Check out the No. 14 regular-season moment in Ravens history HERE.
Both teams were bad and facing off on Monday Night Football in late November.
A 1-6 start and season-ending injuries to the likes of Terrell Suggs, Joe Flacco, Steve Smith, and Justin Forsett had already sunk the 2015 Ravens, easily the worst team of the John Harbaugh era that ultimately finished 5-11. In Cleveland, the Browns were, well, the Browns and hadn’t won a game since knocking off the Ravens in Baltimore in Week 5. An injury-ravaged 3-7 team taking on the 2-8 doormat of the AFC North wasn’t what ESPN had in mind for a national audience, but the game that had been a punchline all week proved to be very entertaining — even if not aesthetically pleasing.
The 34-year-old Matt Schaub was making his first start for the Ravens in place of Flacco — who had torn his ACL the previous week — and played how you’d expect an aging backup to play, throwing an interception returned for a touchdown early in the second half. But Schaub also threw touchdown passes to Buck Allen and Kamar Aiken as the Ravens led 27-20 late in the fourth quarter.
Having replaced the injured Josh McCown earlier in the period, backup quarterback Austin Davis moved the Browns and found a wide-open Travis Benjamin down the seam for the game-tying 42-yard touchdown with 1:47 remaining. It was the kind of coverage breakdown the defense had suffered in a number of close losses throughout that season, and the Ravens were now in danger of being swept by the lowly Browns for the first time since 2007 and only the third time in their history.
The Baltimore offense went three-and-out on the ensuing series and the Browns did the same as both teams seemingly limped to the end of regulation. However, Schaub then tried to force a pass to Aiken from his own territory and was picked off by Tramon Williams, giving Cleveland the ball at the Baltimore 46 with 50 seconds remaining.
The Browns moved the ball 13 yards on three plays — displaying some questionable clock management in the process — to set up a 51-yard try by Travis Coons to win the game. The comedy of errors late in the contest prompted one snarky reporter to opine how the game might end between two teams going nowhere that season.
I’m calling it now. #Ravens block the field goal and return it for the game-winning touchdown. No one wants to win.
— Luke Jones (@BaltimoreLuke) December 1, 2015
Lining up on the field goal block team was 6-foot-7 defensive end Brent Urban, who was finally making his NFL debut that night after sustaining two serious injuries over his first two seasons. The 2014 fourth-round pick got a good push off the line of scrimmage and deflected the kick with his left arm. The ball bounced right to safety Will Hill, who had been responsible for the coverage breakdown on Benjamin’s game-tying score.
A couple key blocks helped Hill to tightrope the sideline for the remarkable 64-yard touchdown to snatch a 33-27 victory from the jaws of defeat before a stunned FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was just the second “walk-off” blocked field goal return for a touchdown in NFL history.
“I was locked in on something else and made the wrong play,” said Hill about his earlier mistake. “But I was praying. I said, ‘If we get a block and it bounced my way, I’m going to take it to the end zone.’ Luckily, it did.
“The ball bounced the right way.”
The game meant nothing, but its outcome illustrated the contrast between the two organizations. The injury-depleted and mistake-prone Ravens still managed to find a way while Cleveland self-destructed even more in a way that was all too “Browns.”