Bucs hand Browns 24th straight road loss

Bucs hand Browns 24th straight road loss
“I think it’s part of my DNA. I’ve always kind of found a way to bounce back,” the Tampa Bay kicker said Sunday after his 59-yard field goal — the longest ever in overtime — gave the Buccaneers a 26-23 victory over the Cleveland Browns. “I rarely miss two in a row. Even if it’s from 59, I was just looking for a shot. If it was from 66, I would have tried it.”

Tampa Bay’s Chandler Catanzaro kicks the game-winning field goal in overtime during Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns.  (Mike Ehrmann / GETTY IMAGES)

Catanzaro missed an extra point in the first half, as well as a 40-yard field goal on the final play of regulation. Concerned the Bucs (3-3) might not get the ball back if they punted, coach Dirk Koetter didn’t hesitate to give his kicker a chance to end it with 1:50 remaining in the extra period.

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“He hit it from 61 in practice this week, so I knew he had the distance in him,” Koetter said.

“With the 10-minute overtime ... we weren’t going to get the ball back,” the coach added. “So go for the win or hope for the tie. And the way that game was going, we were going for the win.”

Tampa Bay, which recovered Jabrill Peppers’ fumble near midfield on a punt return to give itself a chance, ended a three-game skid and handed the Browns (2-4-1) an NFL record-tying 24th consecutive road loss.

Cleveland, which has played four overtime games this season — most for a team since Arizona won all four it played in 2011, and tied for second most in NFL history — doesn’t have a road victory since winning in overtime at Baltimore on Oct. 11, 2015.

The Detroit Lions also dropped 24 in a row away from home from 2001-03.

“We had our chances to win it. We just didn’t finish some things,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said.

“This is our fourth overtime game. We’re not trying to get to overtime and if we do, we want to win the game,” Jackson added. “We’ve got to find a way to finish these games in the W column.”

Jameis Winston and DeSean Jackson scored on 14-yard runs for Tampa Bay (3-3). Rookie Ronald Jones II added his first pro TD on a 2-yard run that put Tampa Bay up 23-9 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Browns, who had 126 yards of offence through three quarters, used Nick Chubb’s 1-yard TD run to cut into their deficit and pulled even on Baker Mayfield’s 16-yard pass to Jarvis Landry with 2:28 remaining in regulation.

A week after completing just 48 per cent of his passes and being sacked five times during a 24-point loss to the Chargers that Mayfield called the worst of his career, the No. 1 overall draft pick was 23 of 34 for 215 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions.

The Browns’ defence forced four turnovers, including an interception in overtime, but Mayfield struggled to move the ball with consistency until the fourth quarter. But with Chubb playing a bigger role after Cleveland traded leading rusher Carlos Hyde to Jacksonville on Friday, Cleveland rallied.

“It’s very frustrating any time you lose, especially because you could have done a lot of things better,” Mayfield said. “That seems to be the moral of the season.”

Winston completed 32 of 52 passes for 365 yards and no touchdowns. He was sacked four times, threw two interceptions and lost a fumble. The 2013 Heisman Trophy winner also led the Bucs in rushing with 55 yards on 10 attempts.

The Browns fell to 1-2-1 in overtime games this season. The four OT games are one shy of the record five Green Bay played in 1983.

“The thing it comes down to is the little things,” Mayfield said. “If we do things right we can get a few more points.”
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