...there is still hope.
On a day where QB Brian Hoyer made poor throws and terrible decisions every time the Cleveland Browns could have put the nail in the coffin of the Atlanta Falcons, he and his receivers came through in an unlikely scenario to set up a game-winning, 37-yard field goal for K Billy Cundiff as the Browns escaped with a 26-24 victory.
Leading 23-21 past the half-way part of the fourth quarter, the Browns were in position for a two-possession lead with a 1st-and-goal at the 6 yard line. Off of a playaction fake, Hoyer threw the ball up for grabs in the back of the end zone, allowing for CB Desmond Trufant to come away with a tremendous interception. The Falcons punted, and then with under three minutes to play, Hoyer threw another interception down the field despite WR Josh Gordon being open.
With 0:44 to left in the game, Falcons K Matt Bryant kicked 53-yard field goal to put Atlanta ahead 24-23. On Hoyer's final drive, he had a full batch of timeouts to work with and hit WR Miles Austin for 11 yards, WR Josh Gordon for 24 yards, TE Gary Barnidge for 15 yards, and then WR Miles Austin for 11 yards. The last play began with 0:16 on the clock and no timeouts, so the offense rushed up to the line of scrimmage to clock it with 0:05 left. Cundiff drilled the game-winner as time expired, his fourth successful field goal of the day.
RB Isaiah Crowell had a big day, carrying the ball 12 times for 88 yards and 2 touchdowns. In his first game back from suspension, Gordon had 8 catches for 120 yards on 14 targets. On the defensive side of things, Atlanta turned the ball over twice, but the big news is that FS Tashaun Gipson left the game with what looked to be a serious knee injury.
This is a bottom line business, and the Browns are now 7-4 on the season. With that said, if Cleveland had not pulled off the victory, Hoyer had a detrimental performance that would have allowed for a move to QB Johnny Manziel next week against the Bills. Now, you'd think he's saved his job, but the leash is as short as ever.
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