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Instant Recap: Browns Defeat Buccaneers 22-17

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Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by a final score of 22-17, improving to 5-3 on the season. Now, they will face a quick turnaround this Thursday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The tone of the game was similar to last week: Cleveland forced some turnovers early, but the Browns were only able to capitalize with field goals. The difference from Oakland a week ago is that QB Mike Glennon was able to exploit the matchup between WR Mike Evans and CB Buster Skrine for a pair of touchdowns. Thankfully, CB Joe Haden, FS Tashaun Gipson, and SS Donte Whitner picked up the slack, such as on this play:

It wasn't the best game for QB Brian Hoyer, but he got the job done and had his first 300-yard passing game of the season. The veteran quarterback finished the day 21-of-34 for 300 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. Facing a 10-9 deficit at halftime, the Browns got the ball to begin the third quarter and scored on their opening possession with a 2-yard touchdown from Hoyer to RB Terrance West, going up 16-10. The Buccaneers re-took the lead with the Glennon-to-Evans connection at the end of the third quarter, making it a 17-16 game.

Mid-way through the fourth quarter, West threw a hell of a block on a playaction fake, allowing Hoyer to buy time and find WR Taylor Gabriel for a 34-yard touchdown.

The two-point conversion failed and Cleveland only had a 5-point lead at 22-17. The defense held strong several more times, though, and the Browns were able to run out the clock.

Another unit that deserves major props today is the Browns' special teams unit. They blocked a field goal, blocked a punt, and saw K Billy Cundiff convert on field goals from 49, 43, and 29 yards out.

Let's celebrate, Browns fans!

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