Game: Green Bay Packers @ Cleveland Browns
Game Result: Green Bay Packers 27, Cleveland Browns 21
For the second consecutive week, the Packers needed overtime to beat an opponent to keep their playoff hopes alive. After giving the Browns their biggest lead of the season, the Packers stormed back to tie the game with less than 20 seconds remaining. Quarterback Brett Hundley ultimately tied it up with a beautiful back shoulder throw to wideout Davante Adams, after being set up with great field position by Trevor Davis on a 65-yard punt return. The Browns won the overtime coin toss and turned it over on an absolutely awful interception by Deshone Kizer when he was hit by linebacker Clay Matthews as he threw the ball on their lone overtime possession.
The Packers started the game out hot as they scored their league-leading seventh touchdown on their opening possession. The game was a struggle on the ground for the Packers and the entire Packers offense for the majority of the game prior to the fourth quarter. The Browns sixth-ranked run defense continued to be stout, as they frequently stopped the Packer for little to no gain. The team totaled only 85 yards on the ground on 27 carries for an abysmal 3.1 yards per carry. Adams continues to be Hundley’s favorite target as he registered 14 targets on the day, which is more than Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb combined.
Josh Gordon scored his first touchdown since 2013 on the Browns first possession, but he was nearly nonexistent the remainder of the game as he only registered one catch the remainder of the game. Kizer started the game 12/13 and played well for much of it. However, his two interceptions were very costly as the Browns were in field goal range late in the first half when he attempted to force a throw to Corey Coleman and the one in overtime that he should never have attempted. Isaiah Crowell registered his first 100-yard rushing game of the season as he averaged 6.4 yards per carry. The Browns proved that with time to develop and the proper personnel moves that they can contend sooner rather than later.
Hundley has struggled with turnovers in his time as the replacement to Aaron Rodgers, however, he did a good job of not turning the ball over, while also avoiding the pass rush as he was only sacked once on the day, despite the Browns frequently crowding him. He needs to continue to work on keeping his eyes downfield when facing pressure, but, when Rodgers went down, the goal for Hundley was to keep this team in position to earn a playoff spot and he did that. The road for them is not easy, but it is possible.
The Packers (7-6) head to Carolina to take on the Panthers (9-4) in what could be Rodgers first game back as the team looks to run the table once again to make a late-season push for a playoff spot. The Browns (0-13) remain at home to take on the Baltimore Ravens (7-5) as of this writing. It won’t be easy for them to get notch their first win of the season, but it’s very possible.