CLEVELAND – There’s been plenty of memorable losses since the Browns came back to the NFL in 1999, but Monday night was one of the toughest ones to swallow as the team once again grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory.
This time it was a blocked 51-yard field goal on the final play of the game that the Ravens picked up and safety Will Hill III took it 64 yards the other way to rip out the hearts of Browns fans for a Ravens 33-27 win.
The stunning loss is the 6th straight for the Browns, and the team falls to 2-9. The loss was magnified as the team lost quarterback Josh McCown to a collarbone injury, and left the stadium in a sling.
The team rallied back on the arm of Austin Davis, who came in for McCown, and hit Travis Benjamin with a 42-yard touchdown to tie the game at 27 with 1:47 left.
Davis hit Gary Barnidge for a 6-yard pass to the 40, and then the QB scrambled for seven yards to the 33 with nine seconds left. His failure to get out of bounds seemed to throw the Browns into confusion.
“Looking back I probably should have stepped out,” Davis said after the game.
Instead of trying to get closer, Mike Pettine and his staff tried a run, and Duke Johnson Jr. was stuffed for no gain, setting up a 51-yard attempt for Coons.
The kick was blocked was Ravens 2014 fourth-round pick Brent Urban, who blew past tight Jim Dray to get to the ball. After a scrum, Hill picked up the kick and raced down the sideline for the score on the games final play.
The win puts Baltimore at 4-7 on the season.
It was a night of rallying for the Browns, who trailed 10-0 and 17-3 before they were able to find a way to put themselves in a position to go for the win.
Kaelin Clay went 82 yards with the first Andy Lee punt of the night to get the Ravens on the board to make it 7-0 with 9:54 to play in the opening quarter.
Baltimore with Schaub marched down the field, and in seven plays they gained 39 yards, and Justin Tucker nailed a 49-yard field goal with 4:22 left in the first quarter makes it 10-0.
At that point it the game the Ravens had outgained the Browns 59 to 33.
The first quarter ended with a sack of McCown and the Browns staring at a 3rd-and-10 at the Ravens 46. The Browns 77 yards to the Ravens 59 at the end of one, but trailed by 10 points.
McCown in the first quarter was 5-for-10 for 44 yards with a sack, while Schaub was 4-for-6 for 27 yards.
The Browns got three back on their next drive as McCown hit a 17-yard pass to Gary Barnidge on 4th and 1, but the drive stalled and Coons kicked a field goal to make it 10-3.
The Ravens didn’t take long to respond, as after Coons kicked the ball out of bounds to allow Baltimore to start at the 40, Schaub went deep on the first play, hitting Chris Givens for 48 yards.
Two plays later, Schaub hit Javorius Allen makes it 17-3 with 9:58 to play first half after the running back broke a couple Browns tackles.
Cleveland though responded, as they drove 69 yards in nine plays in 5:22, with the final 10 yards being a McCown touchdown pass to Marlon Moore after McCown escaped with some great footwork out of the pocket.
The touchdown with 4:36 left in the first half made it a 17-10 game. McCown at that point was 13-for-19 for 137 yards and the touchdown.
After the Ravens were unable to move the ball, McCown went back to work looking to tie the game last in the half. He and Barnidge hooked up on a huge 30-yard pass play to put the ball on the Ravens 13.
They got another first down but the drive stalled and they settled for a 21-yard field goal from Coons to make it a 17-13 game with three seconds left in the half.
The drive was 9 plays, 58 yards and covered 2:35.
At the half McCown was 16-for-26 for 189 yards with a touchdown. Barnidge had five grabs for 77 yards. The Browns outgained the Ravens 232 to 125 for Baltimore.
McCown had passes of 30, 21, 15, 11 and 10 yards in the first half.
The Browns got the lead as Karlos Dansby picked off a Schaub pass and went 52 yards to give the Browns a 20-17 lead 12:16 to play in the third quarter.
Dansby went high to pull in the pass, and raced down the sideline to take it the distance for the score and the lead.
The Ravens responded with a well put together drive that took 6:46 off the clock. Schaub marched them 80 yards in 12 plays, the final 15 being a pass to Kamar Aiken to make it a 24-20 lead with 5:36 to play in the third quarter.
Schaub at that point was 12-for-17 for 136 yards and one pick and the score.
The Ravens went on a long drive that ended with a Tucker 35-yard field goal with 9:05 to play to make it a 27-20 game. The drive covered 17 plays, 82 yards and took over 8 minutes off the clock.
McCown after taking a nasty hit the drive before, tried to come back in, and after throwing a second down pass went to the ground and left the game with 8:33 to play.
Davis came on, and was incomplete in his first pass, forcing a punt with 8:24 to play down 27-20.
The Browns defense stepped up, allowing Davis a chance to tie the game after holding the Ravens offense in check.
Davis hit a huge fourth down pass to Brian Hartline to save the game, and then quickly moved the Browns into the Ravens side of the field.
The former Rams QB hit Benjamin for a 16-yard gain to get it to the Ravens 42, and then following the two-minute warning stepped up in the pocket and threw a perfect pass to Benjamin who was racing past the Ravens secondary for a 42-yard TD to tie the game at 27 with 1:55 to play, setting up the wild finish.
The loss clinched the 15th losing season for the Browns since they came back in 1999. Since they finished 10-6 in 2007 they are 51 games under .500.