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CLEVELAND — In dramatic fashion, quarterback Jason Campbell shook off a rib injury and did what five Browns quarterbacks before him failed to do: Defeat the Baltimore Ravens.
Campbell threw three TD passes and engineered a 15-play, 67-yard drive that ended in a 22-yard field goal drive with 14 seconds remaining as the Browns stopped the Ravens 24-18 at FirstEnergy Stadium. It snapped an 11-game losing streak against the Ravens.
The victory also snapped the Browns' three-game losing streak this season and kept alive their playoff hopes. It improved their record to 4-5 — two games behind the first-place Bengals (6-3) in the AFC North. The Ravens, who've lost four of their last five, dropped to 3-6.
Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said his message to the team this week was that it was time to stand up and make a statement against the defending Super Bowl champions.
"We've been the kid brother in this division for a long time," Chudzinski said. "If you want to change that, you have to do things to change it.
"The guys' approach this week was outstanding. They believe. It was a matter of actions and getting it done on the field."
Campbell suffered a first-quarter rib injury when Ravens nose tackle Haloti Ngata landed on him, but he shook it off. For the game he completed 23 of 35 attempts for 262 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 116.6 rating.
Campbell said he had X-rays after the game and that no ribs were broken, and it was a struggle to play. But he added, "You would have had to drag me out of the game."
The Ravens threatened to close their 21-18 deficit with a little more than six minutes left in the game, but Jabaal Sheard sacked Joe Flacco near midfield to end the threat, and punter Sam Koch uncorked a 25-yard punt to start the Browns at their 29 with 6:44 remaining.
Davone Bess caught a three-yard pass on fourth-and-1 to keep the drive alive. It was the Browns' 10th fourth-down conversion in 19 tries this season, both league highs. Campbell also completed passes of 17 and 14 yards to Chris Ogbonnaya on the drive.
Campbell also breathed new life into embattled receivers Bess and Greg Little, who left the game in the fourth quarter after a 46-yard reception with a shoulder injury. He returned for a play, but left again and wasn't available in the final minutes.
Little caught a career-high seven passes for 122 yards; and Bess, who dropped three passes last week and muffed a punt, caught two touchdown passes, a one-yarder and a 20-yarder.
Chudzinski was asked why he was eager to keep calling Bess' number after his struggles in last Sunday's loss at Kansas City.
"Because I trust him and I know the kind of person he is and that he'll bounce back," Chudzinski said. "You get to know people and trust them, and Davone Bess is someone I trust."
Ravens receiver Marlon Brown caught a seven-yard TD pass with 12:09 left in the game, and then caught the two-point conversion to pull the Ravens to within 21-18.
The Browns extended their lead to 21-10 on a four-yard TD pass to tight end Gary Barnidge with 5:11 left in the third quarter. Campbell found Barnidge wide open at the right side of the end zone, at about the 2-yard line.
The Browns got a scare with 1:48 left in the first quarter when Ngata bodyslammed Campbell after a throw, injuring the quarterback’s ribs.
Backup Brandon Weeden came in off the bench and completed one of two attempts for minus-2 yards on the drive. He also faced second and 21 from his own 36 after Little was flagged 15 yards for throwing a defender's helmet. The Browns punted two plays later.
But Campbell, after receiving medical attention on the bench, returned on the next drive and moved the Browns 53 yards in nine plays, ending in a 20-yard TD pass to Bess. It was Bess' second TD catch of the night and his first multi-TD game.
The Ravens pulled to within 14-10 with just nine seconds left in the first half on a 19-yard TD pass from Flacco to receiver Marlon Brown, who was open at the right pylon after beating linebacker D'Qwell Jackson one-on-one.
The Browns had jumped out to a 14-3 lead on the 20-yard TD catch by Bess. Ravens cornerback Corey Graham slipped, and then Bess juked out Lardarius Webb on the right side at the 10 and skipped in from there.
Campbell had to overcome some adversity on the drive. He hit Little with a leaping 17-yard catch to the 27, but then Little drew his second penalty of the game to make things tough on the offense. After a 15-yard catch to the Ravens' 12, Little dared safety James Ihedigbo to come toward him on the sidelines, which earned the 15-yard taunting penalty that wiped out the gain. Campbell scrambled for seven yards to set up Bess' TD catch.
A drive earlier, Little ripped of Ihedigbo's helmet after a running play, and pitched it to earn his first 15-yard flag.
Little caught all five passes thrown his way in the first half for 71 yards, but hurt the effort with the two foolish penalties.
Chudzinski said Little's penalties may have been the result of his young team being too fired up to take on the Ravens.
"That's part of a team coming out — some of that comes with young guys and that enthusiasm, and that never-say-die attitude," Chudzinski said. "That's the balance that I have to maintain as a head coach — that we have the positives of that and we can maintain our composure, too."
Chudzinski said the mindset of being aggressive on fourth downs is something he has been preaching to the team.
"When you play a team like Baltimore, you have to make things happen," Chudzinski said. "That was the attitude you have to have going into the game. It's not a matter of being reckless, it's a matter of being aggressive."