The Browns needed big plays from both sides of the ball Sunday afternoon to clinch a special win No. 8 over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Cleveland defeated Jacksonville 27-25 and reached the eight-win mark for the third time in the franchise's expansion era behind an explosive day from the offense and some key late-game stops from the defense. Both sides exchanged blows to account for six lead changes, but in the end, the Browns found a way to leave TIAA Bank Stadium with a win.
Here were the biggest plays from Week 12:
1. Landry catches 1st TD of the season
The Browns didn't waste time to drive through the Jaguars after they failed to gain a first down on their first offensive possession.
After they were forced to punt from their own end zone and give the Jaguars great field possession, which led to a field goal, the Browns went to work and orchestrated a five-play, 55-yard drive that ended with a touchdown. The drive started with a 21-yard pickup from wide receiver Jarvis Landry, and he ended the drive, too, by corralling a 5-yard pass from quarterback Baker Mayfield in the end zone and securing his first touchdown of 2020.
Landry had shown patience in receiving red zone opportunities all season. He's helped in run blocking and has tallied several other big catches this season, and one of those catches finally happened Sunday and gave the Browns an early 7-3 lead.
2. Mayfield connects with Hooper for second TD
The Browns certainly took advantage of the warmer, non-inclement weather to reinvigorate their passing game in Jacksonville.
Mayfield recorded 15 passing attempts in the first half against the Jaguars, and the last of those attempts was a soft 9-yard pass to tight end Austin Hooper in the back of the end zone that answered the Jaguars' touchdown on the previous drive and gave the Browns a 17-13 lead.
The pass was pretty, but so was Mayfield's 23- and 15-yard connections with Landry to pick up first downs and bring the Browns deep into Jaguars territory. Those kind of plays had been missing over the last three games, which all featured some combination of rain, wind or hail and severely hampered progressions in the passing department.
The Browns had clear conditions Sunday, and Mayfield made sure to capitalize.
Check out photos of the Browns against the Jaguars
3. Glennon passes to Eifert for TD after Browns fumble
The throwing window couldn't have been much tighter for Jaguars quarterback Mike Glennon as he dropped back for a pass from Cleveland's 2-yard line.
He was looking to hit tight end Tyler Eifert, who was working against tight coverage from safety Karl Joseph as he streaked to the back of the end zone. Glennon threw a lob pass near the top of Eifert's reach, and the tight end leaped up and made the grab for the touchdown that put the Jaguars up 19-17 — which was already the fifth lead change of the game.
The touchdown, though, was made easier by the great field position the Jaguars received after recovering a fumble from Harrison Bryant. The tight end caught what would've been a first-down pass from Mayfield, but the ball was popped loose by linebacker Joe Schobert. Andrew Wingard recovered the football and ran it back to Cleveland's 30-yard line.
4. Chubb scores from the 1, puts the Browns ahead by eight
The Browns' third touchdown drive of the afternoon contained a little bit of everything.
Running back Nick Chubb kickstarted the drive with a 29-yard run, which gave him his league-leading ninth run of the season of at least 20 yards. Two plays later, Mayfield hit Landry for a 14-yard gain that sent Landry over 100 receiving yards in a game for the first time this season. On the next play, Hunt took a handoff and blasted through the Jacksonville defense for 27 yards.
With the ball at the Jaguars' 1-yard line, Mayfield rolled to his right and pitched the ball to Chubb, who dashed inside the right pylon for the touchdown. The score put the Browns up 27-19 with 14 minutes left.
5. Browns stopped on fourth-and-1
One of the oddest drive sequences of the Browns' season ended with them not converting on a crucial fourth-and-1 that would've gotten them inside the Jaguars' red zone.
The Browns were simply trying to drain the clock and string together some solid runs as they led 27-19 with 12 minutes left. They picked up four first downs and moved into Jaguars' territory thanks to some hard-hitting runs from Chubb and Hunt and two big passes from Mayfield to Landry, but the Browns ran into trouble once they entered Jacksonville territory.
On second-and-2 from the Jaguars' 23-yard line, the Browns gave a handoff to Hunt, who was ruled just short of the sticks on his final reach before being tackled. Coach Kevin Stefanski threw the challenge flag, and refs ruled that the ball was in fact closer to the first-down line, but … the spot still wasn't close enough to move the chains. Third down.
On that play, Mayfield rolled out and attempted a screen pass to Hunt, but the ball was dropped. Fourth down.
The Browns went for it. The call was another handoff to Hunt, and he was stuffed short of the line — barely. Replay showed that the ball was merely centimeters away from the first down stick, and it was a turnover on downs.
Cleveland couldn't turn the drive into any points, and the momentum slowly began to swing back to the Jaguars.
6. Browns stuff 2-point conversion after Robinson touchdown
The Browns' defense couldn't prevent the Jaguars from finding the end zone with just over 2 minutes left.
Running back James Robinson, who entered Sunday third on the league's rushing leaderboard, reached the end zone on a 4-yard run to narrow the Browns' lead to 27-25. A two-point conversion was all the Jaguars needed to tie the game and put themselves in a more favorable position for just their second win of the season.
On the two-point play, Glennon rolled to his left but found no receivers open on the left side. All he could do was throw the ball up for Johnson, who was covered by three Browns defenders.
Johnson had no shot of making the catch — the ball was too high, and the Browns defense did their job to ensure he didn't make the catch. That preserved their two-point lead and halted the momentum Jacksonville built with its 11-play, 71-yard drive.
In the end, it was the final big play the Browns needed to seal a special win No. 8.