The Vikings carried a 7-0 lead for nearly all of the first half. But the Browns scored 11 points in the last 90 seconds of the second quarter to go up 11-7 at the break.
After the Vikings opened the game with a 14-play touchdown drive, the Browns had a 15-play drive but got nothing out of it. Quarterback Baker Mayfield misfired on a pass to running back Kareem Hunt, who was open in the end zone on third-and-4 from the 6-yard line. Then defensive end Everson Griffen sacked Mayfield on the next play for a turnover on downs.
Faced with a similar situation late in the second quarter, head coach Kevin Stefanski opted to go for it again on fourth-and-goal from the Minnesota 2. While Mayfield’s pass was incomplete, this time the Colts were called for defensive holding, giving Cleveland a new set of downs.
It took a couple more plays, but finally Hunt ran in a 1-yard touchdown. The Vikings were then called for a delay of game penalty on the extra point attempt for trying to call a timeout even though Minnesota didn’t have any left. The Vikings had too many men on the field.
Cleveland took the penalty half the distance to the goal, and Mayfield tossed a two-point conversion to fullback Andy Janovich to go up 8-7.
After Minnesota quickly went three-and-out, it looked like the Browns were content to go into halftime with a one-point advantage, running Kareem Hunt on a draw play on third-and-20 from the Cleveland 26. But Hunt went for 33 yards on the play, getting to Minnesota territory. Quarterback Baker Mayfield’s 11-yard pass to Rashard Higgins put the visitors in position to score a 48-yard field goal with just two seconds remaining in the half.
The Browns have converted 7-of-11 third downs and have 98 yards rushing. Hunt has 50 yards on eight carries and Nick Chubb has 39 yards on 10 carries.