CLEVELAND — The Ravens finally got a break that didn’t mean they were losing another player.
Will Hill returned a blocked field goal 64 yards for a touchdown as time expired, giving Baltimore a 33-27 win Monday night over the luckless Cleveland Browns, who lost their sixth straight game along with starting quarterback Josh McCown.
Travis Coons lined up to kick a potential game-winning 51-yard field goal with 3 seconds to go for the Browns (2-9), but it was deflected by defensive end Brent Urban, who was playing his first NFL game for the injury-riddled Ravens (4-7). Hill scooped it up and rumbled down the left sideline for an improbable win, stunning a Cleveland crowd which moments earlier was ready to celebrate.
Ravens quarterback Matt Schaub, making his first start since 2013, threw two touchdown passes.
McCown injured his collarbone in the fourth quarter and was replaced by Austin Davis, whose 42-yard TD pass to Travis Benjamin tied it with 1:47 remaining.
The Browns appeared to be in position to pull out a comeback win after cornerback Tramon Williams intercepted Schaub with 50 seconds left at Baltimore’s 46.
But as Cleveland attempted to get closer for Coons, Davis wasted valuable time because of a communication issue with the sideline and the QB couldn’t get out of bounds after a scramble, forcing the Browns to call a timeout.
But as Coons, who was 18 for 18 this season, lined up for his long kick, it appeared the Ravens were on their way to another close loss. All 11 of Baltimore’s games have been decided by less than eight points, and the Ravens have been on the wrong side of most of those.
However, Urban got some penetration on the line and got his hand on Coon’s low kick. Hill took it from there, finding his way to the end zone.
Schaub finished 20 of 34 for 232 yards and his first TDs since Dec. 23, 2013.
McCown, who has played hurt most of this season and was only starting because Johnny Manziel got benched, was 21 of 38 for 212 yards and a TD.
Cleveland linebacker Karlos Dansby picked off Schaub and returned it 52 yards for a TD in the third quarter to give the Browns a 20-17 lead, the first time they’ve been ahead in a game since the first half against Arizona on Nov. 1 — a span of more than 173 minutes.
But they weren’t up for long as Schaub countered with his second scoring pass, a 15-yarder to Kamar Aiken to put the Ravens ahead 24-20 with 5:30 left in the third quarter.
McCown took several hard shots in the second half and went to the sideline in obvious pain. He returned to the field, but dropped to the ground after an incompletion, forcing the Browns to turn to Davis, who made eight starts for St. Louis last season but was getting his first action for Cleveland.
Manziel was benched by Browns coach Mike Pettine after the second-year quarterback broke a promise by going out and partying during Cleveland’s bye week. McCown had missed the past two games with injured ribs, and was expecting to be a backup for the final six games before a video of Manziel holding a champagne bottle and rapping vulgar lyrics surfaced while the team was off.
With Manziel on the sideline and both teams struggling this season, the game was a tough sell to a national TV audience and thousands of Browns fans stayed home as well. A group of disgusted Clevelanders arrived at FirstEnergy Stadium wearing brown paper bags over their heads as another season unravels on the shores of Lake Erie.
For others, it’s time to shift attention to the Cavaliers and NBA superstar LeBron James. A bed sheet hanging in one end zone read: “We Still Have LeBron.”
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