NFL Wire News

Ravens 20, Browns 10


BALTIMORE — Joe Flacco threw a pair of touchdown passes in the fourth quarter to lead the Baltimore Ravens to a 20-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns, clinching a spot in the AFC playoffs Sunday.

After a disappointing loss to the Texans last week, the Ravens (10-6) were able to sneak into the postseason because Kansas City beat San Diego, knocking the Chargers out of the sixth and final spot.

Cleveland (7-9) lost its fifth straight game and has not won in Baltimore since 2007.

Flacco started slowly but came up big when it mattered most. He completed 22 of 36 passes for 312 yards and set a career high with 27 touchdown passes on the season. Baltimore running back Justin Forsett had 119 yards on 17 carries.

Browns running back Terrance West, a Baltimore native, got the start and ran for 94 yards on 18 carries. He gave Cleveland a 10-3 lead on a 2-yard run with 3:29 left in the third quarter, when it looked like the Houston Texans or Ravens might step up to become the No. 6 seed in the AFC.

Justin Tucker pulled the Ravens to within 10-6 with a 28-yard field goal with 10:37 left in the game. After the defense forced a 3-and-out, Flacco found Torrey Smith for a 53-yard gain. On the next play, he found Smith again in the middle of the endzone for the go-ahead score.

On the Ravens next possession, Flacco found Kamar Aiken with a 2-yard touchdown pass for a 20-10 lead with 3:44 left in the game.

Cleveland rookie quarterback Connor Shaw, who was promoted from the practice squad just two days prior to the game, dealt with pressure all afternoon and was sacked four times. Shaw completed 14 of 28 passes for 177 yards, including a 49-yard pass to wide receiver Taylor Gabriel that set up his team’s only touchdown. He also had an interception late in the fourth quarter.

The Ravens have reached the postseason six of seven years under coach John Harbaugh.

Baltimore’s offense sputtered throughout the first half despite having a short field on several possessions. The Ravens did manage a 25-yard field goal by Tucker with 8:05 left in the second quarter.

The Browns tied the game on the ensuing possession with a 38-yard field by Garrett Hartley and the score remained knotted at 3 at the half.

NOTES: Cleveland played without WR Josh Gordon, who was suspended for missing a walk-through. WR Phil Bates was promoted from the practice squad, but was inactive. … Ravens LT Eugene Monroe was out with an ankle injury. Rookie James Hurst got the start in his place. … Browns top draft pick CB Justin Gilbert was inactive against the Ravens for reportedly being late for a team meeting the prior night.

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