BALTIMORE -- For the third time in the past four games, the Cleveland Browns held a lead in the fourth quarter but saw it disappear in crunch time.
A solid NFL debut from rookie quarterback Connor Shaw and another inspired performance by the defense was spoiled Sunday when the Ravens erased a 10-3 Cleveland lead over the matter of two possessions on their way to beating the Browns, 20-10, at M&T Bank Stadium.
The Browns ended the 2014 season with five straight losses to finish with a 7-9 record. With the win and some help from Kansas City, which beat San Diego, Baltimore (10-6) landed a spot in the AFC playoffs.
Shaw, who was elevated from the practice squad Saturday because of injuries to Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel, showed poise and made a handful of big throws in the first snaps of his NFL career. The recipient of a number of hard hits from Ravens pass rushers, Shaw finished 14-of-28 for 177 yards, an interception with 2:20 to play and a fumble on a botched snap.
The Browns took their first lead of the game with 3:29 left in the third quarter, when Terrance West plowed into the end zone on a 2-yard touchdown run, his first since Cleveland's Nov. 6 win at Cincinnati. The score was set up by Shaw's best throw of the game, as the former South Carolina star extended the play, escaped the pocket and found Taylor Gabriel for a 49-yard pass.
West finished with 18 carries for 94 yards, the most by a Browns running back since he had 94 against Cincinnati on Nov. 6.
The Ravens threatened to tie early in the fourth quarter after Joe Flacco connected with Owen Daniels for a 39-yard pass to move Baltimore inside the Browns' 20. Cleveland's defense responded over the next few plays to limit the Ravens to a field goal with 10:37 to play and keep the lead.
It didn't last much longer, though, as Flacco hit Torrey Smith with back-to-back passes to take the lead on a speedy touchdown drive. The first pass went for 53 yards and the second, for the go-ahead touchdown, covered 16.
Flacco, who finished with 312 passing yards, hit Kamar Aiken on a 2-yard touchdown pass with 3:44 to play for some insurance. More than half of Flacco's yards came in the fourth quarter.
The Ravens gained 238 of their 419 yards in the fourth quarter.
Shaw completed the first pass of his NFL career when he hit West on a short pass for 9 yards. He looked comfortable thereafter, as he followed with a 30-yard completion to Jordan Cameron and later connected with Andrew Hawkins to convert a fourth down.
Shaw's best drive of the first half ended with a Garrett Hartley field goal, which tied the score, 3-3, with 2:37 to play in the second quarter. A 36-yard run by West, the Browns' longest of the season, kickstarted the possession, which went 10 plays for 55 yards and drained 5:33 off the clock.
Cleveland's red zone defense played a big part in keeping the first half as close as it was.
The Ravens had first-and-goal from the Browns' 2 but came away with no points after Cleveland stuffed three runs and forced an incomplete pass. The Ravens got as close as Cleveland's 7-yard line on the drive that ended with a short Justin Tucker field goal.