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Browns vs. Bills Final Score: Penalties, special teams lapses cripple Cleveland in 19-17 loss

The Cleveland Browns repeatedly shot themselves in the foot with penalties and special teams lapses, allowing Buffalo to escape FirstEnergy Stadium with a 19-17 preseason win.

Buffalo Bills v Cleveland Browns Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns lost their first home preseason game 19-17 to the Buffalo Bills.

The Browns took an early 7-0 lead on their first possession, racking up 63 yards on the ground. Carlos Hyde flashed several big runs, including this highlight reel stiff-arm of former Browns safety Jordan Poyer.

Hyde capped the drive with a 4-yard touchdown run, sprung by beautiful blocks by receivers Rashard Higgins and Jarvis Landry.

After Browns starters forced four consecutive three-and-outs by the Bills’ first-team offense, rookie Josh Allen entered the game and methodically moved his team down the field into scoring position.

On 3rd-and-goal, Allen evaded pressure and stepped into the pocket, then delivered a strike touchdown to receiver Rod Streater with defensive back Briean Boddy-Calhoun trailing in coverage.

After trading field goals in the third quarter, Rookie running back Nick Chubb broke a nice outside run with rookie guard Austin Corbett pulling and leading the way.

Chubb got rewarded with a short touchdown run on 3rd-and-goal just one play after Mayfield’s touchdown throw to Derrick Willies was overturned.

Chubb’s touchdown gave the Browns a 17-13 lead with 12:33 left in the game.

The Bills answered, though, on their next possession. Nathan Peterman found tight end Nick O’Leary who scampered into the end zone after a busted coverage left him wide open down the seam.

Bills rookie backup kicker Tyler Davis missed the extra point, giving Buffalo a 19-17 lead.

After a three-and-out by third-string quarterback Drew Stanton, Davis missed a field goal with 5:43 remaining, keeping the Browns within two points.

Then after another Browns three-and-out led by Stanton, including a bad overthrow of wide open receiver C.J. Board, Devon Cajuste appeared to recover a fumble on the punt, but the play was ruled dead despite video evidence to the contrary. It was determined to not be reviewable.

Buffalo maintained possession and sealed their victory by running out the final five-plus minutes of the clock, helped by a roughing the passer penalty by Zaycoven Henderson on 3rd-and-long with 1:51 to play.

Mayfield also had another touchdown to Willies negated in the third quarter due to an offensive pass interference penalty. The Browns were flagged for OPI three times on Friday night.

Quick Hitters

  • Tyrod Taylor: 4-of-7, 22 yards; 1 rush, 5 yards
  • Carlos Hyde: 9 rushes, 64 yards, and 1 touchdown; 1 catch, -5 yards (1 target)
  • Jarvis Landry: no catches (2 targets)
  • Rashard Higgins: 2 catches, 20 yards (3 targets)
  • Baker Mayfield: 7-of-13, 75 yards, no touchdowns; 4 rushes, 9 yards
  • Nick Chubb: 11 rushes, 53 yards, 1 touchdown; 2 catches, 0 yards (2 targets)
  • Da’Mari Scott: 2 catches, 31 yards (2 targets)
  • Damion Ratley: 2 catches, 18 yards (2 targets)