CLEVELAND — — Brandon Staley relied on his gut, the analytics and his offense.
He got very lucky.
The Chargers coach defiantly defended his resolution to not punt on fourth down with 1: 14 closing after Los Angeles held on for a 30-28 desire over Cleveland when Browns rookie kicker Cade York overlooked a 54-yard area goal with 11 seconds left.
Alongside with his group at its contain 46 and clinging to its two-level lead, Staley known as a timeout. However in effect of punting, he had quarterback Justin Herber t strive a brief slither on fourth-and-1 for Mike Williams that fell incomplete.
The ball went encourage to the Browns, however York’s kick sailed merely and allowed the Chargers (3-2) to earn away with a desire Staley tried to give away.
In a while, Staley became once adamant he’d attain it again.
“We keen wanted to cease the game with the ball,” talked about Staley, who has constructed a recognition for taking dangers. “We wanted to cease the game on our phrases and undoubtedly felt the slant to Mike may be the play name there. We loved it.
“We are waiting for in our direction of and we predict in our players. We’re prepared to are residing with that resolution. There became once no plan I’m taking our offense off the area.”
Cleveland had no timeouts and drove to the Chargers 35 to map up a a hit shot for York, however the astronomical-legged draft buy from LSU, may not convert. He earlier overlooked a 45-yard strive.
“Hit it effectively, my head became once unruffled down, plan it became once straight, merely down the center, I regarded up and it became once keen out of doorways,” York talked about. ”Got to earn over it, 24 hours and earn over it. It’s the important thing time I’ve ever overlooked it twice in a sport.”
Herbert, who got right here in leading the NFL in yards passing, performed 22 of 34 for 228 yards, ending his jog of consecutive motorway games with not not up to 300 yards at seven.
Whereas Staley’s resolution is being second-guessed, Herbert had no points whatsoever with his coach’s name.
“It says loads that he believes in us as a head coach to earn the job executed,” Herbert talked about. “It didn’t slither our plan, however we’re using that play and we’re using with our guys each time.”
Austin Ekeler rushed for a occupation-excessive 173 yards and scored twice as Los Angeles, which got right here in final in the league in speeding, leaned on its ground sport to desire its second shootout in two seasons with the Browns (2-3).
The Chargers performed with 238 yards speeding, 174 extra than their realistic and showed they’ll attain extra than slither.
“It allowed us to manipulate the game and spend the crowd out of it,” Staley talked about, “and I mediate it drained them out somewhat bit.”
The teams blended for 908 complete yards, 53 first downs and there were handiest three punts — all in the important thing half of.
The most critical defensive play got right here when Chargers security Alohi Gilman intercepted Jacoby Brissett’s slither in the cease zone with 2: 44 left, organising a sophisticated cease highlighted by Staley’s brash resolution.
“Our protection won the game for us,” Staley talked about. “I love the type we performed.”
Cleveland’s Nick Chubb ran for 134 yards and had a 2-yard TD drag.
Williams had 10 catches for 134 yards.
Los Angeles kicker Taylor Bertolet kicked a 27-yard area goal — in his NFL debut — early in the fourth to effect the Chargers ahead 30-28. Bertolet became once activated from the notice squad earlier in the week and played when Dustin Hopkins became once dominated out with a quadriceps injury.
“It’s not easy to attain in and attain that, however he did a immense job,” Herbert talked about. “He got right here into notice on Thursday and became once ideally pleasant then, so we had a vary of self assurance in him merely away.”
Ekeler had a 22-yard TD drag and c aught a 12-yard slither from Herbert.
The Chargers were leading 30-28 when Brissett, who regarded as if he may have drag for a predominant down, forced a ball over the center in direction of receiver Amari Cooper and became once picked off by Gilman.
Whereas Brissett has been OK while filling in while Deshaun Watson serves his 11-sport suspension, Cleveland continues to have predominant points on protection.
The Chargers pushed the Browns around up front and star defensive cease Myles Garrett had puny affect in his first sport encourage after he became once excited a few automobile fracture.
“It’s with out a doubt disturbing,” Browns cornerback Greg Newsome talked about. “Each person knows what skill we have in the building. We’re keen not showing it every play on Sunday. It’s all about being constant.”
Players on each and every teams spent pregame warmups swatting away midges, those little, winged bugs that swarm along Lake Erie all over the spring and topple.
The bugs made a current appearance on the 2007 baseball playoffs in Cleveland. Fresh York Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain became once, ahem, bugged by clusters of midges, which engulfed him and affected his performance on the mound.
Alongside with his fifth straight 100-yard receiving sport on the motorway, Williams tied Chad Johnson for the AFC myth. The NFL mark is six, shared by three Hall of Famers: Jerry Rice (twice), Calvin Johnson and Michael Irvin.
Chargers: WR Joshua Palmer returned after leaving on the important thing assortment with an unspecified injury. … Starting up RT Trey Pipkins III (left knee) additionally got right here encourage after getting rolled up on in the second quarter.
Browns: Excellent Bowl CB Denzel Ward sustained a concussion in the fourth quarter and became once placed in league protocol.
Chargers: Host the Denver Broncos on Oct. 17.
Browns: Host the Fresh England Patriots on Oct. 16.