- The Cleveland Browns lost again on Sunday, dropping to 0-13 on the season.
- The Browns gave up 20 unanswered points to end the game.
- The Browns lost despite having their first two-touchdown lead in two years.
The Cleveland Browns moved to 0-13 on the season on Sunday with a dramatic, overtime loss to the Green Bay Packers.
This game was the closest the Browns have been to tasting sweet victory this season. But facing a Green Bay team desperate to keep their playoff hopes alive thanks to the promise of a potential return of star quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Cleveland couldn’t keep up.
Things started off well enough for the Browns. Josh Gordon scored his first touchdown since his return to the NFL on the team’s first drive of the game, and DeShone Kizer and the Browns’ offense looking much more competent than fans were accustomed to seeing.
The Browns had relatively steady offensive production throughout the game and were able to stifle the Packers offense, and entered the fourth quarter of the game at home with a 21-7 lead. According to ESPN’s Bill Barnwell, it was the first time the Browns held a two-touchdown, second-half lead since the start of Hue Jackson’s tenure as head coach.
The Browns have a two-touchdown lead in the second half for the first time in the Hue Jackson era.
— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) December 10, 2017
Unfortunately for Cleveland fans, it would once again all fall apart.
The Packers scored on their first possession of the fourth quarter, and the Cleveland offense began to falter, producing just two first downs in their two drives in the fourth. Punting with just under three minutes left, the Browns gave up a huge return to Trevor Davis, putting the Packers in a position to tie the game.
From there, the Packers would do enough to force overtime, with Brett Hundley finding Davante Adams in the end zone with just 17 seconds left.
The Browns got the ball to start the extra period, and Kizer threw a gut-punching interception on the very first series, putting Green Bay in a position win the game with a field goal. But the Packers would never need to kick it, thanks to Adams once again racing to the end zone for the walk-off touchdown.
With the comeback win, the Packers breathed new life into their playoff hopes, which had been left dead in the water after Aaron Rodgers went down with an injury earlier in the year. Now, the Packers sit just a game outside the final wild card spot in the NFC, and Rodgers’ return is rumored to be imminent. With games against the Panthers, Vikings, and Lions remaining, Rodgers could potentially still lead the Packers to a 10-6 record and a shocking postseason appearance.
Conversely, with victory so close, the Browns conceding 20 unanswered points in the final periods of the game to lose at home and drop to a dismal 0-13 on the season had to be a demoralizing end to the team’s most promising start of the season.
They only have three shots left at securing a win – next week at home against the Ravens, and then two road games at Chicago and Pittsburgh to finish out the year. While it wouldn’t help them in any practical sense, getting rookie Kizer just a taste of winning before his first season is over would likely help give him a bit of confidence that he can play in the NFL.