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Browns vs. Buccaneers Final Score: Cleveland loses 26-23 on 59-yard field goal in overtime

The comeback falls short.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

There was some excitement and another overtime for the Browns, but the deflation has set in again as Cleveland ultimately lost 26-23 in overtime to the Buccaneers. They are now 2-4-1 on the season.

The Browns’ offense could not get things going in the first quarter, but an early punt pinned the Buccaneers back at the 1 yard line. On 2nd down, Cleveland’s defensive front pushed the pile forward and stuffed RB Peyton Barber in the end zone, with DT Trevon Coley getting credit for the safety to put the team up 2-0.

On the Buccaneers’ next drive, they moved the chain a couple of times on third down to help set up a 38-yard field goal by K Chandler Catanzaro to give the Buccaneers a 3-2 lead near the end of the first quarter.

A third down drop by TE David Njoku on Cleveland’s next drive forced a three-and-out, and Tampa Bay quickly drove right back into Browns territory. On the first play of the second quarter, WR DeSean Jackson ran it in on a 14-yard end-around, showing Cleveland still can’t stop that play. The extra point was wide right, though, keeping it a 7-point game at 9-2.

Cleveland’s offense persisted in producing nothing, punting again while QB Jameis Winston had his way dissecting the Browns’ defense over the middle. CB Denzel Ward ripped a touchdown pass away from Jackson, and then on third down, DE Emmanuel Ogbah got a third down sack...but the Browns were flagged for illegal contact, leading to an automatic first down. A few plays later, on third down again, Cleveland was offsides, giving a free first down.

Now in goal-to-go, the Buccaneers ran it in on first down, but a hold on the offensive line brought the play back. It didn’t matter — Winston just ran it in himself on the next play, untouched, from 14 yards out to take a 16-2 lead.

The first half was shaping up for another Buccaneers score before LB Christian Kirksey dropped underneath TE O.J. Howard for an interception.

The two-minute drill was not kind to Cleveland, as they had to punt back to Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers started at the 1 yard line, but were able to get out of that situation this time...and it looked like the Buccaneers would go into the half with a 14-point lead, but CB T.J. Carrie punched the ball out of the hands of TE Cameron Brate. Kirksey recovered and the Browns took over with 0:50 left in the half at the 20 yard line and two timeouts.

On first down, Mayfield threw the ball away. On second down, he couldn’t connect with Landry in the end zone. On third down, Ratley caught the ball underneath to set up 4th-and-2 at the 11 yard line. With 0:26 left, Mayfield scrambled for the first down...but the Buccaneers stripped him and the ball went backward out of bounds, meaning it was actually short of a first down and a turnover on downs.

DE Myles Garrett forced a fumble on Winston to start the second half, with LB Genard Avery recovering at the 26 yard line.

Cleveland capitalized with points off the turnover for once, as Mayfield found Njoku on the fade for a 15-yard touchdown to make it a 16-9 game early in the third quarter.

A couple of penalties hurt the Browns’ defense on their next drive, but then likewise, a few penalties set the Buccaneers back to take them out of field goal range and force a punt. Cleveland couldn’t muster much, though, and punted back to the Buccaneers mid-way through the third quarter. The defense couldn’t stop Tampa Bay, including on a 4th-and-1 attempt from midfield. A big play to Howard set them up at the 2 yard line, where RB Ronald Jones punched it in to give Tampa Bay a 23-9 lead heading to the fourth quarter.

The Browns’ offense responded to begin the fourth quarter, getting an 18-yard pass play to WR Jarvis Landry and then a 24-yard pass interference penalty to the end zone when targeting WR Antonio Callaway. RB Nick Chubb took it in from 1 yard out to make it a 23-16 game with 12:17 to go.

Cleveland’s defense grinded out a defensive stop to give the ball back to the offense with under ten minutes to go and a chance to tie. A 35-yard run by Mayfield on 2nd-and-very long sparked the team. Passes to Njoku and Landry got the Browns to a 2nd-and-goal from the 2 yard line. Mayfield threw the ball away on second down. The third down play went to Chubb, who was inches shy. The Browns tried to quick QB sneak on fourth down, but Mayfield was denied with 4:55 to go.

The Browns’ defense got a sack on third down, forcing a three-and-out with another chance for the offense to try to tie the game...and SS Jabrill Peppers helped with a huge 32 yard return down to the 16 yard line!

One play later, Landry mad a terrific catch over the middle for the touchdown, and the all-important extra point by Joseph tied it at 23-23 with 2:28 to go!

The defense couldn’t hold again, though. Winston got enough plays to get the Buccaneers into field goal range, setting up Catanzaro for a game-winning attempt from 40 yards out, and he...he...HE MISSED IT!!! WE’VE GOT OVERTIME! The Browns won the coin toss and elected to receive to begin overtime.

The Browns were set back by a penalty on their first play, killing the drive and forcing a punt. They did get a really good punt off to back Tampa Bay up, but Winston got back-to-back completions to get close to midfield. After the Browns stuffed an end around to Jackson, LB Jamie Collins picked off Winston on the next play, giving the Browns the ball 45 yards away from the end zone.

Mayfield was sacked by Nassib on third down, though, taking the option of a 56-yard field goal attempt off the board. Cleveland punted into the end zone, giving Tampa Bay the ball at the 20 with 4 minutes to go. The defense forced a three-and-out. Peppers was in the middle of a good punt return, but then fumbled, giving Tampa Bay the ball right at midfield with 3:12 to go.

Tampa Bay got into deep field goal range, but then the Browns got back-to-back sacks from Garrett and then Ogbah+Ogunjobi to set up 3rd-and-29 from their own 45 yard line. They got a completion to attempt a 59-yard field goal...and then got it. Ball game.

Quick Hitters

  • QB Baker Mayfield: 23-of-34 for 215 yards, 2 TD. 4 rushes, 43 yards.
  • RB Duke Johnson: 1 carry, -4 yards. 4 catches, 23 yards (4 targets).
  • RB Nick Chubb: 18 carries, 80yards, 1 TD. 0 catches (2 targets).
  • WR Jarvis Landry: 10 catches, 97 yards (15 targets). 1 TD.
  • TE David Njoku: 4 catches, 52 yards (6 targets). 1 TD.
  • Cleveland won the turnover battle 4-1.
  • DE Myles Garrett: 2 sacks.