Special teams fuels Ravens to last second win over Browns


— Monday Night Football showcased yet another nail biter of a game by the Baltimore Ravens. This time the Ravens came out with a victory. It was the special teams that pushed the Ravens over the top against the Cleveland Browns by a score of 33 – 27.

Many people said the game wouldn’t be any good because of the two teams that were playing along with the fact that the quarterback matchup was Matt Schaub against Josh McCown. The nation wanted to see Joe Flacco against Johnny Manziel. Schaub vs McCown turned out to be a pretty exciting game.

Schaub was able to rebound from throwing a pick six by leading the Ravens on a 99-yard drive capped off by a 15-yard touchdown throw to Kamar Aiken. Schaub ended the day having completed 20 of 34 pass attempts for 232 yards. He had two touchdowns and two interceptions.

The second interception put the Browns in what appeared to be position to secure the win after getting in field goal range. Austin Davis, in for the injured McCown, scrambled to the Ravens 33-yard line with 18 seconds left in the game. The play took up 32 valuable seconds from huddle to whistle, which costs the Browns a shot to advance the ball further.

Travis Coons came on to attempt a 51-yard game winning field goal. The ball had a low trajectory and was blocked by defensive end Brent Urban. The 6-7 second year player was playing in his first NFL regular season game since tearing his biceps in training camp. He blocked the punt with his left arm which coincidentally was the same arm that he injured. The injury kept him out until the Browns game and he made his first game count.

Urban’s blocked field goal was the fifth game in a row in which the Ravens blocked some sort kick.

Will Hill picked up the blocked field goal and ran it back 64 yards for the game winning touchdown. It was a chance at redemption for Hill after he was responsible for a touchdown by Travis Benjamin that tied the game. Hill bit on a teaser crossing route by Browns tight end Gary Barnidge and that opened up a huge window for Davis to throw to Benjamin on a post route.

Hill said he was desperate and frustrated to make a play after giving up the touchdown. His chance came and he knew exactly what to do with it.

“I was praying for a block. The ball came my way and I said as soon as I pick it up, I’m scoring,” Hill said. “This means everything, just to fight and come out on top with these guys, this organization. All I was worried about was not stepping out of bounds and getting to the end zone.”

The Ravens special teams got things started when Kaelin Clay returned a punt 82 yards for a touchdown. Clay credited his teammates for paving the way for him with timely blocks that he was able to set up as he made his way to the outside before accelerating to the end zone.

“We had a great scheme. I studied this punter for a long time,” Clay said. “I knew I’d have room to catch the ball. I just had to get it and go. I credit the other ten guys for great blocking.”

John Harbaugh was especially excited for the win. He cut his teeth in the NFL as a special teams coach, so to see the special teams unit score two touchdowns was especially pleasing to him. “This was one of the greatest football games you’ll see as far as excitement,” Harbaugh said. “We play hard on specials teams. It goes back to the leadership and our special teams coach, Jerry Rosburg.”