Ravens top Browns to win division
BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Ravens flipped the script and put one heck of an ending on a regular season that featured countless surprises and plot twists.
Getting two rushing touchdowns from rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson and a late defensive stand, Baltimore squeezed past the Cleveland Browns 26-24 Sunday to reach the playoffs as AFC North champions.
Kenneth Dixon accounted for 117 of Baltimore’s season-high 296 yards on the ground, Jackson had 90 and the rejuvenated Ravens (10-6) broke a three-year playoff drought with their sixth win in seven games. Baltimore will open the postseason Sunday afternoon at home against the Los Angeles Chargers.
“It feels good, a home playoff game,” cornerback Marlon Humphrey said. “Somehow it happened.”
A year ago, Baltimore missed the playoffs by losing its finale at home to the Bengals, who rallied with a last-minute touchdown.
Remembering that disappointment, most of the announced crowd of 70,925 was on its feet as the Browns moved closer to field-goal range with the clock winding down. A 19-yard completion from Baker Mayfield to former Ravens top draft pick Breshad Perriman and a 16-yarder to Jarvis Landry pushed the ball to the Baltimore 39 with 1:20 left.
Following three straight incompletions, the Ravens blitzed Mayfield on fourth down and linebacker C.J. Mosley picked off a pass to clinch it. Baltimore finished a half-game ahead of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who beat Cincinnati 16-13.