Click the link for an updated version of this story: Ravens 33, Browns 27: Blocked field-goal return for touchdown on final play beats hapless Browns
The Browns fell behind by 14 points but rallied to trim their halftime deficit to 17-13 on Monday night against the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium.
After missing the past two games with injured ribs, Browns quarterback Josh McCown completed 16-of-26 passes for 189 yards and a touchdown without an interception in the first half. His passer rating was 96.5.
Ravens rookie wide receiver Kaelin Clay returned a punt 82 yards for a touchdown after the Browns stalled during their first possession. Clay was untouched while bringing back Andy Lee's 61-yard punt, and the score put the Browns in a 7-0 hole with 9:54 left in the first quarter.
Although there were plenty of empty seats in the stadium, loud boos were heard when the Browns finished their second possession of the game with another punt. The Ravens marched 39 yards in six plays to set up kicker Justin Tucker's successful 49-yard field goal, which gave them a 10-0 advantage with 4:22 left in the opening quarter.
Facing an early deficit, the Browns gambled during the ensuing possession by going for it on fourth-and-1 at the Ravens' 37. McCown completed a 17-yard pass to tight end Gary Barnidge for a first down, though the Browns failed to finish. They advanced to the 11, and from there running back Isaiah Crowell was tackled by inside linebacker C.J. Mosley for a 2-yard loss on third-and-1. Travis Coons' subsequent 31-yard field goal trimmed the Ravens' lead to 10-3 with 11:27 left in the second quarter.
But Coons followed his field goal with a gaffe, sending the ensuing kickoff out of bounds and letting the Ravens start at their 40. Schaub immediately connected with wide receiver Chris Givens for a 48-yard pass over cornerback Tramon Williams. Two plays later, Schaub dumped a short pass off to running back Javorius "Buck" Allen, he broke free from inside linebackers Karlos Dansby and Chris Kirksey as they converged on him and ran into the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown, boosting the Ravens' lead to 17-3.
The Browns answered with 10 unanswered points to end the first half.
They cut their deficit to 17-10 after McCown did a Johnny Manziel impression on second-and-goal at the 10. McCown stepped up in the pocket, shuffled backward, rolled to his left and connected with wide receiver Marlon Moore for a 10-yard touchdown pass with 4:36 left in the second quarter. As Moore ran his route, inside linebacker Daryl Smith flattened him, but Moore got up, caught McCown's pass at goal line and scored.
After the Ravens went three-and-out, the Browns marched to their 3. McCown threw three consecutive incomplete passes there, so the Browns resorted to Coons' 21-yard field goal with three seconds left in the second quarter and trailed 17-13 at halftime.