Special Teams: A
Much could be said for many of these units, but the Browns still wouldn’t have won without a strong effort from their special teams.
Of course, Jamie Meder’s blocked field goal headlines the spectacular play of this unit, serving as one of two field goals missed by Josh Lambo.
But even before this play which could be considered the climax of this game, Cleveland’s special teams set them up in reasonable field position all game long. Mario Alford had his second consecutive productive game, taking back two kickoffs for 56 yards and three punts for 19 yards. On the opening kickoff of the second half, bringing the ball out to the 34-yard-line continued Cleveland’s momentum and set up the drive which gave them their first lead of two possessions.
Against San Diego’s return game, Cleveland’s special teams unit was strong. Cody Parkey did not allow them to have a chance at returning a kick, and the Browns held Isaiah Burse in check, as he averaged just five yards per punt return.
Parkey also knocked two field goals through the uprights, including a challenging 49-yard attempt. While this may be overlooked by many, every point mattered in this one.
But the most impressive aspect of this unit’s performance? The fact that there were no turnovers or penalties committed. This sort of attention to detail in the midst of this nightmare of a season is what ultimately led to an extremely rewarding victory.