Did Superman have a sidekick? If so, that was Mark Andrews to Lamar Jackson in Monday night's wild win in Cleveland.
Andrews came back from a two-game absence because of COVID-19 to play a huge part in setting up Justin Tucker's game-winning 55-yard field goal to beat the Browns.
Andrews caught back-to-back passes, both for 14 yards, to start the Ravens' final offensive drive with just more than a minute left in the game. He also added a 4-yard catch at the end of the drive to give Tucker a little more room for his blast.
In his first game since Nov. 22, Andrews finished with a team-high five catches for 78 yards. Asked to sum up the game afterwards, Andrews said it was "hectic."
"My emotions are all over the place right now," he said. "I just feel, first of all, blessed to be able to play this game after two weeks of sitting out and watching this team play. So, it was tough for me to do that. It was just so much fun. All the guys competed. Everyone made plays. Everyone stepped up. It was a team win all around."
Andrews is a Type 1 diabetic, which can create even more complications for someone who contracts COVID-19. Before the season started, Andrews said he had no hesitations about playing despite being at higher risk because he is so meticulous about his self-care. Still, Andrews said he was "laid up" for about eight days.
"Just aches all over my body, tiredness, headache, all that stuff with COVID," Andrews said. "It was definitely humbling going through that. It was good that I was able to get a week of practice, get my lungs right, get my body right before this game – and I felt good."
Andrews didn't have a catch until the final minute of the first half when Jackson danced around to elude a sack, rolled to his right and found Andrews streaking down the field for a 39-yard gain. That set up a touchdown to put the Ravens on top at halftime.
"He's playing at an elite level. You look at his completions and the way he's running the ball, [he's] the complete package," Andrews said of Jackson. "Like I said before, it's a pleasure to be able to play with him. He's so special in everything that he does. He makes everyone else's jobs easier."
Dating back to 2019, Andrews has recorded 23 receptions of 20 or more yards. Only Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has more during that span (34).
But it was Andrews' plays on the final drive that stood out most because it got the ball rolling. On the first 14-yard grab, Andrews did an excellent job of coming back to the ball and making the first tackler miss before plowing ahead for extra yardage. On the next play, Andrews beat Browns cornerback M.J. Stewart Jr. on a crossing route to pick up another 14 yards.
Coming back from a respiratory virus, it would have been understandable if Andrews dipped in energy by the end of the game, especially in such a shootout. But when it mattered most, Andrews made the plays to move the chains.
"I didn't expect this game to be the way it was, and that's the beauty about football," Andrews said. "You never know what to expect. You've just got to go out there and handle the punches – and that's what this team did. This is going to make us stronger down the road."