Browns

Yep, still the Browns: Cleveland loses to Green Bay in OT, 27-21

The Cleveland Browns lost again, adding to the list of losses incurred in an interesting and devastating fashion. The Browns lost at home to the Green Bay Packers in overtime, 27-21, after leading 21-7 going into the fourth quarter.

The game brought an array of emotions, from “Wow this looks like a different team” to “Well, I guess it’s the same team after all.” In the end, the Browns outplayed the Packers, but the they somehow lost in a way that is different than before.

“It is unfortunate,” said head coach Hue Jackson following the game. “Our guys – as I always say every week, it is  a broken record – they fight hard. They do a lot of good things, and we do things that don’t give us a chance to finish football games.”

The Browns started off the game playing like, well, the Browns. On the Packers’ first offensive drive, Green Bay drove 74 yards in 11 plays. They converted a fake punt and a fourth down play to extend the drive. Quarterback Brett Hundley capitalized on a blown coverage by the Browns defense, completing a 30-yard touchdown pass to the wide, and I mean wide, open Jamaal Williams.

Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon would turn the momentum around on the Browns’ opening series. Gordon helped the Browns answer with their own touchdown by catching two passes for 56 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown reception to finish the drive. The Browns and Packers both followed their opening series touchdowns with their own three-and-outs. So after one quarter of play, the Browns and Packers were tied up at seven.

The Browns defense continued their strong play after the mistake-filled first drive of the game, forcing another punt by the Packers. The offense returned to their strong play from drive No. 1 after the Packers punt. In 12 plays and just under seven minutes, the Browns moved 70 yards to the end zone to take the lead over Green Bay. Hue Jackson called a great drive, balancing the series with seven passes and five runs plays. Jackson called a nifty shovel pass that ended up being a seven-yard touchdown pass from Kizer to running back Duke Johnson.

After another strong defensive stand by the Browns defense, the Browns offense took over the ball with just over two minutes to go in the half. Kizer led a promising drive that looked to be close to put some points on the board before the half, but a no call and an interception ended any sort of chance of more points. Kizer threw a deep pass to Gordon at the goal line and it looked like he was contacted early by the Packer defender, but no flag was thrown. A few plays later, Kizer took the wrong read and did not see the deep safety, throwing the interception to Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

Nevertheless, the Browns took the 14-7 lead over Green Bay into the locker room at half.

The half started off a little shaky for Cleveland. The offense went three-an-out on the opening series. The Packers put together a really promising drive. Green Bay had driven 71 yards on 12 plays in just around six minutes, but were faced with a 4th-and-1 inside the red zone on the ten-yard line. A broken play by Hundley helped Browns defensive lineman Caleb Brantley get into the backfield and stop the play and turn the ball over on downs. It was one of the biggest plays of the game.

Kizer and the offense took advantage of the big momentum play by the defense. In nine plays, the Browns drove 88 yards to pay dirt to extend their lead to 21-7. The series was catapulted by running back Isaiah Crowell, who pulled off two big run plays of 18 yards and 37 yards. The Browns notched the touchdown on two-yard pass from Kizer to receiver Corey Coleman. The third quarter ended with the Browns up 21-7, but the Packers were driving deep in scoring territory as the clock struck zero.

The Packers opened up the fourth by finishing off what they started late in the third quarter. A one-yard touchdown run by running back Jamaal Williams on a 3rd-and-goal play moved the score to 21-14 Browns with just under 13 minutes to play in the game. The Browns got a few yards on the following drive, but were forced to punt, giving the Packers a chance to tie the game up.

Green Bay had to start at the three-yard line after a great punt by Browns punter Britton Colquitt. The Cleveland defense bent a little, but it did not break, as the defense stopped the Green Bay offense after gaining 42 yards in the series. The Browns forced the punt and were given a chance to put the game away with just over five minutes left in the game. The Browns cut a little bit of time off the clock, but a dropped catch by tight end David Njoku gave the Packers life. The Browns punted, but gave up a big 65-yard return to Trevor Davis to set up Green Bay to tie the game back up with just about two minutes left. The Packers capitalized on the punt return and were able to tie the game up on a Hundley to receiver Davante Adams one-yard touchdown pass with just 17 seconds left. The Browns knelt to run the clock out and head to overtime tied at 21.

The overtime saw the return of the 2017 Cleveland Browns and summed up what the season has been all about. The Browns won the toss and received the overtime opening kickoff, but Kizer decided to make one of the most baffling decisions a quarterback could make. With the run game notching eight yards on the first two plays of the period, the Browns were met with a 3rd-and-2 play at their own 33-yard line. Rather than run for the first, Jackson called a pass to convert the first down, which would end up as successful as most Browns could have told you it would. Kizer took the snap and tried to target Gordon, but he was covered. The young quarterback began to scramble, and for some insane reason, as he was getting hit by a Packer defended, Kizer attempted to air up a pass that went straight up in the air. The pass was intercepted by Josh Jones and put the Packers in scoring position to win the game.

“I went over to my first read in Josh (Gordon) on the slant, but hey bracketed him,” said Kizer of the interception. “They brought a safety over. By the time I wanted to get over to No. 2, it was time to escape the pocket and try to use my feet. Start running right and the guy had good leverage on me. I was able to reverse field there. On my way back to my left, I was able to see Rashard Higgins spin off of his guy and have an opportunity to go down and make a game-winning touchdown. One of the better players in this league was able to reverse field with me, get his hand on my arm, it left the ball in the air and they were able to make a good play on the ball.”

The Browns defense completely collapsed when faced with this situation, allowing Hundley to throw a short pass to receiver Davante Adams, who took the ball and scampered 30 yard for the winning touchdown, the Browns losing to the Packers in overtime, 27-21.

The Browns will once again search for win No. 1 as they host AFC North “rival” Baltimore Ravens in Week 15.

“We just have to keep fighting,” said Jackson. “We are going to continue to fight. That is one thing I know about this group. We will continue to fight. Nobody is going to put their head down. In order to win in the National Football League, you have to play really good in the fourth quarter. That is what you have to do. You have to make those plays. We have to find a way to make those plays when the opportunities come. That is where we are.”

The saga continues.

  • Mr. Clandestine

    Please, tell me again why it was a good idea to keep Hue Jackson.

    http://giflingua.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/eager.gif

  • MartyDaVille

    A new low. Another notch on Sashi’s belt. (That thing can’t have much leather left on it.)

    Let’s put a contract lawyer in charge of assembling our roster. What could go wrong?

  • scripty

    Houston lost.

  • MartyDaVille

    To San Francisco! Win-win!

  • Dave

    2 games left for us to enjoy a nice parade! We’re so close, don’t screw up now!

  • scripty

    Saw HOU, with awful QBs Yates & Savage – threw to Hopkins 16 times today. We gotta forcefeed like that.

  • Robert Sass

    A very serious question: Why would ANY football team EVER punt the ball IN-BOUNDS?

    A browns fan living in Chicago, people always punted out of bounds to Devin Hester. With Cribbs, why punt to him (though he was better on kickoffs.)

    If I am a head coach, or a punter, the ball is ALWAYS going to be punted OUT OF BOUNDS. If I am a punter, and it is my job to punt and only punt the damn ball, I kick it out of bounds at the 10 yard line, and not do this hope my player keeps it out of the end zone crap, or lets go cover and tackle.

    NO ONE here can give me any solid reason to punt the ball IN BOUNDS ever.

    Yes, I am a CPA and a Saxophonist, not a former NFL player or coach. But you know what, sometimes, you have to say I am right about a foot ball thing. I can’t think of one reason to EVER give any team an opportunity to return a punt. WHY??????

  • Robert Sass

    He needs to be fired… He sucks at play calling. Josh did not get open as much in the second half, but Pettine was smart with Gordon, run a WS SCREEN and Gordon with his size runs over a few.

    Look at Mike McCarthy. The Packers got back into the game with their rookie QB dinking and dunking and using other WRs to BLOCK. This is how he chose to win with a young QB, unlike Hue the moron Jackson…

    As this fine article on NFL.com said so clearly:

    “For Cleveland, this one hurts more than the rest. A team struggling to hang onto leads and just finish a game, any game, again fails in its most epic collapse of the franchise’s most nightmarish season ever. This time, it came by way of conservative defense (Browns fans will think back to the team’s lone playoff appearance since 1999 when reading this), allowing Hundley — who threw for 84 yards last week in an overtime win over Tampa Bay — complete passes of 9 yards, 5 yards, 9 yards, 6 yards…you get the point. Hundley dinked and dunked the Packers to a touchdown to cut Cleveland’s lead to 21-14, and a special teams gaffe on the part of the Browns gave Green Bay great field position, of which the Packers took advantage. A DeShone Kizer interception and ensuing Green Bay touchdown completed the comeback and capped a colossal meltdown on the part of the Browns, who saw their best chance to avoid an 0-16 season evaporate in a quarter and a half.”

    –Nick Shook

  • Skulb

    Oh no sir, it’s three games! Hooray!

  • Skulb

    You punt it in because the other team is in a costly mistake spot on punt returns. Unless they have some monster like Brian Mitchell returning punts the potential gain from it outweighs the slight risk. At least that’s the reason a coach would give you. But what do I know? I don’t play the nose flute.

  • Skulb

    Because he’s good at developing QBs and because he called good plays when he was with the Bingos. Have you forgotten already?

  • Casual_Kenny_Reigns

    I was terrified they’d blow the parade.

  • Casual_Kenny_Reigns

    Because the Browns are paying way too many head coach contracts right now. They need a few of those to come off the books.

  • Saggy

    By punting it to the sideline you’re also giving up yardage.

    (Think: Pythagoras).

  • JM85

    Well let’s skip 2 weeks to the Bears game. That’s the only other winnable game. These guys invent ways to lose. And please tell me why Peppers is still 30 yards away every play. It’s not working Gregg!

  • The_Matt_of_Akron

    Peppers was probably 30 yards away from every play because he was inactive today.

  • JM85

    Guess I’m just used to it being him. Regardless it’s not working.

  • The_Matt_of_Akron

    Agreed. Either he is not what he was sold as, or he is being misused. And considering Double-G was still playing his backup safety 30 yards back points to misuse. Defense is already tough enough without playing 10v11.

    Can one of the more knowledgeable members of the staff or commentariat speculate on what the idea is?

  • Warburton MacKinnon

    How come no one is talking about the officiating? We should have put this game away,but we lost 7-14 points because of non calls. This is bullshit,a home team with no calls that help….fix was in man,the fix was in.

  • Skulb

    They don’t count against the cap, do they?

  • Skulb

    But this is what you get for being the Browns. It may have escaped your notice, but the NFL’s equality drive is being tested in Browns games. The Browns always get girl ref. I noticed her when she gave the Redskins the ball last year against the Browns, even though the replay showed very clearly that no Redskins player was anywhere near the ball. Worst team in the league gets girls ref and Triplette and anything else the league wants to cook up.

    Women have a right to be horrible NFL officials too, you know!

  • Mr. Clandestine

    He’s developing the shiite out of this rookie: “3rd & 11, everybody go long.” So excited for him to get to “develop” another one next year…

  • Mr. Clandestine

    “Look at Mike McCarthy. The Packers got back into the game with their rookie QB dinking and dunking and using other WRs to BLOCK. This is how he chose to win with a young QB, unlike Hue the moron Jackson…”

    At least GW ensures we wont get beat deep and plays the corners 10 yards off on 3rd & 4. At least every other team doesn’t beat us THE EXACT SAME WAY every single, week.

  • Mr. Clandestine

    At least Jimmuh learned and didn’t pair a GM with a HC after the fact. Oh, wait…

  • Skulb

    I know. Just restating the reasons we’ve previously been given.

  • Mr. Clandestine

    Of course. Playing on your lead. Sarcasm as a coping mechanism and whatnot.

  • Mr. Clandestine

    Yeah, the roster’s the problem…

  • Mr. Clandestine

    Let’s say you do strategize to keep it in bounds for a number of logical reasons, here’s a thought: stay in your mother-effin lanes! This has to finally be the regime change Tabor doesn’t survive.

  • Skulb

    I just wanted to make sure. Internet and sarcasm, you know.

  • Mr. Clandestine

    There are no winnable games for this team.

  • Mr. Clandestine

    Indeeb.

  • scripty

    Respectfully, Hundley is not a rookie. He is a 3rd year player with three full summers, training camps and seasons to learn a system, improve individual skillset and learn NFL defenses. No pressure to compete. Multiple WR who have been in Pro Bowls.

    What you are comparing is apples and oranges.

  • scripty

    You also leave yourself a bit more open to a block.

  • Mr. Clandestine

    I’m frustrated but I see terrible calls every week for every team. Every team’s fans feel like they get shafted disproportionately. Maybe the Browns do but that isn’t why they gave up a 14 point lead going into the fourth quarter.

  • scripty

    I do feel the Browns got rammed one with the no call at the end of halftime. Awful. Sadly that is what happens when the franchise doesn’t take putting a competitive NFL team on the field, the referees don’t take them seriously either. We won;t be getting those calls for some time.

  • Mr. Clandestine

    But McCarthy still did a better job of adjusting the scheme to the talent. Hue & Gregg, not so much.

  • scripty

    Today – yes, absolutely. For whatever it’s worth, there are mountains of GB fans who feel McCarthy is a big underperformer who’s ridden Rodgers’ coattails. But yes, on the little things like WR patterns and forcefeeding his star players, it was clear who called the better game today. I mentioned this on another thread, how HOU still forces 15-20 balls a game to Deandre Hopkins

  • Mr. Clandestine

    I’m aware of McCarthy’s shortcomings. Unfortunately, the entire league appears to be aware of Hue’s and lights him up every damn week. He’s an embarrassment to offensive football and Williams isn’t proving much better on the other side. This is beyond a joke at this point.

  • Harv

    I mean, if you saw any of the Cavs-Sixers game it’s not like teams with pathetic reputations getting hosed by refs is a new thing. It’s psychological – the generally competent get the benefit of the doubt in a split second judgement call. There’s an obvious, time-worn way to stop it.

  • Chris
  • BenRM

    I put this squarely on Hue. Sure, Kizer made some DUUUUMB decision, but if you can’t win the game with a 14 point lead in the 4 quarter, that’s on the coach.

  • Chris

    NFL punters are elite not because of their distance, but because of their hang-time. There is plenty of yardage to be had if they flatten out their kicks a few degrees. That would (at least partially) make up for the angle of kicking to the sideline.

    Also, kicking to the sideline essentially adds an elite tackler to your unit. All the more reason to do it.

  • Chris

    NFL punters are elite not because of their distance, but because of their hang-time. There is plenty of yardage to be had if they flatten out their kicks a few degrees. That would (at least partially) make up for the angle of kicking to the sideline.

    Also, kicking to the sideline essentially adds an elite tackler to your unit. All the more reason to do it.

  • Pat Leonard

    I put it on Gregg Williams. 21 points isn’t a lot, but he showed no willingness to adjust to the Packers’ offense as it progressed through the game. They could have just marched down the field with wide receiver screens if they wanted to… Gregg wasn’t intending to do anything about those. Oh and also, it’s time to fire Chris Tabor.

  • Pat Leonard

    The Bears game is this upcoming Sunday. I agree, it’s winnable for a group of coaches and a quarterback who aren’t awful at their jobs.

  • BenRM

    Reasonable – but Hue is the HC right? He’s Greggggg’s superior. Hue allowed him to go into prevent mode and stay in prevent mode.

  • JM85

    They play the Bears on Christmas Eve.

  • Dave

    You’re right. I had been paying so little attention I lost count.

  • tsm

    Terrible loss. So many screwups. Start with our D playing off their WR the entire 4th quarter, which made the game easy for Hundley. We should have rolled our corners up and put pressure on him to make good throws. Williams is a failure as a DC just as much as Hue is a failure as a HC. Also, once we got the lead in the 4th, we became too conservative. Those short yardage plays on 3rd down call for Kizer to execute a play fake and then take off around the end with perhaps one guy out for a pass. Kizer has shown speed and athletic ability. Our failure to do this prevented us from running out the clock. Then with 17 seconds to go in regulation we had the ball on our 25. Hue simply had us take a knee. This was stupid. What was the risk in having Kizer throw deep to Coleman or Gordon? A pick? Hardly. If they pick him off at their own 20-25, the clock would have run out on them. A sack? So what. The good side is we might have completed the pass and then kicked the FG to win. Perhaps draw an interference penalty, which would also have resulted in a FG attempt to win the game. At 0-12, you have nothing to lose and thus should be the risk taker.