CLEVELAND — Greg Joseph lined up with six seconds left in overtime and measured his 37-yard field goal attempt.
It took nearly every second of the extra 10 minutes to do it, as the kick went through with two seconds left. The Browns twice failed to score in overtime, and were pinned back to their 5-yard-line on their third try.
But on third down from the 18, Baker Mayfield escaped a Ravens rush and found Derrick Willies for a 39-yard gain to the Baltimore 43. Duke Johnson then ran for 15, 5 and 4 yards to put the ball at the 19, setting things up for Joseph, who had been signed after Zane Gonzalez‘s missed kicks cost the Browns a game in New Orleans.
Joseph’s kick was a low knuckleball, but it went through — and the Browns had won for the second time in five games.
For the Browns, it’s more than just a win.
A team trying to erase a losing culture and identity, a team trying to end two years of futility, a team that left Oakland frustrated and angry — that team finally won a close game. The Browns kept the the Ravens out of the end zone and somehow found a way to finally finish a close game with a victory.
Instead of falling to 1-3-1, the Browns moved back to .500 (2-2-1).
Instead of seeing the negativity grow over one more close and painful loss, the team and fans could go home smiling after a win.
It is the Browns’ first win on Sunday since they beat San Francisco on Dec. 13, 2015, a game when Johnny Manziel started at quarterback.
The win also snapped an 18-game winless streak in the AFC North, 13 of those games coming under Hue Jackson. Their last win in the division was Oct. 11, 2015, when Josh McCown threw for 457 yards in an overtime win in Baltimore.
On Sunday, Mayfield completed 25-of-43 for 342 yards with one touchdown and one interception.