Browns lose another close one, this time to Buccaneers
By FRED GOODALL, AP Sports Writer
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Hue Jackson figured there was no way the Cleveland Browns were going to lose.
Not on a 59-yard field goal in overtime.
The coach was surprised the Tampa Bay Buccaneers even gave Chandler Catanzaro the opportunity, risking giving his team a shot to win with time running down in the extra period.
“I said there was no way he’d make that, and he did,” Jackson said Sunday. “So they won.”
The longest ever kick in OT barely cleared the cross bar, ending Tampa Bay’s three-game losing streak.
Catanzaro missed an extra point in the first half and watched a potential game-winning 40-yard field goal sail wide right on the final play of regulation.
“I stuck to my same routine. The most important thing is not to try to change things too much,” Catanzaro said. “I know I just left the first kick out there a little bit to the right, and I just needed to trust it. So, that’s what I told myself.”
The Bucs recovered Jabrill Peppers’ fumble on a punt return near midfield, and Jameis Winston shrugged off sacks on consecutive plays before throwing 14 yards to DeSean Jackson to give Catanzaro a chance to win it.
The kicker was confident he would redeem himself.
“I think it’s part of my DNA. I’ve always kind of found a way to bounce back,” Catanzaro said. “I rarely miss two in a row. Even if it’s from 59, I was just looking for a shot. If it was from 66, I would have tried it.”
Baker Mayfield rallied the Browns (2-4-1) from a 14-point deficit, using Nick Chubb’s 1-yard TD and a 16-yard scoring throw to Jarvis Landry to pull even.
The No. 1 overall draft pick completed 23 of 34 passes for 215 yards, two TDs and no interceptions.
The Browns defense scored a safety, forced four turnovers and sacked Winston four times.
It wasn’t quite enough to get Cleveland over the hump in its fourth overtime game of the season.
“It’s very frustrating any time you lose, especially because you could have done a lot of things better. That seems to be the moral of the season,” Mayfield said, adding that he also was surprised the Bucs went for the 59-yarder at the end.
“I’m thinking if he doesn’t make it, we’re getting the ball at midfield, we have less than 20 yards until our kicker is in comfortable reaching distance,” the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner said. “That’s a great kick. You don’t see that very often.”
Some things to know about the Browns and Buccaneers:
Cleveland has played four overtime games this season — most for a team since Arizona won all four it played in 2011, and tied for second-most in NFL history. The record is five in a season, set by Green Bay in 1983.
The Browns, 1-2-1 in OT this year, don’t have a road victory since winning in overtime at Baltimore on Oct. 11, 2015.
The Detroit Lions also dropped 24 in a row away from home from 2001-03.
The next opportunity to end the skid is next Sunday at Pittsburgh.
Tampa Bay stopped a three-game losing streak that cost former defensive coordinator Mike Smith his job last week. The Bucs entered Sunday allowing a league-worst 34.6 points per game, ranked 31st in total defense, and dead last against the pass. They sacked Mayfield five times and allowed a season-low 305 yards in their debut under Smith’s replacement, former linebackers coach Mark Duffner.
“Every win is different, but this one felt good,” defensive end Carl Nassib said.
Cleveland’s decision to trade leading rusher Carolos Hyde to Jacksonville for a fifth-round draft choice was driven by a desire to give rookie Nick Chubb more touches and also get Duke Johnson, one of the team’s top playmakers, more involved.
Chubb, who came in averaging 10.8 yards per carry, finished with 80 yards rushing on 18 attempts. He was targeted twice on passes, but did not have a catch.
“I thought he did well,” Jackson said, noting the rookie also had one big gainer called back because of one of 14 penalties assessed the Browns.
“We had way too many penalties … offensively and defensively,” the coach said. “We have got to get that squared away.”
Winston completed 32 of 52 passes for 365 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions in his first home start since returning from serving a three-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct penalty. He also led the Bucs in rushing with 55 yards on 10 attempts, including a 14-yard TD run to make it 16-2 midway through the second quarter.
“It’s huge to get a big win, especially here (at home),” Winston said. “This is a tough league, so you get a win any way you possibly can get it. We can play better, especially myself. But when you win, everything is better.”
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