It’s unconventional to draft a kicker, especially in the fourth round.
But Cade York showed exactly why the Browns did it in his debut, nailing a 58-yard field goal with eight seconds left to give Cleveland a 26-24 victory over the Panthers.
The Browns were leading 20-7 at the start of the fourth quarter but blew the lead when their former quarterback, Baker Mayfield, mounted a furious comeback.
He started it with a 7-yard touchdown that made the score 20-14. While a 36-yard field goal by York kept the Browns ahead 23-14, Mayfield and receiver Robbie Anderson connected to score a 75-yard touchdown for a one-play drive.
Cleveland’s offense couldn’t close it out with a four-minute drive, which gave the Panthers an opportunity to start a possession on their own 20 with 2:14 left. Mayfield got it done, bringing Carolina’s offense into position to kick a go-ahead 34-yard field goal with 1:13 in the contest.
But the Browns weren’t done — aided by a defensive penalty. On the first play of their drive, Panthers defensive end Brian Burns was flagged for roughing the passer — giving Cleveland a free 15 yards.
A few plays later, Brissett’s pass to receiver Amari Cooper put Cleveland on the Carolina 40. With no timeouts, Brissett’s spike on third-and-1 set up a 58-yard field goal with just 13 seconds left.
Panthers head coach Matt Rhule elected to let the play run instead of potentially icing the kicker with his last timeout. York stepped up and nailed it. The kick was plenty good from 58, displaying York’s leg strength.
The Panthers had one last shot, but weren’t able to do anything as the Browns made the tackle to seal the game.
Cleveland is now 1-0 for the first time in years and will host the Jets in Week Two.
The 0-1 Panthers head up the East Coast to play the Giants in New Jersey next week.