|Date of game: 12/28/2014
Recap: Baltimore vs. Cleveland
Baltimore, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - Just seconds after the Baltimore Ravens wrapped up a Week 17 win over the Cleveland Browns, the fans at M&T Bank Stadium broke into a cheer.
The Ravens are back in the playoffs.
Joe Flacco tossed both of his touchdown passes in the fourth quarter and the Ravens rallied past the Browns 20-10 on Sunday afternoon.
As time expired in Baltimore, the clock was also ticking down the final seconds in Kansas City, where a 19-7 Chiefs victory wrapped up a Ravens trip to the postseason for the sixth time in the last seven years.
"There is no not seeing the scoreboard. It's all over the place," Flacco said. "Anything can happen when you get into the playoffs."
Baltimore, which is the sixth seed in the AFC, failed to make the playoffs in 2013. The Ravens will travel to Pittsburgh next Saturday night to take on the AFC North-champion Steelers.
The Browns led 10-3 heading into the fourth quarter before the Ravens ripped off 17 unanswered points to seize control.
Flacco, who threw for 215 of his 312 yards in the second half, completed 22- of-36 passes for Baltimore (10-6), which won three of its last four games to close the regular season.
Justin Forsett carried the ball 17 times for 119 yards, Torrey Smith caught four passes for 83 yards and a touchdown and Steve Smith added eight receptions for 90 yards in the triumph.
Undrafted rookie Connor Shaw was 14-of-28 for 177 yards with an interception in his first NFL start for the Browns (7-9), who finished their campaign with five consecutive losses.
"We had our chances," Cleveland coach Mike Pettine said. "I thought we executed our plan well for three quarters, just couldn't finish."
Shaw got the nod after Johnny Manziel suffered a hamstring injury against Carolina last Sunday, while Brian Hoyer is dealing with shoulder and biceps injuries.
Terrance West totaled 94 yards and a touchdown on the ground in defeat.
Justin Tucker kicked a 28-yard field goal to get the Ravens within 10-6 early in the fourth, and Baltimore's defense forced a pair of Cleveland three-and- outs on its next two possessions.
Matched up 1-on-1 against Cleveland's Joe Haden, Torrey Smith ran down the left sideline as Flacco lofted a deep pass and adjusted to the ball to haul in a 53-yard reception that got Baltimore in the red zone. Flacco fired a 16-yard TD pass in the back of the end zone to Torrey Smith a play later for a 13-10 Baltimore advantage with 7:33 left.
Baltimore got the ball back just 33 seconds later. Forsett scampered for 27 yards down the right sideline and Flacco threw a 24-yard completion to Steve Smith to put the ball at the 3. Flacco later flipped a 2-yard score to Kamar Aiken in the front part of the end zone on third down to up the advantage to 20-10 with 3:44 remaining.
Lardarius Webb intercepted Shaw with 2:28 on the clock to seal the outcome.
Earlier, Shaw flipped a 30-yard pass to Jordan Cameron on Cleveland's opening series, but Terrell Suggs recovered a Shaw fumble at the Baltimore 27.
Flacco tossed completions of 17 and 21 yards to Michael Campanaro and Forsett, respectively, later in the opening quarter and a Buster Skrine pass interference penalty set the Ravens up with a 1st-and-goal at the 2.
Bernard Pierce was stopped shy of the end zone on first and second down, Flacco missed Crockett Gillmore on third down and Baltimore coach John Harbaugh elected to go for it on fourth down from the 1. Forsett, though, lost three yards after he was met by a host of Browns.
The Ravens finally opened the scoring midway through the second.
Forsett broke off a 32-yard run off left tackle, which helped set up Tucker for a 25-yard field goal.
Cleveland answered with three points on its ensuing series.
West scampered for 36 yards along the left sideline and Garrett Hartley capped a 10-play, 55-yard march with a 38-yard field goal to tie the game late in the first half.
The Browns went in front on their second possession of the third quarter, when West plunged in from two yards out for a 10-3 Browns cushion late in the frame.Game Notes
Flacco improved to 13-1 all-time against the Browns ... Cleveland hasn't made
the postseason in 12 years and finished with a losing record for a seventh
season in a row ... Forsett had been held to just 67 yards combined over his
last two games ... The Ravens outgained the Browns 419-259.