Sep 21, 2014 5:16 PM
Tucker's field goal lifts Ravens over Browns 23-21
The Associated Press
CLEVELAND (AP) On the field, there are few questions about the Baltimore Ravens.
With the Ray Rice case lingering over them, the Ravens pulled off a comeback win as Justin Tucker kicked a 32-yard field goal as time expired to give Baltimore a 23-21 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
Tucker's boot capped another challenging week for the Ravens (2-1), who continue to be dogged by their handling of Rice's domestic violence suspension.
Following the game, Baltimore coach John Harbaugh addressed an ESPN report that claims he wanted the team to immediately release Rice after he was arrested for punching his then-fiancee. The report says Harbaugh was overruled by owner Steve Bisciotti and general manager Ozzie Newsome.
"I can tell you this, we work together in our organization," Harbaugh said. "Every single football decision we make, we work together. You get together, you hash it out. Everybody's got their opinions. It's not black and white. It's never nuanced on anything. That decision was exactly like all the other ones. When we walk out of that room, we are united."
Harbaugh said he thought the team handled the case the right way. "I felt like we did the right thing and I stand behind it."
Joe Flacco set up Tucker's game-winner with a 32-yard pass to Steve Smith with 1:28 left. The Ravens then ran the clock down before bringing in Tucker, who split the uprights and sent the Browns (1-2) to another tough loss. Both of Cleveland's losses have come on last-play field goals.
Flacco finished 19 of 31 for 217 yards with one touchdown.
Cleveland's Brian Hoyer completed 19 of 25 passes for 290 yards. The Browns failed to capitalize on several chances to put the Ravens away in the second half. Cleveland missed a field goal and had one blocked.
Along with the blown opportunities, the Browns had a fake play in which backup quarterback Johnny Manziel fooled Baltimore's defense negated by a penalty.
Ravens rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro rushed for 91 yards. He filled in for Bernard Pierce Rice's replacement who sat out with a thigh injury. Smith had five catches for 101 yards.
Not everything went Baltimore's way. Valuable tight end Dennis Pitta was taken to a hospital after he appeared to sustain a serious hip injury in the first half. Pitta, who played in just four games last season with an injured right hip, went down without being hit after catching a short pass.
Rookie running backs Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell had rushing TDs for the Browns, who took a 21-17 lead into the fourth quarter and had the Ravens on their heels.
Tucker kicked a 21-yard field goal with five minutes to go to pull the Ravens within 21-20.
Baltimore had the ball inside Cleveland's 5, but Flacco missed Torrey Smith in the back of the end zone on second down and then misfired on third, forcing Harbaugh to kick the field goal. Earlier, Harbaugh gambled on fourth down at Cleveland's 20 and Browns linebacker Jabaal Sheard wrapped up rookie Taliaferro on an inside handoff.
Hoyer completed a 70-yard pass to a wide-open Taylor Gabriel, who fell while making the catch. He got up but couldn't outrun the Ravens. Cleveland had to settle for a field-goal attempt, but Ravens cornerback Asa Jackson got his hand on Billy Cundiff's 36-yarder, keeping the Ravens within four.
On the previous series, the Browns failed to capitalize on an interception of Flacco when Cundiff's 50-yard field goal hit the left upright.
Taliaferro's first career TD gave the Ravens a 17-14 lead in the third.
The fourth-round draft pick from Coastal Carolina who started the season as the fourth string running back plowed through the right side for the score as the Ravens responded to Cleveland's 80-yard drive to open the second half with one of their own.
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