In a thrilling manner, the Browns snuck past the Colts on Sunday, 39-38, with a late fourth-quarter drive and a touchdown from RB Kareem Hunt.
As the Browns marched down the field with 2 minutes left in the game, QB P.J. Walker — playing in place of Deshaun Watson, who was held out for precautionary reasons following a hard hit in the first quarter — connected with his targets to put the Browns in the red zone. After three incomplete passes in the red zone and 25 seconds left on the clock on fourth down, Hunt ran up the middle for 1 yard and punched in the touchdown.
That touchdown gave the Browns a 39-38 lead with 15 seconds to go. The Browns went for the two-point conversion but could not find the end zone. Then, one final defensive takeaway from a dominant Browns defense sealed the win.
The Browns improve to 4-2 on the season and secured their first road win of the season.
From the jump on the third play of the game, RB Jerome Ford broke lose through the Colts defense and ran for a 69-yard touchdown to put the Browns on the board, 7-0. Ford tied his career-long with that touchdown run.
Then, in the second quarter, Hunt ran up the middle for 2 yards and punched the ball in for a rushing touchdown to tie the game at 14-14 after an extra point. After the Browns recovered a fumble, Hunt had a carry for 11 yards to get the Browns another first down. He then had two more carries before his touchdown run. Hunt then sealed the win with his 1-yard touchdown in the final 25 seconds to put the Browns up one point.
The Browns defense also had a number of key moments in the first half of the game. In the second quarter, as K Matt Gay lined up for a 60-yard field goal attempt, DE Myles Garrett jumped over the Colts' center and blocked the kick. CB Denzel Ward recovered the ball for 19 yards to set the Browns up with the short field.
In the final 2 minutes of the first half, Garrett blew past two Colts blockers and knocked the ball out from QB Gardner Minshew for the strip sack, and LB Tony Fields II recovered the fumble in the end zone for the touchdown.
The takeaways continued with another in the third quarter, as Ward picked off a pass for his first interception of the season. Then, in the final 9 seconds of the game, the defense added one more takeaway on the day when DE Za'Darius Smith sacked Minshew and forced the fumble. DE Ogbo Okoronkwo recovered the fumble to seal the victory for the Browns.
Players of the Game:
In the first half, Garrett had two sacks, two forced fumbles, one blocked field goal and six tackles. His second sack in the first half also ended in a fumble recovery and touchdown for the Browns. His dominance set the tone for the Browns defensively and played an important factor in their success on that side of the ball.
Hunt's success in the run game was crucial for the Browns on Sunday against the Colts. Hunt finished the game with 10 carries for 31 yards and two touchdowns. Hunt's 1-yard touchdown run up the middle in the final 30 seconds of the game gave the Browns the lead and helped seal the win.
Stat of the Game:
K Dustin Hopkins set an NFL record with at least one 50+ yard field goal in five consecutive games. Hopkins made two 54-yard field goals, as well as a 58-yard field goal in the fourth quarter that gave the Browns a two-point lead. His 58-yard field goal is the longest of his career.
He went 4-of-4 on field goals.
What does it mean?
Sunday's win was an important one for the Browns to not only claim their first road win, but also with the injuries they dealt with throughout the game. Watson returned from his rotator cuff injury and started Sunday's game, but after a hard hit in the first quarter Walker came in and played the remainder of the game. The Browns had some struggles offensively, but the defense once again showcased its dominance with their takeaways and kept the Browns in the fight throughout the game.
The Browns travel to Seattle for Week 8. They will face the Seahawks on Oct. 29 at 4:05 p.m. ET. at Lumen Field.