said. “We lost. We got beat. Proud of the guys and how they battled – I really am – but I just look at all the mistakes that we made, and we have to correct them.”
Booted It – Kicker Cody Parkey missed a 39-yard field goal wide left and a PAT wide right Monday night.
“I do not think wind was a factor,” Stefanski said. “Cody is healthy. I think he is fine. He missed a couple, and he has not done that all year, so I do not expect that to carry over. He knows he has to make them.”
Considering Justin Tucker’s 55-yard field goal with 2 seconds remaining put the Ravens up 3, those four points missed by Parkey loom large.
After Rashard Higgins caught a 21-yard touchdown to make it 34-26, Stefanski elected to go for 2 and the gamble paid off thanks to a lucky bounce of Mayfield’s pass off Hunt’s hands to Donovan Peoples-Jones.
“We take a lot of things into account, honestly, in those moments,” Stefanski said. “We just felt like we had a play that we liked. There will be times that we kick them and times that we go for two. It just depends on the moment.”
Making History – Mayfield became the first quarterback in franchise history to pass for 10,000 yards combined in his first three years as well as the first to pass for at least 2,500 yards in each of his first 3 seasons.
Mayfield is now No. 5 in franchise history with 72 TD passes.
Scoring Machine – With 42 points Monday night, the Browns have now scored 30-plus points in 7 games this year, the most by the team in a season since 1968 (8) and the most by the team through 13 games since the same year (8).
They’ve now scored at least 40 points in back-to-back games for the fourth time in team history and the first time since 1968. It is also the third time this season, tied for the second-most 40-point games in a single season in franchise history (3 in 1951, 1966 and 1968; 4 in 1960)
Injury Report – DE Myles Garrett suffered an elbow injury; S Andrew Sendejo was evaluated for a concussion; LT Jedrick Wills Jr. and RG Wyatt Teller both suffered ankle injuries and were limited in the game.