Browns Fall: Three Plays that Changed the Game


The Cleveland Browns lost to the Indianapolis Colts this weekend. While most (all) of the blame is being leveled at Brian Hoyer, he deserves a ton, the result could have changed based on three specific plays. Three plays and the Browns fall. Such is the thin line in the National Football League.

We will take a look at these three plays in order of importance and give some context.

#3 – Josh Gordon‘s drop during Browns Last Drive

With 32 seconds left in the game the Browns went deep to Gordon on the first play of their drive. Gordon twisted and turned and got his hands on the ball at the 30 yard line. If he would have caught the ball and gone out of bounds the Browns would have had 19 seconds left, and two timeouts, to get a little closer for Billy Cundiff. At that point the field goal attempt would have been for 47 yards.

Not only did Gordon drop the ball, not an easy catch but would he could have made, he then laid on the sideline injured. The injury forced the Browns to have to burn a timeout instead of taking a 10 second run off of the clock. Double whammy.

#2 – Paul Kruger called for Roughing the Passer

With the Browns up 21 – 7, and the Colts facing a 3rd and 10, Kruger sacked Andrew Luck. Kruger extended his arms late on the sack but was called with Roughing the Passer, a 15 yard penalty and a first down for the Colts.

The Colts went on to kick a field goal, the start of a momentum swing against the Browns. Had that penalty not been called, or possibly review-able and overturned, the Browns get the ball back still up two touchdowns.

#3 – Dan Herron‘s 4th Down Conversion Run

The Browns had pushed the Colts to a 4th down with a little over a minute left. The fourth and short run try with Herron seemed stuffed in the backfield. Barkevious Mingo did a great job blowing up a couple blockers. Craig Robertson and Donte Whitner were in position to make the play and just were not able to do it:

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Had Robertson scrapped off his block correctly, or Whitner ignored contain and aggressively went after Herron, the Browns would have had the ball with about a minute left. Enough time to run some clock and possibly run out the clock. Instead the Colts scored on the next play. 1 yard. 1 tackle. The difference between a win and a loss.

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Are there other plays that you feel like caused the Browns loss? Hoyer’s overall play was bad but were there a specific play that caused the loss?