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Browns break down top plays of 2018: No. 9 - Antonio Callaway arrives with improbable TD vs. Saints

Upon reflection, it was a brief blip of hope in a game that ended in disappointing fashion.

But on the flip side? It foreshadowed what Browns fans -- and players, for that matter -- could expect from rookie wide receiver Antonio Callaway.

Trailing 18-12 with 1:16 to play, Cleveland was down to its last chance in New Orleans. Facing a fourth down at the Saints’ 47, the Browns needed 5 yards to keep their hopes alive of picking up their first win since Christmas Eve 2016. 

They opted to go for all 47, and they entrusted a fourth-round rookie to make it happen.

“I just remember in the huddle thinking let's give (Tyrod Taylor) enough time and get something going,” offensive guard Joel Bitonio said. “I think he told us in the huddle, ‘give me a little time and we can make something happen here.’ 

“Threw a dime.”

It was a dime because Callaway, who struggled in his NFL debut the previous week, turned his speed up to another gear to catch the pass in stride in the back of the end zone.

“You're kind of fighting for your life there,” center JC Tretter said. “Callaway, that was the first time he showed his game-breaking speed getting behind the defense when the defense knows that's where you're trying to go.”

According to the NFL’s Next Gen Stats, Callaway topped out at 21.48 miles per hour while racing past the Saints secondary. It was his first of his team-leading five touchdowns on the season.

He’d opened some eyes in training camp and the preseason, but this was different.

“The play itself was clutch. It was huge,” Bitonio said. “Callaway has some burners. That's when I first saw Callaway was a speed demon.”

Even though the game ended with another loss, Callaway showed his teammates what they can hopefully expect for years to come. There’s no such thing as a longshot when you have a playmaker with those capabilities.

“You know Callaway has speed,” right tackle Chris Hubbard said. “Just to see him turn on the jets like that, that was fun to watch.”

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