Cleveland Browns

GONE-zalez: Zane misses 4 kicks as Browns lose to Saints 21-18

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Cleveland Browns wide receiver Antonio Callaway, left, prepares to catch the ball for a touchdown over New Orleans Saints cornerback Ken Crawley during the second half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)

The Cleveland Browns (0-1-1) lost in heartbreaking fashion on Sunday to the New Orleans Saints (1-1) 21-18.

Kicker Zane Gonzalez missed two kicks in the final two minutes of the game.

First, an extra point following a 47-yard touchdown pass from Tyrod Taylor to Antonio Callaway with 1:16 left that left the game tied at 18.

After Saints kicker Will Lutz hit a 44-yard field goal with 0:26 left, the Browns moved down the field to the Saints 35-yard line with eight seconds left before sending Gonzalez out for a 52-yard field goal to send the game into overtime for the second consecutive week. Unfortunately, the kick went wide right and ended the game.

Gonzalez also missed another field goal attempt and an extra point attempt, leaving eight points off the board for the Browns.

Hue Jackson consoled Gonzalez after the missed PAT but you have to think that the front office might be looking for another kicker after such a bad performance this week by Gonzalez. Former Cowboys Dan Bailey is the best one on the market.

As for the Browns offense, Tyrod Taylor had another lackluster performance outside of the touchdown to Callaway. He was conservative completing 22 of 30 passes for 246 yards and he did make the one mistake throwing the interception in the fourth quarter.

He did manage to throw it to seven different receivers so he was able to spread it around. Callaway led the way with 81 yards on three catches for the rookie out of Florida in his second career game.

Many were wondering who would fill the void left by the absence of Josh Gordon who will either be traded or released in the next 24 hours and for this week, that was Antonio Callaway. Jarvis Landry had five catches for 69 yards and Rashard Higgins added five catches for 47 yards.

Running the football was once again lackluster for the Browns offense, Carlos Hyde did score a touchdown but ran for just 43 yards on 16 carries.

Nick Chubb only ran the ball twice but had 14 yards and he seems more explosive when he gets his hands on the ball. The only thing hold Chubb back from more playing time is his inability to pass protect but I think we’ll see Chubb more fairly soon.

The defense has been a positive throughout the first two weeks despite not winning either game. While they gave up 18 points in the fourth quarter including two touchdowns to former Ohio State wide receiver Michael Thomas who is on a hot start to the season, the defense made plays all game long and put the Browns in a situation to win but the offense just couldn’t capitalize.

Larry Ogunjobi had a dominant performance with two sacks, his third was negated by a questionable illegal contact penalty on Derrick Kindred. With Myles Garrett being non-existent today, Ogunjobi stepped up in the sack game and made things disruptive for Drew Brees at times. Cornerback TJ Carrie got the other sack for the Browns.

Terrance Mitchell has been a solid addition to the Browns secondary and it showed with two forced fumbles after he stripped both Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn Jr. in the first half bringing the Browns takeaway total to eight. Last season, the Browns only had 13 takeaways in the entire season so the defensive additions including Mitchell have been great.

The Browns have a quick turnaround this week as the play the New York Jets (1-1) on Thursday night. Sam Darnold will be rolling the Jets into town and a lot of people will be talking about how he’s already starting while Baker Mayfield is still sitting behind Tyrod Taylor.

I do feel like that if Tyrod Taylor doesn’t improve soon, Baker Mayfield will be starting for the Browns.

 

 

 

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