Browns Week 12 instant reactions: Nick Chubb, David Njoku, Amari Cooper fuel overtime win

Browns, David Njoku. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)
Browns, David Njoku. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images) /

Amari Cooper made a clutch reception and Nick Chubb ran in a short touchdown in overtime as the Cleveland Browns defeated the Bucs 23-17

It was another game where the Cleveland Browns marched right down the field to score on the opening drive, only to forget how to play offense for the next hour.

On the opening drive, Cleveland scored a touchdown as Anthony Schwartz took a handoff 31 yards to the house. It was the first score of the season for Schwartz and the fifth time this year that the Browns scored a touchdown on their opening drive — they had lost all five entering the day, but that changed in this one — although it wasn’t easy.

Their defense gave up a touchdown on the Bucs’ first drive but then turned things around. They forced several three-and-outs but were unable to capitalize, heading to the half tied at 10.

48. 23. 53. Final/OT. 17

Cleveland didn’t score again until 32 seconds were left in the game, but that one was worth the wait. Trailing 17-10, Jacoby Brissett and the offense were facing a fourth-and-10 from the 12 when he threw a bullet to David Njoku who made a one-handed grab — which was easily the best catch of the year for Cleveland.

With the score tied at 17, we were headed to overtime. Tampa Bay started with the ball and had two tries but their defense held. The final nail in the coffin was when Myles Garrett sacked Tom Brady, forcing a punt.

From there, Jacoby Brissett hit Amari Cooper for 45 yards and Nick Chubb capped it off with a three-yard touchdown.

With Deshaun Watson set to take over in Week 13, this was quite the sendoff for Brissett who defeated his former teammate, Tom Brady, in this thriller.

Special teams ups and downs

It wasn’t just the offense where there was a mixture of good and bad plays as the special teams unit finally saw some impressive returns. Rookie Jerome Ford had 67 yards on two kick returns, including a 44-yarder. On punt returns, Donovan Peoples-Jones had 75 yards on five returns with a long of 29.

However, they continued to drop the ball elsewhere. Cade York drilled a 51-yarder in the first half but then shanked a 39-yarder near the end of the second quarter. Perhaps he knew the rush was coming and rushed it, which would be understandable since he has had three kicks blocked this year. Still, those three points could have been huge in a game that needed overtime.

Myles Garrett, Martin Emerson stepped up for the Browns

Cleveland’s defense forced seven three-and-outs on Sunday and nine total punts. Myles Garrett will get the majority of the love since he had 1.5 sacks including a third-down sack in overtime, but he wasn’t alone in playing well.

Rookie Martin Emerson drew the tough assignment of covering Mike Evans and he was up to the task. He got called for one questionable pass interference, but outside of that he stuck with Evans, broke up a couple of passes, and kept him from taking over the game.

Chris Godwin was unstoppable with 110 yards and a touchdown on 12 catches but Evans had two receptions for 31 yards on nine targets. That was thanks to Emerson.

Up next

The Browns hit the road for Week 13 as Deshaun Watson will face his former team, the Houston Texans. A loss this weekend dropped Houston to 1-9-1, meaning Cleveland should have a great chance at winning two in a row.