CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Browns came out firing against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, and it did not take them long to find the end zone in the 2019 regular-season finale.
After two carries from running back Nick Chubb, which combined to go for a first down, the Browns went to the air and allowed second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield to test his deep ball skills against the Bengals’ secondary and the results were very positive.
Mayfield found wide receiver Damion Ratley behind the coverage of a Bengals defensive back and the young pass catcher stretched to haul in the catch and maintained possession of the football throughout the end of the play for the 46-yard touchdown.
On first-and-10 from the Cincinnati 46-yard line, Mayfield took the shotgun snap from center JC Tretter, utilized a play-action fake to Chubb to freeze the defense, and with a clean pocket, he was able to find Ratley open down the field.
Ratley used all of his 6-foot-2, 200-pound frame to stretch to secure the catch in the middle of the end zone and rolled out of the back of it before celebrating with his teammates.
Coming into the final game of the season, Ratley had just 10 catches for 136 yards and no touchdowns with a long reception of 29 yards in a 23-3 win over the New York Jets on Monday Night Football in Week 2. Three of Ratley’s first 10 catches went for gains of 20 or more yards.
With the opening-drive score, Mayfield became just the ninth player in NFL history to record at least 20 touchdown passes in each of his first two seasons.