1. Battling poor field position throughout the half, the Browns defense looked like they were finally going to break midway through the second quarter. Baltimore had the ball at the 2-yard line after starting the possession at its own 48.
On first-and-goal, Cleveland stuffed Javorius Allen for no gain. On second-and-goal, the Browns got the takeaway they desperately needed. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco faked a handoff to his left and rolled out to his right. A charging Emmanuel Ogbah leaped in the air to get a hand on the football, and rookie cornerback Denzel Ward stepped in front of tight end Nick Boyle for the interception.
For Ward, it was his team-leading third interception of the season, all of which have come against AFC North foes. For the Browns, it was their 14th takeaway of the season, surpassing last year’s season total of 13 just four games and a couple of quarters into the year.
2. The Browns offense struggled to move the chains through most of the first half, but the group looked electric when it took the field for a two-minute drill.
Cleveland got the chains moving on a third-down, direct snap to Duke Johnson, who took it around the edge for 8 yards. Back-to-back throws to tight end David Njoku netted a combined 43 yards to put the Browns inside the red zone. On second-and-10 from the 19, Mayfield calmly lofted a pass right into the arms of Rashard Higgins for a 19-yard touchdown.
Greg Joseph’s extra point was missed, but the Browns had their first lead of the game, 6-3.
3. The Browns defense was gassed as the Ravens mounted their longest offensive drive of the game midway through the third quarter. Still, the unit found enough juice to make the big plays it needed in order for the team to maintain its lead.
Up 9-3, the Browns were pushed and pushed and pushed on a Ravens drive that featured 13 plays and took more than 6 minutes off the clock. Faced with second-and-5 from the 9, Cleveland limited Allen on a 2-yard carry. On third down, Ward provided blanket coverage on wide receiver Michael Crabtree, and Flacco couldn’t find a window for the pass.
Justin Tucker’s second field goal of the game made it 9-6 at the end of the third quarter.
Photos: Browns play Ravens in Week 5
The Cleveland Browns play the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium in Week 5.
4. Trailing by three, the Ravens got the drive they needed to send the game to overtime. It could have been even more if not for another stand by the Browns defense deep in its own territory.
Baltimore entered Tucker’s field goal range with a 7-yard run by Allen and put itself inside the red zone with one of its few third-down conversions of the game, moving 16 yards when it needed 13 on an Allen screen.
Cleveland, though, didn’t surrender another single yard, as Flacco threw incomplete on three consecutive passes, the last of which found the hands of Crabtree in the middle of the end zone but ultimately fell to the turf.
Tucker’s kick was good from 32 yards with 52 seconds to play.
5. Mayfield got the Browns moving on their final drive of regulation and gave them a shot to end it before overtime.
A 13-yard pass to Derrick Willies got Cleveland moving, and a 17-yarder to Jarvis Landry put the Browns on the cusp of Joseph’s field goal range. The Browns never got any closer, and Joseph was sent out to attempt a 55-yarder with 10 seconds to play. Joseph had the distance, but the kick sailed to the left from the moment his foot struck the ball.
6. Improbably, the Browns had the ball with a chance to win the game after their first two overtime possessions came up short.
The second was painful to stomach, as the Browns moved all the way to Baltimore’s 39-yard line but came up short, turning the ball over on downs when Mayfield’s pass to Landry sailed well down the field after Landry took a hard hit from a Baltimore defensive back. Still, the defense had one more stop in it, and the Ravens had to punt it back with 2:55 to play.
Cleveland’s first play went backward 11 yards on a failed reverse by Rod Streater. Mayfield, though, got all of it back on the next play with a scramble and got the chains moving with a 39-yard pass to Willies. Johnson followed with a 15-yard run, a 5-yarder and a 4-yarder to set up Joseph for the game-winning attempt with seconds left to play.
Joseph’s kick wasn’t pretty, but it did the job. For the first time in three years, the Browns came out victorious against an AFC North foe.