CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – The Browns came so, so close Sunday to putting the ‘Season of Misery’ to bed.
Leading 21-7 in the fourth quarter, they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory once again allowing Green Bay to score the final 20 points in the game to keep their playoff hopes alive and send the Browns to 0-13 with a 27-21 overtime victory.
Here’s a look at the good and bad from loss No. 13.
– Josh Gordon announced his presence quickly by catching a 38-yard pass on the near sideline from DeShone Kizer on the first offensive snap of the afternoon for the Browns. Gordon followed that up by hauling in an 18-yard touchdown that saw him get airborne and extend at the goal line with a defender draped on him for his first TD catch since Dec. 15, 2013 at Chicago to tie the game at 7. Gordon finished with 3 catches from 6 targets for 69 yards and the score.
– Corey Coleman caught 5 of 6 targets for 62 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown to put the Browns up 21-7 and give him 53 catches for 681 yards and 5 TDs in 16 games played for the Browns.
– Running back Isaiah Crowell finished with 121 yards on 19 carries Sunday marking the first time this season a Browns back crossed 100 yards rushing. Crowell tied William Green, Jamal Lewis and Peyton Hillis for the most times hitting the century mark on the ground in a game since 1999 with 6. He is also the first Brown since Gregg Pruitt (1975-78) to rush for at least 600 yards in 4 consecutive seasons.
– The second Browns touchdown of the afternoon came courtesy of a beautiful concept/playcall from Jackson. Kizer faked a hand-off to Crowell, then shoveled the ball to Duke Johnson, who ran untouched around the right side for a 14-7 lead with 5:16 to play in the first half to cap a 12-play, 70-yard drive that took 6:58 off the clock.
– Mike McCarthy did the Browns a solid in the third quarter when he went for it on fourth-and-1 inside the Cleveland 10 instead of kicking a chip-shot field goal to pull within 4. Packers quarterback Brett Hundley turned to hand off to the upback while the running back ran out wide to the left leaving no one there causing Hundley to try and run for it, which resulted in a loss of 2 and gave the Browns the football.
– The Packers caught the Browns’ special teams by surprise right out of the gate with a fake punt on a direct snap to the up-man Jermaine Whitehead, who ran around the left side for 7 yards to extend the drive with a first down. Green Bay converted another fourth-and-1 at the Browns 38 thanks to Hundley’s swing pass to Randall Cobb for 8 and another first down to the 30 to set up a Hundley to Jamaal Williams 30-yard touchdown for a 7-0 lead. There wasn’t a Brown within 10 yards of Hundley as safeties Derrick Kindred and Kai Nacua appeared to get confused on the coverage.
– Nacua didn’t use his head early in the second quarter that saw him flagged for a personal foul after a Hundley incompletion on third-and-6 from their own 6. The penalty gave the Packers a first down at the 21. The Browns defense was able to force another punt but dumb mistakes continue to plague this team.
– Kizer floated a deep ball up the far sideline on third-and-11 into double coverage allowing Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to get in front of Corey Coleman for interception No. 16 late in the first half. With the Browns receiving the second half kickoff, it would’ve been nice had Kizer gotten at least 3 before half.
– Tight end David Njoku had a 7-yard catch on third down overturned following a challenge by McCarthy with 2:57 to play in the fourth. Replays showed the ball squirt through Njoku’s hands and hit the ground as he tried to corral it. The Browns punted and Green Bay’s Trevor Davis ripped off a 65-yard return to the Cleveland 25 with 2:37 to play to set up the tying score. Hundley was ruled down inside the 1 after a replay review of a potential touchdown causing a mandatory 10-second runoff leaving 23 seconds left but Hundley fired a pass to Davante Adams for the tying TD. Mason Crosby’s PAT forced overtime with the score even at 21.
– Kizer’s 17th interception of the season cost the Browns their first victory. In overtime, Kizer was chased and hit in the arm by Clay Matthews Jr. as he threw the ball up for grabs. Packers safety Josh Jones came down with the ball at the Cleveland 42. 5 plays later, Davante Adams caught a short pass from Hundley, made a pair of Browns miss and ran 25 yards for the victory. He dropped the football in the endzone and kept running up the tunnel and to the Packers locker room.
– The Browns are 0-13 for the second consecutive season, they have lost 14 straight overall dating back to the 2016 season, and are now 1-28 under head coach Hue Jackson. Dilly Dilly.