The Cleveland Browns’ 2019 season has been an unmitigated disaster, and that was summed up with a sequence of events during Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills.
With the Browns up 6-0 on the Bills, they had the ball at the 1-yard line following a 24-yard run from Nick Chubb and were poised to go up two scores. All they had to do was capitalize on one of the four downs and they’d be up 12-0.
Instead, the Browns got eight chances at the endzone due to penalties, and they could not convert on any of them.
The first play was an incomplete pass from Baker Mayfield to Odell Beckham Jr., but there was defensive pass interference. The Browns tried on first-and-goal agains with Chubb, who was stuffed for a 1-yard loss. Chubb got them back to the 1-yard line on the next play and on third-and-goal Mayfield attempted to find Beckham again, but again there was pass interference.
This gave the Browns a new set of downs and surely the Bills would regret it. Yet, Chubb was stopped for no gain on first down, Beckham had the ball knocked out of his hands on second down, and Chubb was stuffed again on third down.
Instead of kicking the field goal to go up 9-0, head coach Freddie Kitchens decided to go for it on fourth-and-goal. Mayfield handed the ball to Chubb, who was stopped for a 2-yard loss.
The good news for the Browns is that things got better from there. It was not pretty, but Cleveland stuck around against the Bills all game and Mayfield led the team on a 10-play, 82-yard drive in the fourth quarter to take a 19-16 lead.
The Browns held on for the victory when Bills kicker Stephen Hauschka missed a potential game-tying 52-yard field goal.
Cleveland moves to 3-6, so perhaps things are looking up despite some shortcomings.