Running back Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates after scoring a touchdown in front of defensive back Joe Haden #23 of the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on December 4, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio.
(Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, Md. - The regular NFL officials returned to cheers Thursday night, and Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco delighted the crowd by throwing for one touchdown and running for another to help Baltimore defeat the Cleveland Browns 23-16 at M & T Bank Stadium.
The winning margin was a 63-yard interception return for a touchdown by Cary Williams with 15 seconds left in the third quarter. But the winless Browns didn't quit, kicking two field goals in the 4th quarter and nearly driving the field for the game-tying touchdown in the closing moments,
Meanwhile, a lockout of the league's regular officials ended late Wednesday, bringing about the exit of the controversial replacement refs. And so, finally, the real officials were in place for Week 4, beginning with this matchup of AFC North rivals.
As they walked onto the field hours before the game, the officiating crew received a round of applause and shouts of encouragement from fans in the lower sections. Head linesman Wayne Mackie and line judge Jeff Seeman both tipped their caps to acknowledge the support.
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