The Buccaneers were in control for much of Sunday’s game against the Browns.
While Cleveland scored a touchdown on its opening possession, the club didn’t put up any more points after Cade York‘s 51-yard field goal with 2:22 left in the first quarter.
That is, until late in the fourth quarter.
Tight end David Njoku hauled in what was quite possibly the catch of his career — nabbing a one-handed touchdown with 32 seconds left in regulation to tie the game 17-17. And in overtime, running back Nick Chubb powered his way to a 3-yard touchdown to give Cleveland a 23-17 comeback victory over the Bucs.
Tampa Bay scored 10 straight points with Ryan Succop’s 42-yard field goal and a 5-yard, third-quarter touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Ko Kieft to go up 17-10. But the Buccaneers kept the Browns in it by punting on their next four possessions.
And after Cleveland scored its late touchdown, Tampa Bay displayed some poor clock management to help the game get to overtime. Though the Bucs had three timeouts, they didn’t call one after Brady’s first completion, which came with about 28 seconds left. So, the clock ran out and the game went to overtime.
Though the Buccaneers got two possessions in the extra period, the club punted both times. The Browns were able to take advantage of it after the second punt.
Receiver Amari Cooper got the Browns in scoring position with a 45-yard reception on third-and-4. The Bucs defender fell down near the line of scrimmage, which left Cooper wide open.
A couple of plays later, Chubb ran into the end zone to end the game.
In his last start before the end of Deshaun Watson’s suspension, Jacoby Brissett finished 23-of-37 for 210 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The pick came on a Hail Mary on the last play of the first half.
Cooper finished with seven catches for 94 yards. Nick Chubb went over 1,000 yards on the season with 26 carries for 116 yards and his game-winning TD. Receiver Anthony Schwartz scored Cleveland’s other touchdown with a little trickery, a 31-yard end around in the first quarter.
Edge rusher Myles Garrett had a strong game, recording 1.5 sacks, three QB hits, and a tackle for loss.
Brady was 29-of-43 passing for 246 yards with two touchdowns. Chris Godwin led with 12 catches for 110 yards with a TD. Receiver Mike Evans eclipsed 10,000 yards receiving for his career, catching a pair of passes for 31 yards.
The loss may have been even more costly for the Buccaneers, who lost offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs to an apparent left leg injury during overtime. He was carted off the field.
Now 4-7, the Browns will face the Texans next week. Deshaun Watson is expected to make his debut at quarterback.
The 5-6 Buccaneers will host the Saints next Monday night in Week 13.