BALTIMORE -- The Browns traveled to Baltimore for a Week 4 matchup that carried the potential of changing who reigned atop the AFC North standings after four games.
Consider that potential fulfilled.
Cleveland scored first and scored often in the second half, completing a statement win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. A game that was once tied at 10-10 ended in a runaway triumph for the Browns, who moved to 2-2.
Here are the six plays that changed the game.
1. Olivier Vernon’s first sack as a Brown
The Browns opened the game by going three-and-out, setting the stage for the Ravens to take an early lead. They didn’t, thanks to Olivier Vernon’s first sack as a Brown.
Vernon swooped around the edge and brought down Jackson, who would go on to prove why he’s so feared as a runner but wasn’t able to escape on this particular play. That brought up third-and-long and led to a punt from the Ravens, earning an important stop on the road and keeping the score even.
The Browns made up much of the deficit earned by an illegal blindside block with an 18-yard completion to Pharaoh Brown, but it was the third tight end who got the Browns on the board.
Lined up deep in the Ravens’ red zone, the Browns broke the huddle in a shotgun formation and ran a mesh play featuring crossing drag routes run by Odell Beckham Jr. and Seals-Jones. While the defense understandably trailed Beckham, a wide patch of grass awaited Seals-Jones, who caught an on-time pass from Mayfield and trotted into the end zone for an early 7-0 lead.
The drive was arguably the Browns’ best of the season and was a preview of what was to come on a tone-setting afternoon.
3. 59-yard completion to Ricky Seals-Jones (and ensuing 14-yard Chubb TD run)
There was a feeling as the Browns reached halftime that although they’d taken a 10-7 lead before the break, they might have left four more points out there when they didn’t manage to find the end zone. When Baltimore opened the second half with a scoring drive to tie it at 10-10, such a missed opportunity looked even more apparent.
Then Seals-Jones struck.
The tight end who joined the Browns via waivers just before the start of the regular season already started the game with his aforementioned touchdown reception, but his 59-yard catch and gallop put the Browns on the doorstep of a touchdown, which came on the next play when Nick Chubb made four defenders miss on his way to a 14-yard score. The trip to the end zone gave the Browns the lead again at 17-10 and was only the beginning of a big afternoon for Chubb.
Check out photos of the Browns against the Ravens
4. Jermaine Whitehead forces fumble to end Ravens drive
A game that appeared destined to be a back-and-forth affair all afternoon saw that expectation changed dramatically thanks to a timely arrival of Jermaine Whitehead.
Mark Ingram took a handoff up the middle and reached the second level of the defense, where linebacker Joe Schobert undercut the running back. As he was falling, Whitehead arrived with an on-target hit to finish off the play and got a bonus out of it, forcing the ball out of Ingram’s possession. Browns defensive end Chad Thomas pounced on the football to record the takeaway.
5. Shovel pass to Jarvis Landry for 29 yards to set up second Chubb TD
A creative Browns offense pulled out its best play with the chance for an important score in its sights.
Mayfield received the shotgun snap and quickly tossed the ball forward to Landry, who was crossing the field behind the line of scrimmage in motion ahead of the snap. Landry received what was technically a pass and sprinted around the left end for a gain of 29, with his best friend Beckham Jr. running alongside him for the whole trip.
The play put the Browns at the 2, where Chubb would pound the ball in behind a six-man offensive line for a score and a 24-10 lead.
6. Nick Chubb’s 88-yard touchdown
The Ravens were not willing to surrender to the Browns early in the fourth, proving as much with a touchdown to Mark Andrews and a successful two-point conversion. In the words of the late Fred McLeod, it was sweaty palms time for the Browns.
Then Chubb ripped off the big one.
In a fashion similar to that of his stellar rookie campaign, Chubb took a toss left, received an excellent block from right guard Eric Kush (who accounted for two defenders in immediate succession) and sprinted up the field past the rest of the defense. The running back hit the extra gear that makes him such a dangerous ball carrier and immediately took the momentum back from a Ravens team that appeared poised to bring the game back to even.
The house call essentially sealed it for the Browns, who added 10 more points for good measure and walked away with a 40-25 triumph.