UPDATE: Dec. 14, 2020
Tonight, the Ravens triumphed in an unforgettable game. ESPN went so far as to call it “the game of the year”. It was tied at 14 at one point. But Lamar Jackson dashed into the end zone for his second rushing TD of the half, putting his team up 21-14.
In the second half, Ravens’ Gus Edwards had a 17-yard touchdown run to give the Ravens a 28-14 lead. But the Browns responded in kind: Mayfield launched a dramatic, far-flung pass to Browns running back Kareem Hunt. That was followed up by a TD run by Browns RB Nick Chubb. With the score 28-20, Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield suffered a nightmare interception. That pick (by Ravens linebacker Tyus Bowser) later led to a 1-yd TD by Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins. The Ravens’ lead increased to fourteen.
Down 34-20, Cleveland came roaring back. Hunt scored again, and the Browns went for a two-point conversion. That score narrowed the Ravens lead to six. It was 34-28, with thirteen minutes left in the fourth quarter. That set up a dramatic finale.
The Browns began another scoring drive. Baker Mayfield raced into the end zone for the touchdown, giving the Browns a 35-34 lead. The Ravens took over with backup quarterback Trace McSorley, who fell to the ground on 3rd and 5, clutching his leg. At the two-minute warning, the Ravens looked on the ropes. But with two minutes left, Lamar Jackson came running onto the field.
On 4th and 5, Jackson took off running, then hurled the ball to WR Marquise Brown, who ran uncovered into the end zone for the touchdown. Jackson’s late-game heroics (and a two-point conversion) put the Ravens up 42-35. But Baker Mayfield rallied his team to another score, throwing to running back Kareem Hunt. Tackled as he ran, Hunt fell into the pylon, scoring the touchdown. It was the topper to a 47-second touchdown drive.
The Ravens got the ball with just over a minute left. They embarked on a six-play, 38-yard drive. Jackson made two successful passes to tight end Mark Andrews and later found him for another. But it was kicker Justin Tucker who sealed the game with a 55-yard field goal — with just two seconds left! That incredible feat put the Ravens ahead 45-42.
They only increased that lead after a disastrous last-gasp play by the Browns. Cleveland attempted a series of wild lateral passes, with one player after another throwing the ball. The play ended in the end zone, with Browns wide receiver Jarvin Landry being tackled. With that, the Ravens defense scored a safety, officially ending the match. The Ravens won the game, 47-42.
Tonight’s thriller of a match made history. According to NBC Sports, the Ravens scored at least five rushing touchdowns. The Browns scored four rushing touchdowns and one passing touchdown. “That ties for the most rushing touchdowns in a single game in NFL history. That is the most rushing TDs in an NFL game since 1922, according to NFL Research. The teams are the first in NFL history to each have four or more rushing touchdowns in the same game.
Jackson overcame COVID-19 (and cramps) to deliver a thrilling performance. He racked up 124 rushing yards and three touchdowns, along with a memorable game-winning drive. And he did it without Dez Bryant, who was still on the reserve/COVID19 list. (On Dec. 15, the Ravens announced that Bryant had been activated off the list.)
Jackson’s heroic return late in the fourth quarter added a dramatic touch to a wild shootout game. A combined 89 points were scored in tonight’s contest — the most in a game this season. Even the players were in disbelief after the match.
“I mean, if you wrote a movie about this, people wouldn’t believe it,” said Coach John Harbaugh after the game. That sentiment was echoed by running back J.K. Dobbins. “It was a crazy game — it’s something you can’t even make up,” said Dobbins after the game. “It’s like a movie.”