Lamar Jackson’s solely thought was to rescue his teammates.
Like some other superhero.
Jackson emerged from the locker room, saved the sport and possibly Baltimore’s season with a 47-42 win over the Cleveland Browns in a wild, back-and-forth Monday night time recreation during which the groups mixed to tie a 98-year-old NFL file.
Again on the sphere after being sidelined by cramps, Jackson threw a 44-yard landing cross to Marquise Brown after which arrange Justin Tucker’s 55-yard subject aim with two seconds left because the Ravens (8-5) stayed within the playoff image.
A recreation dripping with playoff depth delivered with limitless drama and quite a few twists, none greater than Jackson working again onto the sphere for a fourth-down play after his backup, Hint McSorley, had suffered a knee damage.
Jackson, who missed a current recreation with COVID-19, stated he obtained fluids within the locker room and was getting stretched when he noticed McSorley get harm.
“I’m still stretching and I’m like, `We gotta go out there,”‘ he stated. “It was fourth down, my guys were making great catches and we came out with the victory. As soon as I saw him go down, I came out of the locker room.”
Jackson first hit Brown for the TD after which, after getting the ball again with 1:04 left, received Baltimore in place for Tucker, who made 70 straight subject targets inside 40 yards earlier than lacking final week. He made this one look fairly routine, offering an uplifting second for the Ravens after they spent the previous two weeks coping with a virus outbreak and quite a few scheduling modifications.
“It’s definitely good that we made that kick, given everything this team is going through right now,”‘ Tucker stated. “It keeps us in the playoff picture. We definitely needed to have this one. What the world saw on Monday Night Football was a Ravens team playing with guts.”
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It was a intestine punch for the Browns (9-4), who had rallied from a 14-point deficit to take the lead whereas Jackson was out.
The Browns had one final probability after Tucker’s kick, however a collection of laterals on the ultimate play ended with a security that affected gamblers all around the nation. The Ravens had been favoured by three on the opening line.
“There can either be good or bad to come from this,” stated Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, whose 22-yard TD cross to Kareem Hunt with 1:04 left tied it. “You can start pointing fingers, but that’s not this team. We know that we need to fight and make the plays to win when we need to.”
The NFL’s high two dashing groups mixed for 9 dashing touchdowns, tying a league file set in 1922 by Rock Island and Evansville after which Racine and Louisville.
Jackson rushed for 2 touchdowns and 124 yards. He accomplished simply 11 passes, however 5 of them got here after he returned from the cramps.
With the Ravens down 42-35, Jackson got here working again onto the sphere after McSorley suffered what appeared like a severe leg damage when he slipped on a slick FirstEnergy Stadium subject that was powerful for gamers to chop on all night time.
Jackson spent the primary half slipping in every single place earlier than altering cleats.
With no margin for error on fourth-and-5, Jackson calmly rolled to his proper — and after getting the Browns to assume he was going to run — he discovered a wide-open Brown in the midst of the sphere.
“That was a big-time play. We needed that,” tight finish Mark Andrews stated. “It’s hard to describe this game because everyone was doing their thing. Just a lot of fun.”
Even after Jackson’s throw, Mayfield wasn’t going to be denied. He drove the Browns 75 yards, hitting Hunt for the rating.
Jackson then confirmed why he is a celebrity.
The reigning NFL MVP accomplished two straight passes to Andrews, who missed the previous two video games with COVID-19, for 28 yards and moved the Ravens in vary for Tucker, one of the vital correct kickers in league historical past.
Mayfield had shaken off a expensive interception and introduced the Browns again, scrambling from the pocket a la Jackson and scoring on a run with 6:33 left.
The Browns had been crushed 38-6 by the Ravens in Week 1, however Cleveland appeared like a special staff — like a playoff staff.
“That’s a really good football team with a lot of heart,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh stated. “It’s a game that’s going to go down in history. Our guys had faith and trust and belief and sometimes that’s what it takes.”
Nick Chubb had two TD runs for the Browns, whereas Gus Edwards had two for the Ravens.