The Ravens are the AFC North champs
Week 17 was almost the cruelest week for the Ravens once again
They lost a playoff spot when Tyler Boyd scored a touchdown for the Bengals on fourth down last year and that memory was on everyone’s mind in the final minutes of Sunday’s game. Baltimore led 20-7 in the first half, but they weren’t able to come up with any touchdowns in the second half while Baker Mayfield kept getting the Browns into the end zone.
Mayfield’s third touchdown pass of the day cut Baltimore’s lead to 26-24 with 3:24 left in the game and the Browns defense came up with its best effort of the day on the ensuing drive to force a three and out that got the ball back in Mayfield’s hands. The Browns drove into Ravens territory, but felt that a 57-yard field goal was too much to ask of Greg Joseph on fourth down with just over a minute left.
Mayfield dropped back to pass and tried to drop a ball over Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley, but Mosley went up to get it and seal the win with an interception. The 26-24 win makes the Ravens this year’s AFC North champs and likely leaves the Steelers home for the postseason, so it’s a happy night on many fronts in Baltimore.
Mayfield threw three touchdowns to go with three interceptions and his final scoring pass gave him the single-season record for touchdown passes by a quarterback. The ending was sour, but the future is very bright for this year’s first overall draft pick.
The final pick of the first round had a good day as well. Lamar Jackson ran for 90 yards and two touchdowns while winning for the sixth time in seven starts. He nearly had a third score, but fumbled while trying to go over the top late in the first half. The Browns returned the fumble for a touchdown, but officials whistled the play dead in a decision that definitely changed the way the rest of the contest played out.
The Ravens also got 117 rushing yards from Kenneth Dixon and 76 from Gus Edwards, but the inability to do more than settle for field goals in the second half is something they’ll need to work on before hosting the Chargers in the Wild Card round next weekend.