This game started out as poorly as it could for the Cleveland Browns but they never gave up. On the first pass attempt of the game, Deshaun Watson was picked off by Baltimore Ravens safety Kyle Hamilton. On second-and-six, Hamilton read the play like a book as he stepped in front of a short pass from Watson to David Njoku — and took it back 18 yards for a pick-six.
Watson then missed three passes on the following drive, which led to a quick punt. Cleveland's defense was then picked apart as Lamar Jackson was 3-of-3 for 30 yards. Running back Keaton Mitchell then took a handoff 39 yards for a touchdown, making it 14-0 before Watson had even completed a pass.
Cleveland did finally stop the bleeding when Dustin Hopkins connected on a 36-yard attempt. That field goal made it 14-3 and capped off a 10-play, 49-yard drive. Of course, that drive also could have ended with more. On second-and-seven from the 18, Watson hit Njoku inside the 10 but he dropped the ball as he was turning his head to run after the catch.
Baltimore responded with a field goal of their own to make it 17-3. That field goal shouldn't have happened since Juan Thornhill shut down Gus Edwards on third-and-10 but a penalty by Denzel Ward gave them a fresh set of downs. The defense held them to a field goal but should have gotten their offense the ball back without giving up any points.
A 6-0 second quarter helped Cleveland close the gap but the first half ended in disappointment. Mike Ford had just destroyed Lamar Jackson on a scramble and then picked off his pass to give his team the ball back. They were unable to capitalize as Watson suffered an ankle injury and P.J. Walker's Hail Mary fell incomplete. Ford then got burnt to start off the second half, allowing Odell Beckham to score on a 40-yard touchdown catch making it a 24-9 lead.
The Browns continued to fight back as Kareem Hunt ran in a powerful touchdown to cap off a 17-play drive that covered 75 yards and took up 10:09. Watson ran in a two-point conversion and out of nowhere, the lead was just seven points. Myles Garrett then recorded a sack on back-to-back plays, forcing a punt but that's when the momentum shifted back.
Cleveland Browns special teams mistake proves costly
James Proche II was a pleasant surprise last week. The former Ravens wideout took over the punt return duties and had an impressive debut. He was back in this role against his former team but made a huge mistake that killed all the momentum Cleveland had just captured.
A 44-yard punt from Jordan Stout should have given the Browns the ball but Proche muffed it after calling for a fair catch. He attempted to get the ball back but Devin Duvernay wound up recovering it. The Ravens scored thanks to Gus Edwards — aided by a couple of Cleveland penalties — extending their lead to two touchdowns.
Cleveland Browns defense kept fighting
The Browns didn't let the momentum stay on Baltimore's sideline for long. Watson and the offense marched down the field to answer the Edwards touchdown and Elijah Moore scored his first touchdown with the team. Their defense then answered by forcing a huge turnover.
Ogbo Okoronkwo was able to jump up and bat a pass from Jackson, sending the ball high into the air. Greg Newsome then tracked it down and recorded his first career interception. He then ran that one back for a touchdown, making it a one-point game — Dustin Hopkins missed the extra point, keeping it 31-30 but the Browns were right back in this one.
The defense got them the ball back though and the Browns made the most of it. They killed the final 4:55 seconds of the game on a 12-play drive which ended with Hopkins making up for his miss with a 40-yard field goal. The win shocked the Ravens who fell to 7-3 and will now face an upset Bengals in Week 11. Cleveland, on the other hand, improved to 6-3 and is just a half-game out of first place.