Did the game live up to the hype?


Andrew Harnik

President Donald Trump flips the coin for the anticipated Army Navy football game.

With the NFL’s regular season winding down, the playoff picture is becoming more and more visible for some teams but for other teams, the playoffs are getting farther away.

The Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens met on Dec.14 for a Monday night football game in Cleveland, which was a game dripping with playoff intensity delivered with endless drama and numerous twists. The first quarter was back-and-forth as the Ravens got a touchdown from quarterback Lamar Jackson and the Browns got one from running back Nick Chubb. The second quarter was more on the Ravens side as they got two touchdowns from Jackson and running back Gus Edwards, while the Browns got one from Chubb.

The Ravens continued their momentum out into the second half, getting two touchdowns from Edwards and JK Dobbins and the Browns got one from Kareem Hunt. Normally people talk about the fourth quarter as “crunch time” and this time it did not disappoint. The quarter started with a Ravens lead of 34-20, but the momentum quickly shifted as Baker Mayfield and the Browns opened up the quarter with two quick touchdowns. Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson left the game with muscle cramps only to return to throw a 44-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Brown and then set up Justin Tucker’s 55-yard field goal with two seconds left as the Ravens stayed in the playoff picture.

It was a gut punch for the Browns, who had rallied from a 14-point deficit to take the lead while Jackson was out. The Browns had one last chance after Tucker’s kick, but a series of laterals on the final play ended with a safety. This game had many twists and turns but did live up to the hype.

Army and Navy first met on the field on Nov. 29, 1890, and have met annually since 1930. The game has been held at several locations throughout its history, including New York City and Baltimore, but has most frequently been played in Philadelphia, roughly the same distance from the two academies. The game was moved to Michie Stadium from Philadelphia because COVID-19 regulations in Pennsylvania would not have allowed the Corps of Cadets and Brigade of Midshipmen to attend. Navy leads the all-time series 61-53-7.

The two teams met on Dec.12 for the 121st meeting in West Point, NY. Both sides are predominantly run offenses so the games can get boring sometimes. This game had a combined 37 passing yards between both teams, which is almost unheard of. Between the first, second and third quarters there were just three points scored. In the fourth quarter, Army running back Tyhier Tyler ran in for the first touchdown of the game. Early in the fourth quarter, the Army defense stoned Navy with a goal-line stand in the third, and the Black Knights beat their archrival 15-0 at a foggy Michie Stadium. It was the first meeting between the teams at West Point since a 13-0 Navy shutout in 1943. This game was a bit of a boring game and did not live up to the hype.