Cleveland Browns: Instant reactions, Baker Mayfield clutch in big win

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 07: Cleveland Browns hold up a sign in support of Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns in the third quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 7, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 07: Cleveland Browns hold up a sign in support of Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns in the third quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 7, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Baker Mayfield won his first game as a starter after driving the Cleveland Browns down for the game-winning kick in overtime as they beat the Baltimore Ravens

The Cleveland Browns are now 2-2-1 after five weeks of play as they won in overtime against the Baltimore Ravens in overtime. It was their third overtime game on the young season, and again nearly looked to be headed to a tie like their first overtime game in Week 1 was.

Kicker Greg Joseph missed a long kick that sent it to overtime and then he barely made an ugly knuckleball kick that gave the Browns the win.

It was a great win, but not all was pretty. Here we will look at the good, bad, and the ugly in their big victory.

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This team has no discipline

Penalties continue to be an issue. There were two early on special teams and they had a holding penalty put them in a rough spot more than once. In the second quarter, it was one from Chris Hubbard that doomed a drive following the interception by Denzel Ward. Before that, there was a holding by tight end David Njoku that negated a 14-yard rush from Nick Chubb.

The first play of the fourth quarter was also negated by a hold after Baker Mayfield had made a big play to scramble for a first down — which forced the Browns to punt in a very close game.

There’s not one side of the ball to blame it on either. The offense, defense and special teams all were guilty of terrible penalties in this one. It’s always one-sided, and that falls on the discipline of the coaching staff.

Baker may just need to convert to a hurry-up offense.

After a sluggish start to the game, the Browns finally got it going. Baker Mayfield and the Browns marched right down the field and covered 78 yards on six plays. It took them just 1:19 seconds and it ended with a touchdown pass to Rashard Higgins. It made up for an earlier miscommunication between Mayfield and Higgins that resulted in a pick.

Fans surely remember the last time Mayfield ran a two-minute offense in FirstEnergy Stadium. That was the first time the rookie saw the field and it started the big comeback win over the Jets on Thursday Night Football.

He again got the ball with limited time remaining to end the game and marched the Browns down the field. He got them in field goal range, and it could have been an even closer try had receiver Jarvis Landry gone out of bounds on his big play. Mayfield had one less try after that thanks to needing to spike the ball, and Greg Joseph missed badly on what was his first ever game-winning field goal try at any level.

Denzel Ward is darn good

No. 4 overall pick Denzel Ward keeps proving he’s the real deal for the Browns. He had two interceptions in his first game and got his third against Baltimore early as he picked the pass off near the goal line. He again showed up and blocked a kick just before the half. That sent them into the intermission up 6-3 and was also the first missed attempt in Cleveland for Baltimore kicker Justin Tucker.

He showed back up in the third quarter as the Ravens were looking for the lead. Facing a third-and-goal, the Ravens went for the score as Joe Flacco threw it to Michael Crabtree, but Ward was there to deflect the pass and hold them to three.

This defense is absolutely for real and Ward is one of the better players on this unit that held the Ravens to just nine points.

Higgins and Mayfield have a connection

Taking out their early miscommunication, the connection between Mayfield and Higgins has been fun to watch. They hit their first touchdown together just before the half, but then were connecting again on the drive that led to their field goal in the third. After being unable to connect with Jarvis Landry on second down, Mayfield then went for Higgins and his on the 26-yard pass that put them on the six-yard line. They wound up settling for three, but it may have been a punt without that play.

Unfortunately, Higgins ended up in the locker room in the fourth quarter after hurting his knee. He still had 66 yards and a touchdown. The hope has to be the injury isn’t serious, but at least Rishard Matthews is set to visit on Monday.

Baker is clutch

The best thing about Mayfield under center is he doesn’t get rattled. He bounces back from bad plays and can move the offense no matter what happens around him. We already discussed his ability to move the ball before the half and the end of the game. Even with both ending with missed kicks, he kept moving the chains.

In overtime, he continued to prove he’s cool under pressure. Mayfield moved them in range and since there was no trust in the kicker, he had to go for it on a fourth-and-five. That was an incomplete pass, but there was a questionable no-call — shocking right.

Mayfield didn’t let that phase him at all as he got another chance with time winding down and moved them back in range one more time. This time with less than 10 seconds in overtime, Joseph knocked in the kick.

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It was an ugly knuckleball kick, but it counted and the Browns won. Next up is the Los Angeles Chargers.