In a Monday Night Football matchup that was making more headlines for who was not going to play instead of those on the field, the Cleveland Browns lost what looked a sure win and they lost it in true stomach-punch fashion.
The bizarre set of twists and turns began with less than two minutes remaining when the Browns backup quarterback, Austin Davis (who was their third string quarterback last week behind Johnny Manziel and had not thrown a pass all season prior to the game) threw his first touchdown pass since Week 9 of last season with the St. Louis Rams. That touchdown tied the game 27-27.
The Ravens then seemingly had plenty of time to get into field goal range to win the game. Instead, their backup quarterback, Matt Schaub, filling in for the injured Joe Flacco, threw an ugly interception with less than a minute left.
This left the Browns needing only about 15-20 yards to get into field goal range to attempt their own game-winning field goal.
Sure enough, after a Davis scramble, the Browns set up for a 51-yard field goal with three seconds remaining. Certainly this was not an easy field goal, but this is very makeable for an NFL kicker.
Only there is one problem. Long field goals tend to be more susceptible to being blocked because the kicker wants a lower trajectory on his kick in order to kick it farther. Sure enough, the kick was blocked.
But to make matters worse, the Ravens then scooped it up and ran it all the way back for a game-winning touchdown. Here is the play with the call from Browns radio (via ESPN and Fox Sports 1).
That’s a terrible way to lose a game and it came against a division rival, a team that had left Cleveland in 1996, and in the midst of yet another season where nothing ever seems to go right for the Browns.
Afterwards, Browns coach Mike Pettine sounded devastated when speaking with the media.
“Tough one to wrap your brain around,” Pettine said dejectedly. “Frustrating. Our guys battled back and came back from some deficits … didn’t finish it. That’s the frustrating thing.”
Pettine went on to describe the mood in the locker room.
“Like I said, frustrating,” Pettine continued. “Hard to look at the men in the room, to see just the looks on their faces of being that close and coming up short. The competitiveness, the pride, that’s a tough one to deal with.”
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