Watson launches TD, wins home debut as Browns beat Ravens 13-3

CLEVELAND, AP — Deshaun Watson threw a touchdown pass on his home debut for Cleveland, leading the Browns to a nasty 13-3 victory Saturday against the needy AFC North-leading Baltimore Ravens. of injured star quarterback Lamar Jackson to come back quickly.

Watson wasn’t spectacular, but he did enough in his third game since being reinstated from an NFL suspension to help the Browns (6-8) keep their tiny playoff hopes alive.

Watson, who was banned for 11 games for alleged sexual misconduct, connected with Donovan Peoples-Jones on a 3-yard TD pass in the third quarter to put the Browns up 13-3 – the Ravens’ biggest deficit (9-5) have faced all season.

Watson finished 18 of 28 for 161 yards and added 22 on the ground.

Browns rookie Cade York scored two field goals — and missed two tries — but edged out Ravens All-Pro Justin Tucker, the league’s most accurate kicker, who missed a 48-yarder and saw a another attempt blocked.

Jackson missed his second straight game with a knee injury, and the Ravens aren’t the same without his dynamic playing ability.

Tyler Huntley, who was only released from concussion protocol a few days ago, started again for Jackson but couldn’t get Baltimore started. He went 17 of 30 for 138 yards.

Baltimore’s JK Dobbins rushed for 125 yards and the Ravens rushed for 198 yards. But forced to throw as he played from behind in the fourth, Huntley could not find a big play.

Huntley also made a critical error in the third quarter, when he was intercepted at Cleveland 9 by Denzel Ward with the Ravens trailing 6-3.

Watson then led a 91-yard drive, delivering his TD strike to Peoples-Jones with 2:10 left.

Without Jackson, the Ravens relied on their strong running game, solid defense and Tucker’s confident leg to keep them in the hunt for the playoffs.

The formula worked the previous two weeks, and despite some offensive issues, Baltimore was positioned to tie it at 6 before halftime when Tucker hooked a 48-yard attempt on the final play of the second quarter.

JACKSON UPDATE

The Ravens have been encouraged by Jackson’s progress and hope he returns to practice this week and maybe play Saturday.

Jackson was injured in the first quarter of Baltimore’s 10-9 win over Denver on Dec. 4.

GREAT CAUSE

Browns coach Kevin Stefanski and some of his team members walked the stadium steps before the game to raise awareness and money for The Coach Knapp memorial fund, established for longtime NFL assistant, Greg Knapp.

Knapp, 58, was killed in 2021 by a distracted driver while riding his bike.

TIPS

Browns defensive end Myles Garrett has been credited with 1 1/2 sacks, giving him 13 1/2 this season. … Ravens coach John Harbaugh fell to 24-6 against the Browns.

INJURIES

Ravens: Massive DT Calais Campbell injured his knee in the fourth quarter. He was able to pull it off on his own. … CB Marcus Peters came out in the third quarter with a calf injury and did not return.

Browns: DE Jadeveon Clowney suffered a head injury late in the second quarter. … S John Johnson III (thigh) came out in the third quarter, shortly after forcing and recovering a fumble.

FOLLOWING

Ravens: Host Atlanta on Dec. 24.

Browns: Host New Orleans on Dec. 24 in their home final.

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




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