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Cleveland Browns lose thriller

OHIO: Trace McSorley #7 of the Baltimore Ravens injures his leg during the fourth quarter in the game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 14, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. – AFP

LOS ANGELES: Lamar Jackson inspired a dramatic fourth quarter comeback as the Baltimore Ravens kept their playoff hopes alive with a wild 47-42 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Monday. A thrilling AFC North divisional battle saw Cleveland recover from a 34-20 deficit at the end of the third quarter to take a 35-34 lead with just over six minutes remaining after quarterback Baker Mayfield rushed for a touchdown.

However Baltimore quarterback Jackson, who had been off the field after complaining of cramp, returned to the fray and scrambled to set up a 44-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Brown as the Ravens regained the lead. Ravens running back JK Dobbins blasted over for a two-point conversion to give Baltimore a 42-35 lead with under two minutes remaining.

Cleveland were anything but finished as Mayfield led another drive 75 yards upfield to set up a tying touchdown score for Kareem Hunt to make it 42-42. Jackson however had the final say, advancing the Ravens 38 yards and into field goal range as the seconds ticked down. Kicker Justin Tucker duly converted a 55-yard field goal to effectively seal victory with two seconds remaining. From the restart, Browns receiver Jarvis Landry was forced out of his own end zone to concede a safety as the Ravens escaped with a win that sees them remain in contention for a playoff berth.

Jackson said he had demanded to return to the field after seeing back-up quarterback Trace McSorley go down following a heavy hit in the fourth quarter. “I was cramping. Back in the locker room, when I saw Trace go down, I’m like – I gotta go out there,” the Ravens quarterback said. Browns quarterback Mayfield praised his opposite number’s late rescue act. “It was like a scene out of a movie,” Mayfield said of Jackson’s re-entry to the field. “As soon as Trace went down, to look up and see Lamar trotting back out onto the field, I was like ‘Jeez’. He’s just an unbelievable player.”

The Ravens are now third in the AFC North with an 8-5 record, one game behind the Browns who are second on 9-4. The Pittsburgh Steelers lead the division on 11-2. The thrilling finale at Cleveland’s FirstEnergy Stadium came after a roller coaster game dominated by rushing. The first eight touchdowns of a frenzied encounter came via rushing, with Jackson bagging two touchdowns in the first and second quarters. Baltimore running back Gus Edwards also had two touchdowns. The Browns ground game was led by Nick Chubb, who had 17 carries for 82 yards and two touchdowns. – AFP

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