Watch the best plays as the Green Bay Packers come from behind to defeat the Cleveland Browns in overtime.
Green Bay Packers steal overtime win from Browns to keep season alive with Rodgers nearing return
Staff Writer, writer
The Browns couldn’t stay out of their own way long enough to pick up win No. 1 Sunday despite taking a 21-7 lead on the Packers into the fourth quarter of Green Bay’s 27-21 comeback victory in overtime.
But the Packers potentially kept their season alive long enough to give Aaron Rodgers a chance to return in Week 15 — pending a CT scan scheduled for this week on his broken right collarbone — and rescue Green Bay, still very much alive in the NFC playoff picture at 7-6.
DeShone Kizer was outstanding for most of the afternoon in his first three-touchdown game as a pro. He started hot by completing 11 of his first 12 throws, including a touchdown to Josh Gordon — Gordon’s first since 2014.
Kizer would also find Duke Johnson on a shovel pass score before halftime and Corey Coleman on a third-quarter touchdown on a slant to give Cleveland a two-touchdown cushion entering the fourth quarter.
But Kizer threw an inexcusable interception on the opening overtime possession, after Cleveland let Packers punt returner Trevor Davis set up the visitors’ game-tying drive in the final two minutes with a weaving 65-yard return.
Packers backup Brett Hundley, for the third consecutive week, was fabulous late, capping the regulation drive with a gorgeous back-shoulder touchdown throw — Hundley’s third of the game — to Davante Adams to force overtime with just 23 seconds left.
Indeed, Kizer played most of the game like a quarterback not thrilled about hearing his bosses, Jimmy Haslam and new GM John Dorsey, this week discuss the need to finally solve the position this offseason. But Hundley’s play throughout demonstrated a quarterback intent on giving Rodgers a chance to return in Week 15 with a shot at the playoffs,
Hundley also tossed three touchdowns for the first time, and his legs were his best weapon late with the Packers storming back. He converted his final four third downs of the game — two on the ground and two through the air, the last a walk-off touchdown from Hundley to Adams.
Green Bay played without Kevin King and lost fellow outside starter Davon House, who was carted off in the second half with a back injury after he entered Sunday listed as doubtful. The Packers defense struggled to slow Kizer, who distributed the ball well to his playmakers in a balanced offensive attack.
But on third-and-2 in overtime with Kizer backed up deep in his own territory, Clay Matthews — who has come on strong of late — applied the pressure and the Browns rookie quarterback inexplicably thew a prayer up int the air in the middle of the field that was intercepted by rookie Josh Jones.
Starting at the Browns 42, the connection of Hundley and Adams (10-84-2 receiving) did the rest. Hundley led a game-winning drive in overtime last Sunday vs. the Buccaneers, one week after positioning Green Bay to force overtime with a big-boy drive in primetime in Pittsburgh. He’s been uneven in seven starts in relief of Rodgers, but Hundley again delivered when it mattered most.
For the Packers, all eyes now turn toward Rodgers’ medical checkup this week, just under two months after suffering the injury on a hit from Vikings LB Anthony Barr. The Packers went 3-4 in games without him and, at 7-6, would have a chance to rebound for their ninth consecutive postseason appearance by winning in Carolina next week, before hosting Minnesota and closing the season in Detroit.
Dorsey and Haslam sat in a suite and watched Kizer provide brilliant flashes but also the same concerning evidence — NFL-leading giveaways No. 21 and No. 22 — that fuels the belief the Browns will spend premium resources at the quarterback position this offseason.