Browns stave off Chargers, win 20-17

Dec 24, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns cornerback Tramon Williams (22) and strong safety Briean Boddy-Calhoun (20) celebrate as San Diego Chargers kicker Josh Lambo (2) bows his head after missing a field goal at the end of regulation at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Browns won 20-17. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

It finally happened.

A last second Chargers field goal was hooked right by Josh Lambo and the Browns stadium erupted as they won their first game of the 2016 season.

The owners and coaches let out a sigh of relief and the players and fans went nuts as they realized they would not be joining the Lions in the annals of modern NFL history as an 0-16 team.

This was an ugly, physical game where the Browns went back to running the football and the Chargers (sans Melvin Gordon) threw the ball 46 times for 322 yards. It may not have been pretty, but the Browns did just enough to give themselves a chance to win and the blocked and missed Chargers field goals ended up being the game changer in this one.

The 49ers win against the Rams also ensured that the Browns still have the #1 pick in the draft, so everything broke right for the Browns this weekend.

The Browns won with solid defense and good special teams play and just enough done on the ground offensively to give the Browns a chance to win this game, but no one is going to remember or really care how it happened. This was a very Browns game; it was a defensive struggle that came down to a messy last second play.


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The Browns head to face the Steelers next week and they’re going to be huge underdogs. If they can end the season with a win against the Steelers it would be huge, but it’s highly unlikely given the talent discrepancies between the two teams. 2016 was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Browns and they’ve shown enough young promise to make this year not entirely a waste, so not going winless was just enough to keep the coaching staff from being on the hot seat this offseason. What is clear is that the Browns need an NFL caliber quarterback and Kessler hasn’t shown that he can really get it done.

The offseason for the Browns is going to be built around acquiring a good quarterback (with a paltry QB draft class that’s going to be easier said than done) and doing something about that terrible pass protecting offensive line (they gave up nine sacks to the Chargers).

What matters this game is that the Browns got a win to avoid the winless season. I guess that means the parade is off.

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