Baltimore Ravens

Bengals oust Ravens from playoff hunt with 31-27 victory

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Bengals oust Ravens from playoff hunt with 31-27 victory

BALTIMORE - The Baltimore Ravens were ousted from the playoff hunt in stunning fashion Sunday when Andy Dalton threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd with 44 seconds, giving the Cincinnati Bengals a 31-27 victory.

Needing a win to advance to the postseason, Baltimore (9-7) rallied from a 14-point deficit to take its first lead with 8:48 left. But Dalton put together a magnificent 90-yard drive in the closing minutes before hitting Boyd over the middle on a fourth-and-12 play.

Boyd avoided a tackle by Maurice Canady and raced to the end zone to give Cincinnati (7-9) the victory in what might have been its final game under coach Marvin Lewis. Click here for more. 


 

Ravens one step closer to playoff berth with win over Colts, 23-16

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Ravens one step closer to playoff berth with win over Colts, 23-16

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Ravens didn't force a turnover, scored only two touchdowns and were dangerously close to going into overtime at home against lowly Indianapolis.

"We didn't play our best game," coach John Harbaugh readily acknowledged.

Though the Ravens' performance Saturday was not particularly artistic, they perceived the final result to be a thing of beauty: Ravens 23, Colts 16.

Baltimore (9-6) scored on its first two possessions and held off the skidding Colts (3-12) in a windy, rain-soaked second half.

The Ravens will reach the playoffs as an AFC wild card by defeating Cincinnati at home next Sunday. Striving for its first postseason berth since 2014, Baltimore has won five of six following a 4-5 start.

"We found a way to win it. That's the thing, it's a win," Harbaugh said. "It doesn't matter. You have to find a way to win in this league."

Joe Flacco threw for 237 yards and two touchdowns, Justin Tucker kicked three field goals and the Ravens did just enough to squeeze out a victory.

"I wish we had gotten into the end zone one more time," Flacco said. "It's not always pretty."

Indianapolis closed to 16-13 in the third quarter before Flacco threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Maxx Williams with 8:40 remaining.

It was 23-16 when Anthony Walker blocked a Ravens punt , giving the Colts the ball at the Baltimore 27 with 2:36 left. Indianapolis moved to the 10 before a third-down sack and a fourth-down incompletion ended the comeback bid.

"We had a great chance to win this game," Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett said. "We just didn't get it done down there."

Flacco, who went 29 for 38, has thrown for seven TDs with just one interception over his last four games.

"We're a very excited, a very confident football team," Flacco said.

The Colts have lost six in a row for the first time since 2011, when they opened 0-13. That was the year before they drafted quarterback Andrew Luck, whose absence this season with a shoulder injury contributed heavily to the team's slide into the AFC South cellar.

Brissett completed 16 of 33 passes for 215 yards and Frank Gore had 68 yards rushing and a touchdown catch for Indianapolis. More importantly, the Colts did not commit a turnover against a team that leads the NFL with 33 takeaways.

Adam Vinatieri kicked three field goals for the Colts, but he had one blocked and came up short on a 60-yard try at the end of the first half.

Flacco went 16 for 22 for 157 yards to help the Ravens take a 13-7 halftime lead.

After kicking a field goal on its first possession, Baltimore blocked a field goal try by Vinatieri. The Ravens then launched a 71-yard drive that ended with Flacco tossing a 6-yard touchdown pass to Michael Campanaro for a 10-0 lead.

Brissett answered with a 14-yard TD pass to Gore, and Tucker kicked a 39-yard field goal for Baltimore after the two-minute warning.

Tucker connected from 36 yards out to increase the lead to 16-7 with 5 1/2 minutes gone in the third quarter, but Vinatieri kicked a pair for the Colts to make it 16-13.

BLOCK THAT KICK

Baltimore's Tony Jefferson swatted away a 38-yard FG try in the first quarter, the 13th blocked kick by the Ravens since 2014 and their fifth over the past two seasons. It was the first time the Colts had a FG blocked since Nov. 3, 2013. Vinatieri later came up short on a 60-yard try before connecting from 48 and hitting the right upright on a successful 38-yarder.

INJURY UPDATE

Colts: WR Donte Moncrief (ankle), CB Rashaan Melvin (hand) and TE Jason Vander Laan (concussion) were among seven players on the inactive list.

Ravens: WR Jeremy Maclin (knee) was on the inactive list. ... CB Jaylen Hill (right knee) left in the third quarter and did not return.

UP NEXT

Colts: Wrap up this unpleasant season at home against Houston on New Year's Eve.

Ravens: Seek their first sweep of Bengals since 2012. Baltimore won the Super Bowl that season.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Ravens stay in playoff picture, down Browns, 27-10

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Ravens stay in playoff picture, down Browns, 27-10

CLEVELAND - When he looked up and saw hundreds of purple-and-black clad Baltimore fans ringing the tunnel entrance, coach John Harbaugh was moved to return the love.

He tossed his baseball cap into the stands and peeled off two sweat shirts that he handed out as souvenirs.

"Well worth it," Harbaugh said of his generosity.

The Ravens didn't give up anything else Sunday.

Joe Flacco threw a touchdown pass, ran for a score and beat Cleveland again as Baltimore stayed on track for a spot in the AFC playoffs with a 27-10 win over the Browns, now two losses from becoming the NFL's second 0-16 team.

Flacco scored on a 2-yard run and threw a 33-yard TD pass to tight end Benjamin Watson as the Ravens (8-6), coming off a heartbreaking loss to rival Pittsburgh, took control with two touchdowns in the final 3:01 of the first half.

Baltimore's opportunistic defense also contributed by forcing four more turnovers, with tackle Brandon Williams recovering a fumble and rolling into the end zone for a TD in third quarter to put the Ravens up 24-10.

"We've been doing some good things for a few weeks now and obviously it's getting our confidence rolling," said Flacco, who improved to 17-2 against the Browns. "Guys are starting to get some mojo and really starting to feel it."

The Browns (0-14) went 0-8 at home - 0-7 in Cleveland, 0-1 in London - for the second time and must win at either Chicago or Pittsburgh to avoid joining the 2008 Detroit Lions in the notorious 0-16 club. Last season, the Browns avoided infamy by winning their final home game and finishing 1-15.

Cleveland is 1-29 in two seasons under coach Hue Jackson, who is expected to be back despite his .033 winning percentage. Following the game, Jackson addressed speculation he might be interested in going Cincinnati, where Marvin Lewis is expected to leave at the end of the season.

"I'm not running from this," Jackson said. "I have never gone any place and left it worse than when I found it. I'm not going to run from this. I'm going to be here and I need to get this fixed as fast as I can because I think it is important."

Browns rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer threw two more interceptions, the last into a group of defenders in the fourth quarter.

Harbaugh wasn't concerned about his team overlooking the Browns with so much on the line. Baltimore was coming off a punch-in-the-gut, last-second loss to the Steelers, and while the Ravens weren't at their best, they didn't do anything to help Cleveland's cause.

And as long as they take care of business at home against Indianapolis and Cincinnati in their last two games, the Ravens will return to the postseason after a two-year absence.

With the Ravens leading 17-10, Baltimore's defense put away the Browns.

Kizer was stripped in the end zone on his blindside by Za'Darius Smith and the loose ball was pounced on by Williams, who shimmied his 340-pound frame across the goal line.

"I had to do a little scooch, but it was good," Williams said, adding it was his first TD since high school. "I'm happy they didn't call it back. I would have been upset."

RAVENOUS RAVENS

Baltimore has scored five defensive touchdowns. It's also forced 33 takeaways - nine in two games against Cleveland.

SUNDAY SCHOOL

The Browns have lost 31 consecutive games on Sunday.

QB CLASS

Flacco's .895 winning percentage against the Browns is the third best by an active quarterback against any opponent. Ben Roethlisberger is 21-2 (.913) against Cleveland and Tom Brady is 27-3 (.900) against Buffalo.

PRISTINE PUNTER

Baltimore punter Sam Koch was given a game ball after pinning the Browns deep with perfectly placed kicks. Koch had four punts inside Cleveland's 20-yard line, giving him a league-high 37 this season.

"The dude is amazing," Williams said. "The way he pins them back, it's money every time. I see him in practice every day. It's automatic. We love him for it. The guy's a baller."

HUE'S FUTURE

Lewis' imminent departure in Cincinnati has added a new wrinkle to Cleveland's cloudy coaching situation.

Although owner Jimmy Haslam has said Jackson will return in 2018, new general manager John Dorsey has left open the possibility of a coaching change. Dorsey ripped fired vice president of football operations Sashi Brown earlier this week, but sidestepped a question about Jackson's future.

"I am not coping with this very well," Jackson said. "I haven't for two years. We have to fix this."

INJURIES:

Ravens: Harbaugh said WR Jeremy Maclin (knee) and DT Carl Davis (lower leg) will undergo MRIs on Monday, but he doesn't think either injury is serious. ... S Chuck Clark sustained a head injury in the first quarter but returned after clearing concussion protocol.

Browns: CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun (knee) missed his second straight game. ... DT Danny Shelton sustained a lower right leg injury in the second half but returned.

UP NEXT

Ravens: Host Indianapolis on Sunday.

Browns: Visit Chicago on Sunday.