The losing streak is over! Cleveland won their first game of the season at home, defeating the Buffalo Bills by a score of 19-16. It was another extremely frustrating game for Browns fans, but unlike their other losses this year, the Browns found a way to pull off some late-game heroics.
The Browns received the ball first and had an injection of life offensively, led by WR Jarvis Landry. The drive was capped off by this 17-yard touchdown pass from QB Baker Mayfield to Landry. Unfortunately, Landry taunted the defender after the score, drawing a 15-yard penalty. That proved to be costly, as K Austin Seibert then missed the 48-yard extra point to keep it a 6-0 game.
Cleveland’s defense started off strong, holding the Bills to a turnover on downs. The Browns moved down to the 1 yard line on their next drive, and that is where the frustrations began. Cleveland had eight plays from the one yard line (helped by two pass interference penalties), but they still couldn’t punch it in. On their only fourth down attempt, they should’ve kicked the field goal, but instead went for it again and failed.
In the second quarter, QB Josh Allen had his first good drive of the game, capping it off with a 10-yard sprint up the middle. The successful extra point gave the Bills a 7-6 lead.
The Browns then put together their third strong drive of the game, but once they got in a goal-to-go situation, they sputtered. Amazingly, Kitchens was going to go for it again on fourth down instead of kicking a field goal for the lead. Fortunately, RT Chris Hubbard false started, forcing the correct decision to kick the 27-yard field goal to give Cleveland a 9-7 lead. The Bills were about to take the lead heading into the half, but K Stephen Hauschka missed the 34-yard chip shot.
The Browns defense forced a punt on Buffalo’s opening drive of the second half. But the punt pinned Cleveland back, and then Mayfield took a safety on the first play to tie the game at 9-9. Seibert later tacked on a 47-yard field goal to re-gain the lead for Cleveland at 12-9.
The Bills went for it on fourth down to end the third quarter, but Allen’s pass fell incomplete. Neither team could find success to start the fourth quarter, trading punts. But a 22 yard punt return gave the Bills the ball near midfield with nine minutes to go. A 21 yard strike from Allen to TE Dawson Knox put the Bills in field goal range already.
After a holding penalty, Allen had all day to throw on 1st-and-20 and found WR Cole Beasley wide open down to the 11 yard line. The Browns then had another "Browns" moment, where they forced a third down fumble of a scrambling Allen.
The ball shot forward, and despite several Browns defenders being in the area, a Bills offensive lineman recovered the ball at the 1 yard line for a first down. Two plays later, Allen ran the QB sneak to give the Bills a 16-12 lead with about 5 minutes to go in the game.
It looked like the Browns had blown it after a fumble handoff to Hunt that was returned by Buffalo for a touchdown, but it actually ended up being a forward incomplete pass. Cleveland had new life and took advantage of it. Inside of two minutes, Mayfield found Landry on an awesome, no-look catch for a goal-to-go situation. And then, Cleveland finally executed in that area with a 7-yard touchdown pass to WR Rashard Higgins. That gave the Browns a 19-16 lead with 1:44 to go.
Allen drove the Bills into field goal range, but it required going for it on 4th-and-4 or trying a field goal from 52 yards out. They attempted the field goal, but it was barely wide left, sealing the victory for Cleveland!
- QB Baker Mayfield: 26-of-38 for 238 yards, 2 TD.
- RB Nick Chubb: 20 carries, 116 yards.
- RB Kareem Hunt: 4 carries, 30 yards. 7 catches, 44 yards (9 targets).
- WR Odell Beckham: 5 catches, 57 yards (12 targets).
- WR Jarvis Landry: 9 catches, 97 yards (10 targets). 1 TD.
- WR Rashard Higgins: 1 catch, 7 yards (1 target). 1 TD.
- DE Chad Thomas: 1 sack.