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Cleveland Browns tie the game late, finish it 23-17 against Tampa Bay Buccaneers in overtime

Victory for the Browns in overtime!

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Cleveland Browns Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns scored touchdowns on their first and last possession of regulation, the latter of which tied it at 17-17 and sending the game to overtime. It looked like the game might end in a tie, but then Brissett found Cooper for a 45-yard gain from midfield before Chubb finished the game for a 23-17 win! Let’s get to the full game recap.

The Browns got the ball to begin the game, and for the third straight week, they scored an opening drive touchdown. Would the result be any different this week? QB Jacoby Brissett was 3-of-3 for 28 yards, but RB Nick Chubb had a 15-yard run, and then WR Anthony Schwartz finished the drive with a 31-yard touchdown run off of a reverse.

The Buccaneers came in with the worst rushing offense in the NFL, and within the first couple of plays, they had a season-long run of 35 yards with RB Rachaad White. The defense continued to be sliced throug; and then in the red zone, on a 3rd-and-5, even when the pass rush had a chance to make a play, they couldn’t get to QB Tom Brady. Brady threw a late pass to WR Chris Godwin over the middle, who beat CB Denzel Ward for the touchdown to tie things up at 7-7.

The Browns got a big play to begin their next drive, as Brissett ran for 10 yards, and then 15 more yards were tacked on due to a late hit. The Browns got into long field goal range before the drive stalled at the 33-yard line. K Cade York came on to try a 51-yard field goal, and he got it just inside the right upright to give Cleveland a 10-7 lead.

The defense forced a three-and-out on their next series, and all it takes often times is someone making a play: in this case, it was DE Alex Wright sticking his hand up to knock a third-down pass away. WR Donovan Peoples-Jones returned the ensuing punt 12 yards, out to the 32 yard line with just over a minute left in the first quarter. Heading into the second quarter, the offense faced a 3rd-and-6. The Browns were able to get a first down out to midfield, but couldn’t progress further. P Corey Bojorquez’ punt went to the end zone for a touchback.

Up next was another three-and-out forced by the defense. On 3rd-and-1, LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah knifed into the backfield to stop White for a loss of a yard. The Buccaneers punted, with a fair catch called for at the 30 yard line. The Browns were mixing it up well to move the ball, and then RB Kareem Hunt came on for some hard runs. They had a first down at the 14 yard line, but then Peoples-Jones was flagged for a hold. With 1st-and-20, Cleveland’s drive stalled — and then York came on for a 39-yard field goal attempt, which he badly hooked to the left for another empty possession.

Cleveland’s defense was close to having another three-and-out, but the Buccaneers gambled with a 4th-and-1 try from their own 40 yard line. Brady ran the quarterback sneak over the middle to convert it, and then found Godwin downfield for 23 yards. The defense held Tampa Bay to a 42-yard field goal to tie things up at 10-10 with 0:39 left in the half.

RB Jerome Ford returned the ensuing kickoff out to the Cleveland 43 yard line. That allowed Brissett to attempt a Hail Mary as time was expiring. It led to an interception, but his pass did make it to the end zone and Tampa Bay wasn’t exactly camped back there, so there was a reasonable chance to convert it.

The defense came out hot in the second half, stopping White for a loss of 2 yards, and then DT Jordan Elliott sacked Brady when he had no where to throw it. On the punt, Peoples-Jones had a 29-yard return, out to the Cleveland 42 yard line. The offense had their worst drive of the game, though, going three-and-out and not gaining any yards. Bojorquez’ punt sailed to the end zone again, allowing Tampa Bay to get the ball right back at the 20 yard line.

Brady picked apart the Browns’ secondary on the next drive, getting completions of 28 and 22 yards to WR Mike Evans and Godwin. Down near the goal line, on 3rd-and-1 from the 5 yard line, Brady found his tight end Ko Kieft for a 5-yard touchdown off of playaction, giving Tampa Bay their first lead of the day at 17-10 with 7:41 remaining in the third quarter.

The offensive struggles to finish drives continued near midfield again. On 3rd-and-3, Brissett fired a quick slant to Peoples-Jones, but CB Carlton Davis punched the ball out as the ball arrived for an incompletion. Head coach Kevin Stefanski sent out the punt unit, and this time Bojorquez’ punt was fair caught at the 11 yard line. The defense held Tampa Bay to four yards, forcing a quick punt to take over at the 38 yard line. The good field position was for nothing again, as the Buccaneers started bringing more pressure: they sacked Brissett for a loss of 8 yards on first down, and then on 3rd-and-9, they sacked him for another 8-yard loss.

Tampa Bay had an 11-yard run by White on the final play of the third quarter to get them out to their own 41 yard line. Tampa Bay was driving and looking to build a two-possession lead, but then they passed up on a 55-yard field goal attempt. On 4th-and-2, they took a delay of game while trying to draw Cleveland offsides, and punted (a touchback). The Browns’ offense went back to work with 12:33 remaining at the 20 yard line.

Once again, the offense drove to midfield — actually past midfield — only to see Brissett take a 7-yard sack. On 4th-and-9 from the Buccaneers’ 44 yard line and 8 minutes to go, Stefanski went for it. Brissett dropped back and found WR Amari Cooper wide open on the right sideline, and Cooper just flat out dropped it for a turnover on downs.

The defense forced a three-and-out, but this time, the Buccaneers’ punt was downed at the 5 yard line, really putting them in a hole against an aggressive defense. On 3rd-and-10, Brissett found Cooper on the right side for a first down. Then on 3rd-and-7, a screen to TE David Njoku moved the chains. A few plays later, they faced a 3rd-and-11, only at their own 32-yard line with 3:26 to go. Brissett was sacked for a loss of 10 yards, and with 4th-and-20 and three timeouts, they had to punt. The Buccaneers fair caught the punt at the 20 yard line with 2:35 remaining.

The defense started great, tackling White for a loss of 3 yards, and then forcing an incomplete pass on second down. On 3rd-and-13, DE Myles Garrett came around the edge and finally got to Brady for the sack.

The Browns used their second timeout following the play. Peoples-Jones brought the punt out to the Tampa Bay 46 yard line with 2:10 remaining. A handoff to Chubb for 6 yards made it 2nd-and-4 heading to the two-minute warning. Chubb got the handoff after the break and ran for 28 yards to the 12 yard line. On 1st-and-10, he picked up a yard to make it 2nd-and-9. Brissett tried a short pass to Hunt over the middle on second down, but it was incomplete. On 3rd-and-9, the screen pass to Njoku was sniffed out by a defender and stopped for a loss of a yard. On 4th-and-10 for the game, Njoku made a 1-HANDED CATCH FOR THE TOUCHDOWN!!! York added the all-important extra point to tie it 17-17 with 0:32 to go.

Brady got a 26-yard pass to Jones to the Browns’ 48 yard line with 0:08 remaining and two timeouts for Tampa Bay. They tried a Hail Mary as time expired, but it was incomplete, sending the game to overtime.

Tampa Bay picked tails, and the coin toss landed on tails. The Buccaneers opted to receive the ball. After a 5-yard pass on first down, Brady’s second down long pass was overthrown. On 3rd-and-5, Garrett jumped into the neutral zone, allowing Tampa Bay to have a first down. Quickly, they faced another 3rd-and-4. Brady found Godwin on the quick out for a gain of 7 yards out to the 47 yard line. Yet again, the Buccaneers were in a 3rd-and-4 situation. Brady was in the grasp, but flipped the ball to White for a first down — or was it? The offense was flagged for illegal hands to the face against Garrett, making it a 3rd-and-14. Brady’s pass was short and in the dirt due to pressure from Garrett, leading to a punt with 7:39 to go.

Peoples-Jones brought the punt out to the 21 yard line, with Cleveland needing just a field goal to win. The first play was a handoff to Chubb, but he was stopped for a loss of 2 yards. On 2nd-and-12, Brissett looked to throw, but a holding penalty was called on LT Jedrick Wills, setting them back to a 2nd-and-22 as rain started to lightly fall. Brissett went deep to Njoku, but the pass was off, and incomplete. On third down, they ran it with Hunt for 3 yards to try getting a little breathing room in field position for a punt. The punt paid off because Bojorquez hit it 65 yards, and then there was an illegal block in the back on the Buccaneers to pin them back to the 19 yard line with 5:39 left.

Brady found Godwin for 14 yards to pick up a first down. A few plays later, Tampa Bay faced a 3rd-and-9 with 3:42 remaining. Garrett came up with the SACK on Brady to force a punt. Cleveland got the ball back with 2:45 to go, 2 timeouts, and the ball at the 29 yard line. The first play was a 16-yard pass to Cooper to the Cleveland 45-yard line heading into the two-minute warning. Chubb got the carry for 4 yards to get to midfield. Chubb got another carry for 2 yards, setting up 3rd-and-4 with the rain still coming down a bit. Cooper broke free for a 45-yard catch-and-run down to the 3 yard line!

Chubb got the first handoff for no gain. Cleveland took a timeout with 0:24 left, facing a 2nd-and-goal from the 3 yard line. With the rain falling, the Browns still wanted to try punching it in — and Chubb got it for the touchdown and the ballgame! The Browns won 23-17!

Cleveland is now 4-7, and they will get Deshaun Watson back next week against the Houston Texans. The Baltimore Ravens also collapsed to the Jacksonville Jaguars, so the Browns are three games back of the AFC North lead.

Quick Hitters

  • QB Jacoby Brissett: 24-of-37 for 210 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT. 2 rushes, 27 yards.
  • RB Nick Chubb: 26 carries, 116 yards, 1 TD. 1 catch, 16 yards.
  • RB Kareem Hunt: 5 carries, 15 yards. 1 catch, 6 yards.
  • WR Amari Cooper: 7 catches, 94 yards.
  • TE David Njoku: 5 catches, 29 yards, 1 TD.
  • DE Myles Garrett: 2 tackles, 112 sacks.