Day had turned into night on the Inner Harbor. A wind, a gust from the football gods, perhaps even a nod from them, kicked up as Phil Dawson’s 51-yard game-tying field goal floated into the chilly Baltimore air.

Day had turned into night on the Inner Harbor. A wind, a gust from the football gods, perhaps even a nod from them, kicked up as Phil Dawson’s 51-yard game-tying field goal floated into the chilly Baltimore air.

End over endless end, the ball seemed to hang long enough for two franchises to shake hands on the way past each other. The delayed call by the officials? Just the NFL’s way of winking at the Ravens on the way past.

The ball kissed the right upright and rattled around the goalpost like a ping-pong ball waiting to settle in a goldfish bowl. For once — and finally — it found the fish that swam with the Browns.

What happened Sunday in front of Art Modell’s eyes, poked Brian Billick in his.

The Ravens, their window of competitiveness closing in front of them, might have been every bit as stunned at the way they lost Sunday as they were that Cleveland — yes, Cleveland — had passed them in relevance.

“All I can say,” Dawson started saying before stopping and adding, “I’m numb. Just numb. ... It’s nice.”

Dawson’s game-winning 33-yard field goal in overtime gave the Browns a 33-30 win over the Ravens. But that wasn’t the kick heard ’round the NFL Sunday. It was his 51-yarder at the end of regulation that had ’em talking, and will for some time.

Officials initially ruled the kick no good, then, in a matter of minutes, went from handing Cleveland a loss to watching them win.

“There have been a lot of times I’ve stood in a locker room like this on the losing side and I’ve tried to describe that we’re not as bad as we look,” Dawson said. “There’s not that big a difference between winning and losing. It’s nice. It’s nice.”

Dawson has been around through every miserable expansion loss and bad bounce the Browns have had. You’d like to say what happened Sunday night was unbelievable, but if you’ve watched the Browns, you know it wasn’t.

It was perfectly fitting against the perfect opponent in their perfect stadium.

The Browns ripped more than the Ravens’ hearts. They ripped victory from the jaws of defeat, a remarkable turn of events for a team that seemed to screw it up so many times before. They weren’t choking on the cream of a Ho-Ho this time. M&T Bank Stadium practically emptied of Ravens’ fans who believed their team just won.

Almost like waking up with a team one day, and without one the next, huh?

Poor souls.

“It’s nice to stand here and say, ‘There still isn’t that big of a difference between winning and losing,’ ” Dawson said. “But now we’re winning. Whatever that intangible is, we’ve got it going our way now. The line is so thin, man, but we’re due.”

Through 10 games, the Browns are above .500 for the first time since 1994.

Do not discount the importance of Sunday’s win. Baltimore isn’t playing well. Steve McNair is beat up and aged. Kyle Boller is Tim Couchian. Ray Lewis’ bite isn’t nearly what his bark is.

But the Ravens needed this win, and a cornered NFL team at home is an angry team.

“If we lose this game, we’re back to .500 and all the work that we’ve done, it gets pushed back a little bit. OK, here’s the same old Browns,” wide receiver Braylon Edwards said. “Maybe we lose a little confidence in ourselves. ... We’ve shut the Ravens down twice this year. We beat Cincinnati once, and if we beat them again, we’re good in our division. A lot is looking good for us.”

Edwards embodied Sunday’s win. He dropped a pass near the goal line, but atoned with an incredible catch with three seconds remaining in regulation to set up Dawson’s game-tying kick.

Cleveland’s offense showed up for work like the boss on a sunny Friday. They were there; they were gone. They made an appearance here; mysteriously absent there.

Cleveland’s defense made Kyle Boller look like, well, Kyle Boller, in the first half, and Tom Brady in the second. When the defense was bad, the offense was good. When they both looked like an unmade bed, Josh Cribbs made a house call and cleaned things up.

“When you have a good team, that’s what happens,” center Hank Fraley said. “When someone falters, the other side steps up. ... I mean, we only had 16 seconds out there.”

Cribbs made the return. Derek Anderson, with Antwan Barnes pulling him to the turf, made the pass. Edwards made the catch. Dawson made the kick.

The Browns made the day.

“I wish I had something profound to say,” Dawson said. “From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, to right back on the mountain top again.”

Welcome back Browns. Welcome back.

Reach Repository sports writer Todd Porter at (330) 580-8340 or e-mail: todd.porter@cantonrep.com.