The Browns demonstrated their toughness and resiliency on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium, making crucial plays in the fourth quarter on both sides of the ball that showed their determination to win.
With only 1:24 seconds remaining in the game, the Browns RB Jerome Ford received the handoff but was immediately met by the opposing defense, which looked like he was only going to get a four-yard gain. However, with the help of the offensive linemen and receivers, Ford turned what would have been a short gain into a 12-yard run, putting the Browns in an advantageous position for a potential game-winning field goal.
"That just goes to show you we're going to do whatever it takes to win," Ford said. "Whether we're pushing the pile, blocking, giving out water to a teammate, whatever it takes. We're going to do anything we need to win the game."
The Browns beat the Ravens 33-31 after a slow start in the first half filled with self-inflicted mistakes and a handful of injuries. CB Denzel Ward and S Juan Thornhill left the game and were ruled out in the second half. QB Deshaun Watson tweaked his ankle in the second quarter and came back in the second half. The Browns found themselves down 17-9 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Watson, now dealing with an ankle injury, returned to the game and pushed through for his team. In the second half, Watson completed all 14 of his passes for 134 yards with a touchdown.
Despite the bad ankle, Watson had two key runs that were much needed for the Browns. The first happened in the third quarter after RB Kareem Hunt scored a touchdown, making it five straight games where he scored. Browns went for the 2-point conversion, and Watson ran it in, bringing them within one score.
The Browns celebrate after a win over the Baltimore Ravens on November 12, 2023 at M&T Bank Stadium.
The second big run happened with 1:39 left in the game when Watson scrambled for 16 yards and ran out of bounds, putting the Browns at the Ravens' 39-yard line. Both plays showed Watson's determination to do whatever was needed to help the Browns come out with the win.
"The second half, we didn't back down," Watson said. "We came out on fire, starting with the offensive line, running behind them. Then getting the ball to the receivers and having them make big plays."
One of the biggest pass plays in the game came in the fourth quarter with 10:18 left. Watson connected with TE David Njoku, who appeared to gain only five yards but used his strength and willpower to push back the Ravens defenders for 23 yards.
The Browns offense showed tremendous grit in the second half. CB Greg Newsome II had to step in for Ward and caught his first career interception. With injuries to the secondary, they got an opportunity early in the first half to play. He first made a big hit on Jackson, stopping him from getting a first down. Then, on the very next play, he caught his first interception of his career, in which he returned 34 yards for a touchdown. His touchdown put the Browns within one point of the Ravens.
It was a joint team effort, and everyone who played needed to contribute regardless of if the ball was in their hands. This is their first win this season when trailing by double digits.
"Wins like that define you," DE Myles Garrett said. "They set the tone for the season and the team going forward. There's no game that we're out of. So, you've just got to do what's gotten us here to this point in the season and continue to play the brand of football that we know we can play. "