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Clutch Players of the Game

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Clutch Performers: 3 standout players who helped deliver a 33-31 win in Baltimore

A player from each group earned a clutch performer award

Clutch players

The Browns beat a division rival in the Ravens 33-31 at M&T Bank Stadium, and with the win, improved to 6-3 this season. All three sides of the ball helped the Browns come back from a double-digit deficit.

As a result, it's time to recognize three players who contributed with clutch performances.

QB Deshaun Watson

QB Deshaun Watson had a tale of two halves. In the first half, he completed only six passes for 79 yards and an interception out of 20 throws. He even tweaked his ankle late in the second quarter and went into the locker room right before halftime to be evaluated.

At halftime, it was uncertain whether Watson would return to the game. Backup QB P.J. Walker warmed up on the sidelines at the start of the third quarter. With the Browns being down 17-9, Watson was determined to finish the game and do whatever it took for the Browns to win.

"When I came in to get looked at, I just wanted to make sure I (was) locked in," Watson said. "This was going to be a big moment for myself because I didn't want to let my teammates down. I knew I had to put much more on my shoulders than I should have because we put ourselves in a hole."

Despite his bad ankle, Watson's two key runs for the Browns helped them get close to tying the game. 

In the third quarter, the first run followed RB Kareem Hunt's touchdown, extending his scoring streak to five games. Watson ran the ball in for the 2-point conversion, bringing the Browns within one score. 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. 

Watson played every possession in the second half and a perfect 14 of 14. He threw for 134 yards and a touchdown. 

"We have to take this, especially the second half – the momentum that we capitalized on and the energy that we had in the second half – and take it to tomorrow," Watson said. "We'll watch the tape and correct those mistakes that we have – very self-inflicted mistakes – and put that to bed and get ready for Pittsburgh next week."

The Browns celebrate after a win over the Baltimore Ravens on November 12, 2023 at M&T Bank Stadium.

CB Greg Newsome II

On the very first offensive possession for the Browns, they turned it over on the second play. S Kyle Hamilton picked off Watson's pass and returned it for a touchdown. At that moment, the Browns defense knew they needed to match what the Ravens defense did to even out the game. Thanks to CB Greg Newsome II, the mission was completed.

Newsome was listed as questionable heading into Sunday's game with a groin injury. However, after being listed as active for the game, Newsome had an opportunity to contribute for the defense. 

He stepped in late in the first quarter after CB Denzel Ward left the game with a neck injury. In the second quarter, Newsome played good defense on the Ravens receivers. He didn't give up any passes and was credited with a half-sack. In the second half, Newsome would make the play of the game.

With 8:24 remaining in the game, QB Lamar Jackson targeted FB Patrick Ricard. However, DE Ogbo Okoronkwo batted the ball in the air, and Newsome intercepted the pass.

He returned the pass for 34 yards and scored a touchdown to close the Browns deficit to 31-30. It was Newsome's first interception of his career, and it couldn't come at a better time.

"Everything just went silent," Newsome said. "No noise. The first thing that just came into my mind was, 'Thank the lord.' I didn't even know if I was going to be able to play this week. At the beginning of the week, I really couldn't run, so all praise to the Lord for that." 

K Dustin Hopkins

K Dustin Hopkins sealed a thrilling 33-31 comeback victory over the Ravens with a 40-yard field goal as time expired on Sunday.

Before the game-winning field goal, Hopkins missed an extra point after Newsome scored a touchdown. The Browns could've tied the game 31-31 but had to settle for 30-31 instead.

As Hopkins was walking towards the sidelines, the defensive players consoled him, letting him know he would get another chance. His teammates were confident he would be needed later in the game and knew he would make his next kick.

"I knew he wanted the ball at the end to win it," Newsome said. "Especially after that last missed extra point."

The Browns defense managed to force a punt with only 5:03 left on the clock, and Watson took charge to lead the Browns on a 12-play, 58-yard drive. With three seconds left, the Browns attempted a 40-yard field goal. The Ravens had no timeouts, so they couldn't ice the kicker. Hopkins took the clean snap and nailed the game-winner.

"I looked the whole time," LB Anthony Walker Jr. said. "No eyes closed. I knew it was going to go in, just believing [Dustin Hopkins], trusting him, and you know he's been big for us all year. There was no different moment. I knew he was going to walk it off, and you know I was happy for him."

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