Ravens

Instant Reaction from Ravens' win in Cleveland: Lamar Jackson plays Superman

Ravens

With the Ravens down one and faced with a 4th and 5 and second-string quarterback Trace McSorley in agony on the turf at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, reigning league MVP Lamar Jackson emerged from the tunnel. 

The game was on the line and the Ravens needed five yards to keep the game going. They got 44 and a touchdown from Marquise Brown and a two-point conversion to take a seven-point lead. 

The Browns answered in less than a minute to tie the game once again. Then, after the Ravens got the ball back once again and marched down the field, Justin Tucker booted home a game-winning field goal to end the craziest game of the year for the Ravens, and perhaps the league to cap a 47-42 win for the Ravens at the gun. 

Here are a few instant takeaways from a game that’s hard to put into words: 

Playoff races impacted

The Ravens knew they may have to win their final five games to make the playoffs after their loss to the Steelers. And the Browns presented the toughest of those matchups. 

Through 40 percent of the final stretch, the Ravens are a perfect two-for-two. 

With their win in Cleveland, the Ravens may have ended the Browns’ AFC North title hopes and given themselves a near cakewalk to the AFC playoffs.

Jackson’s heroics may have saved the season. 

Lamar cramps up late; returns to play hero

The Ravens led 34-20 and looked to be in great shape as the fourth quarter began. But in a matter of moments, the Browns scored a touchdown and Jackson was announced as being questionable to return with cramps. 

 

Trace McSorley took the lead at quarterback in place of Jackson, with Robert Griffin III on injured reserve. The Browns scored 15 straight points to take a 35-34 lead after a quick three-and-out from McSorley. 

With the Ravens driving, McSorley’s left leg got caught in the turf and Jackson hopped right back into the lineup and fired a 44-yard strike to give the Ravens a lead once again. 

Then, he marched the Ravens into Browns territory to set up a game-winning kick from Tucker after the Browns tied the game once again.

Lamar’s slips and slides to massive day on ground

Jackson couldn’t find his footing in the first half. That should be interpreted literally.

The Browns’ defensive front got after Jackson early and often in the first two quarters. And whenever he tried to escape, he slipped on the Cleveland turf. But at halftime, he changed to a different pair of cleats and it seemed to work. 

Even with the field acting as a Slip-N-Slide for Jackson most of the night, he ran for the most yards on the ground (163) in his entire career.