Packers keep Browns winless with furious comeback
The Sports Xchange
CLEVELAND — Overtime is turning into Packertime this season.
The Green Bay Packers overcame a 14-point, fourth-quarter deficit Sunday and beat the Cleveland Browns 27-21 in overtime on a 25-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brett Hundley to wide receiver Davante Adams.
It was their third overtime victory this season. Green Bay also rallied from a two-touchdown deficit to beat Cincinnati in Week 3 and beat Tampa Bay last week.
The Packers (7-6) kept their playoff hopes alive in the NFC. The Browns (0-13) missed out on their best chance to get into the win column.
Hundley threw the winning touchdown pass with 5:05 left in overtime.
The 42-yard game winning drive was set up with an interception by Packers rookie safety Josh Jones. Linebacker Clay Matthews III hit the arm of Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer as Kizer was throwing a pass intended for Rashard Higgins, The ball sailed high and came down like a punt into the arms of Jones.
“The only thing I was thinking about was 'Don't drop it,’” Jones said. “We were down 14 points in the fourth quarter. That doesn't even happen in Madden. A big shout-out to the entire team.”
Momentum gained at the end of the first half carried over for the Browns on their first possession of the third quarter, capped by a 2-yard touchdown pass from Kizer to Corey Coleman for a 21-7 lead with 2:49 left in the third quarter. It was Cleveland's largest lead of the season, but the fourth-quarter collapse has been all too familiar to the Browns, who are 1-28 under head coach Hue Jackson.
“It's a broken record,” Jackson said. “Our guys fight hard. They do a lot of good things and we do things that don't give us a chance to finish football games. We started this game pretty well, but in the fourth quarter, when you need it most, that's when you have to make plays.”
The Packers cut the deficit to 21-14 on a 1-yard run by Jamaal Williams with 12:54 to play to finish off a 75-yard drive. The Browns forced a punt with 5:22 left the next time Green Bay had the ball, but could not run out the clock.
The Packers took advantage of another opportunity and tied the game 21-21 on a 1-yard touchdown pass from Hundley to Adams with 17 seconds remaining.
The momentum was clearly shifting. The Packers defense wasn't about to let the Browns get it back.
“We grinded out another win,” Packers nose tackle Kenny Clark said. “That speaks to the toughness this team has. Every game is a playoff game. We just have to keep on doing what we're doing and winning games.”
Green Bay got on the board first with a touchdown on the opening drive while converting on fourth down twice along the way. Hundley took advantage of a breakdown in the Browns' secondary and connected on a 30-yard touchdown pass with Williams.
The Browns responded with a touchdown on their opening drive. Kizer looked for wide receiver Josh Gordon and found him for a 38-yard gain on the Browns' first play to the Green Bay 46. The drive ended with Gordon running a post pattern and snatching an 18-yard touchdown pass from Kizer to tie the game.
A 12-play, 70-yard drive on the Browns' first possession of the second quarter ended with Kizer flipping a shovel pass to running back Duke Johnson for 7 yards and a touchdown. Kizer connected with Coleman for gains of 20 and 18 yards on the drive. The three touchdown passes were a season high for Kizer, the rookie from Notre Dame, but he was glum after the game.
“It hurts,” Kizer said. “Obviously when you start tasting a little victory throughout the game, you start remembering all the things that go into winning. When you don't get to that at the end of the game, it hurts. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. If we continue to put forth the effort Coach (Jackson) asks of us, we'll get over this hill.”
The halftime lead was only the second for the Browns this season. They led the Vikings 13-12 at the half in London on Oct. 26, but lost 33-16.
The Packers had a chance to tie the game on the first possession of the third quarter, but on fourth and less than a yard from Cleveland's 10, Hundley was buried for a two-yard loss on a drive that took 7:40 off the clock.
The Browns responded with an 88-yard drive ending with Kizer's touchdown pass to Coleman for the 21-7 advantage.
NOTES: WR Davante Adams caught his 60th pass of the season on the Packers' opening series. He caught 10 passes for 84 yards... The Packers used a fake punt to sustain the possession on their touchdown drive. ... WR Josh Gordon scored his first touchdown in four years on the Browns' opening drive. ... Kai Nacua started at safety for the Browns in place of injured Jabrill Peppers. He made five tackles.