The Ravens' 25-20 win at the Cleveland Browns on Sunday turned on rookie cornerback Tavon Young's return of an extra-point attempt blocked by defensive end Lawrence Guy -- a play that spurred the big comeback. Overall, the special teams unit fared well at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Kicker Justin Tucker connected on field goals of 52, 49 and 41 yards to improve to 5-of-5 this season and 21-of-33 from 50 yards or more in his career. Punter Sam Koch averaged 47.0 yards on three punts and dropped two inside the Browns' 20-yard line.
Return specialist Devin Hester returned two kicks for 80 yards and two punts for 22 yards. His 48-yard return in the first quarter was the 25th kick return of at least 40 yards in his career.
"Devin obviously is a threat," coach John Harbaugh said Monday. "First of all, he's very secure. He makes good decisions. He made good decisions all day – on kickoffs with the ball being a touchback or not. On punts, there were some high, hanging punts up there, and there was a little bit of wind, too. He handled it great, very secure – which you expect. But also, the electricity, the excitement, I think that everybody felt that when he had the ball in his hands, the anticipation level rises, especially if he has a little bit of room."
Guy's block was the team's ninth – an NFL high – since 2014 and marked the second time in as many visits to Cleveland the Ravens have returned a blocked kick to the end zone. On Nov. 30, Will Hill took a blocked field goal 64 yards for a touchdown that sealed a 33-27 victory against the Browns.
Quarterback Joe Flacco pointed out the burst of adrenaline Guy's block and Young's subsequent return gave the team.
"The first key is that blocked extra point," he said. "The fact that you can get two points on it now, that forced them to have to get into the end zone at the end."
The contributions from the special teams served as a pointed reminder to Harbaugh about the unit's importance.
"If you're a young guy and you don't understand the value of special teams, you're probably not on a team," he said. "You're certainly not on this team, and you're probably not on a lot of teams. That's just the way it is. There's 46 guys active, and it's not just young guys. [Linebackers] C.J. Mosley and Zach Orr and Albert McClellan and [wide receiver] Kamar Aiken, those guys are out there playing big roles on offense and defense and playing big roles on special teams. That's the nature of the game, and it's going to always be that way."