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Monday night’s instant classic between the Ravens and Browns involved extra drama, courtesy of Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson exiting for an extended stretch of the fourth quarter with cramps. He returned just in time to throw a touchdown pass on fourth and five and put the Ravens in the lead, after trailing 35-34.

After the game, Lisa Salters of ESPN asked Jackson what he had left after he returned.

“I had everything in me,” Jackson said. “I got back to myself. I was cramping. I got that right.”

He reiterated that he was absent not because of any impending intestinal requirement, but because of cramps.

“I was cramping, and I had to get some IVs in me,” he said.

Jackson said he was aware of what was happening on the field.

“I was trying to come back,” Jackson said. “I was stretching . . . . I was getting ticked off cause I seen it wasn’t going our way . . . then I seen my guy [Trace McSorley] go down. I was ready to come back on the field, I got ticked off, and there it was.”

Regardless of whether McSorley was injured, Jackson was determined to return.

“I was still coming out no matter what,” Jackson said. “It was crunch time, it’s win or go home for us right now. We’ve got to keep it going.”

They kept it going, both with the go-ahead touchdown and then the game-winning field goal after the Browns tied it up, obviously with left too much time on the clock. Jackson engineered a quick and efficient drive to get the Ravens in range for Justin Tucker‘s 55-yard field goal, allowing the team that used to be the Browns to delay the playoff dreams of the team that has been the Browns since 1999, and that hasn’t had much to feel good about in the past 21 years.

It may not feel good right now for Browns fans, but even in defeat tonight’s game shows how far they have come. They’re ready to compete with the best teams in the league, and the best is yet to come for Cleveland.