Mayfield, Browns survive Ravens rally without QB Jackson

National Sports
Myles Garrett

Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) celebrates with fans after scoring a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

CLEVELAND (AP) — Baker Mayfield threw two touchdown passes, Myles Garrett scored his first career TD and the Cleveland Browns stayed in the thick of the playoff race, surviving Baltimore’s late comeback for a 24-22 win Sunday over the Ravens, who lost superstar quarterback Lamar Jackson with an ankle injury.

Healthier than he’s been in weeks following Cleveland’s bye, Mayfield connected with Jarvis Landry and Austin Hooper on first-half scores as the Browns (7-6) bounced back and beat the Ravens (8-5) after losing to them 15 days ago.

Of course it helped that Jackson went out with a sprained right ankle sustained on the first play of the second quarter and didn’t return.

The former NFL MVP was unable to put any weight on the ankle, a frightening and concerning sight for the AFC North-leading Ravens, who have been overrun by injuries this season. Jackson was replaced by backup Tyler Huntley.

The Ravens lacked the offensive explosiveness Jackson provides, and Huntley spent much of the second half scrambling from trouble.

However he kept Baltimore close and the Ravens, who trailed 24-6 at half, pulled within 24-22 on Huntley’s 8-yard TD pass to Mark Andrews with 1:17 to go.

Baltimore then recovered an onside kick, but couldn’t convert on fourth-and-6 as Browns cornerback Denzel Ward tackled receiver Rashod Bateman well short of the marker.

Ravens kicker Justin Tucker made field goals of 50, 42 and 55 yards.

The Browns took a 24-3 lead late in the first half when Garrett set Cleveland’s single-season sacks record in style — scoring on the play.

With the Ravens at their own 20, Garrett got around left tackle Alejandro Villanueva and knocked the ball free from Huntley as he tried to pass. Garrett scooped it up and rumbled down the left sideline for the score.

Moments later, when Garrett, who last week wondered if his teammates were as focused as needed for the matchup with Baltimore, was shown on the giant scoreboard, the star shook his head and said, “I’m not done.”

Neither are the good-one-week-bad-the-next Browns, whose postseason chances would have been badly damaged with a loss.

The Ravens could be in trouble, depending on the severity of Jackson’s injury.

The elusive QB got hurt when Browns rookie linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah dived at his legs while he completed a pass rolling right. Jackson limped to the sideline to be examined and then struggled while climbing into a cart to be driven off.

ODDS AND ENDS

Andrews finished 11 catches for 115 yards and broke Baltimore’s single-season record for yards receiving by a tight end, surpassing Todd Heap’s 855 in 2005. … Huntley went 27 of 38 for 270 yards — 225 after halftime.

MYLES’ MARK

Garrett broke the club sacks record he came in sharing with Reggie Camp (14, 1984). The Browns have players with higher numbers, but the league didn’t count sacks as an individual statistic until 1982.

INJURIES

Ravens: DT Calais Campbell (thigh) was hurt in the first quarter and didn’t return. … WR Tylan Wallace (concussion) got hurt in the second quarter.

Browns: RB Kareem Hunt hurt his left ankle while making a third-down catch in the first quarter. It was Hunt’s second game back after missing five with a calf injury. … Mayfield was checked for a concussion and cleared in the third quarter. Backup Case Keenum replaced him for one play.

UP NEXT

Ravens: Host the Green Bay Packers on Dec. 19.

Browns: Are home against Las Vegas on Dec. 18, the first of two consecutive Saturday games.

___

More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.