CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cade York wasn’t able to come through with the miracle, game-saving field goal this time like he did in Carolina.
York pushed a 54-yard field goal wide right with 11 seconds left to seal the Chargers’ 30-28 victory over the Browns on Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium. Earlier, York pushed a 45-yarder wide right, also at the closed end of the stadium. He made a 58-yarder in Carolina to win the opener.
Fans booed as the Browns left the field.
It dropped the Browns to 2-3 and marked their second straight loss. The Chargers are 3-2.
Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett played a hard-fought, valiant game, but was picked off in the end zone with 2:44 remaining and the Browns trailing 30-28. On third and 7 from the 9, Brissett rolled right and fired for Amari Cooper in the back of the end zone. Instead, he was picked off by safety Alohi Gilman, who returned the ball to the Chargers 17.
“I just made a bad decision,” Brissett said after the game. “… I saw Amari in the back of the end zone. (Running) was in my mind, but yeah, just poor decision. …It sucks. It really sucks.
“That’s a pivotal moment in the game. The ball is in my hands for a reason, and that was not the outcome I was intending to happen. I’m better than that. I know I am, and I’ll be better next time.”
Justin Herbert completed a 19-yard pass to Mike Williams at the Chargers’ 37.
But the defense forced the Chargers to give the ball up on downs at their 45 when MJ Emerson broke up a pass on fourth and 1 to Mike Williams. It was an enormous play for Emerson and a curious call by Chargers coach Brandon Staley to give the Browns field position and a shot to win with 1:14 to play and no timeouts left.
The game marked the return of Browns defensive end Myles Garrett after he missed last week’s 23-20 loss to the Falcons after his car accident. Garrett, needing one sack to break Clay Matthews’ official club record of 62, was shut out on sacks but pressured Chargers quarterback Justin Gilbert all afternoon.
It also marked the return of Jadeveon Clowney, who missed the past two games with an ankle injury.
The Chargers came into the game last in the NFL in yards per carry at 2.7. But against the Browns, they ran 34 times for 238 yards and two touchdowns, an average of 7.0 per carry. The total included a 71-yarder in the first quarter by Austin Ekeler, who finished with 16 carries for 173 yards.
“We gave up way too many yards, including a big one early in the game,” Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said. “It’s always a combination of things, but we have to be better stopping the run. Have to.”
The Chargers, who trailed 21-17 at the half, stormed out of locker room to put 10 straight points on the board in the third quarter to go ahead 27-21 with 5:47 left in the third. They orchestrated a nine-play, 75 yard drive that culminated in a 22-yard run by Austin Ekeler for a 24-21 advantage with 10:21 left in the third. The TD came after a called TD pass to Mike Williams was overturned.
The Browns then went four-and-out, turning the ball over on downs when they went for it on fourth and 1 from their 34. Kareem Hunt was knocked back 4 yards to start the Chargers at the Browns’ 30. But the defense stiffened , with Greg Newsome II making a big stop on third and 9. The Chargers settled for a field goal that made it 27-21.
The Browns went ahead again, 28-27 on a 2-yard TD run by Kareem Hunt, who leaped up and over for the score.
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The Browns held again in the red zone to force the Chargers to settle for a 27-yard field goal and a 30-28 lead with 9:29 left in the game.
Browns defensive back Denzel Ward suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter and was out of the game on that field goal drive. He’s in the concussion protocol.
The Browns had to settle for their 21-17 lead at the half after York pushed a 45-yard field goal attempt wide right with 11 seconds left. It was his first missed field goal of the season.
The Browns scored on a 41-yard Chubb TD run, an 11-yard Cooper TD catch, and a 2-yard Nick Chubb run.
The Chargers, who engineered a 99-yard TD drive in the first half, scored on a 28-yard field goal, 5-yard run by Joshua Kelley, and a 12-yard TD pass to Austin Ekeler.
The Browns jumped out to a 14-0 lead with 4:01 left in the first quarter, scoring on each of their first two drives in textbook fashion.
On their opening drive, Chubb ripped off the 41-yard blast on the fifth play of the drive to open a 7-0 lead, stiff-arming Khalil Mack for more yards. Jacoby Brissett set him up with a 9-yard tackle-breaking run of his own.
The Chargers went for it on fourth and 2 from the 28 on their opening drive, but Denzel Ward denied Mike Williams the catch.
Receiver Amari Cooper caught the 11-yarder on a left out on the Browns’ second drive, beating JC Jackson on a double move. He had opened the drive with a 20-yard reception.
But the Chargers gashed the Browns on a 71-yard run by Ekeler to the 4, where it appeared they’d score their first TD of the day. But the Browns defense held, with MJ Emerson breaking up a third-down pass to Donald Parham Jr. The Chargers settled for the 28-yard field goal by back up kicker Taylor Bertolet, who made his first NFL field goal.
They forced a three-and-out and then stormed back with a 5-yard TD run by Joshua Kelley. The score was preceded by a 38-yard catch by Mike Williams, and helped along by a 15-yard facemask by Alex Wright.
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The Chargers forced another three-and-out, and Emerson downed Corey Bojorquez’s 61-yard punt at the 1. It didn’t stop Herbert from marching the length of the field and finding Ekeler for the 12-yard catch-and-run that gave LA their first lead, 17-14, with 5:51 left in the second.
Two plays earlier, John Johnson III argued with the ref and threw his helmet to the ground, earning a 10-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to the 10.
Stefanski yelled from the sideline at Johnson after the penalty, and had some choice words for Johnson when he came off the field.
The Browns imposed their will on the ensuing drive, with David Njoku catching a 38-yard pass on the first play and Chubb rumbling 29 yards two plays later. Brissett threw incomplete for Cooper in the end zone on third down, but Sebastian Joseph-Day was flagged for roughing the passer to give the Browns a second chance at a TD. On first and goal from the 2, Chubb, getting a key block from Joel Bitonio, ran in on the right side to put the Browns ahead 21-17.
The defense forced a three-and-out, and the Browns had a chance to extend their lead to 24-17, but York pushed the kick wide right.
The Browns host the New England Patriots next Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1 pm
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