The Browns and their fans hadn’t felt heartbreak in years.
This time the pain wasn’t nearly as bad.
Cleveland couldn’t stop Lamar Jackson from running around in the first half or on a fourth-down play in the final two minutes after he returned from cramps, and the Browns were beaten 47-42 on Monday night by the Baltimore Ravens in a wild game with twists galore.
But in prime time, on a national stage, the Browns showed they’re not the same old Browns.
“The message in the locker room after the game was, win as a team, lose as a team,” said quarterback Baker Mayfield, who shook off his first interception in six games and rallied the Browns from a 14-point deficit in the second half. “There can either be good or bad to come from this.
“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 Browns (9-4) were moments away from moving closer to their first playoff appearance since 2002 when Jackson showed why he’s the reigning NFL MVP, throwing a touchdown pass and then moving the Ravens into range for Justin Tucker to kick a 55-yard field goal with two seconds left.
After getting clobbered 38-6 by the Ravens in Week 1, the Browns showed they’re a legitimate contender — but that didn’t soften the blow for coach Kevin Stefanski.
“Obviously, very disappointing,” he said. “We did not do enough to get a win. We made mistakes. We weren’t clean enough to beat a good team. We’ve got to find a way to be better in a bunch of those situations.”
Jackson was in the locker room for a long stretch of the second half before emerging with two minutes left after backup Trace McSorley injured his knee. The Browns had just capped a 14-point rally with Mayfield scoring on a 5-yard run to go up 35-34 when Jackson came back