In most games a couple plays can mean the difference between a win and a loss for both teams. The day after we will review such plays that led to either a Browns’ win or loss, hopefully more wins then losses. We will look how it could of effected the rest of the game and who great of an impact said play had.
Fake FG for a Touchdown
The Browns were up 3 following failing to get it into the endzone from the 20 yard line on their previous possession. Another field goal puts them in the same position they have been in the last 2 games, up 6 which means a touchdown by the Vikings erases their lead. Instead Tight End Jordan Cameron acts like there were too many players on the field, runs off to the sideline but stays in the game. They snap the field goal try back to punter Spencer Lanning, pictured above, who throws it out to a wide open Cameron who finishes at the goal line while being tackled, Browns up 10.
Impact: Instead of the Vikings having confidence that 1 touchdown drive could take the lead they instead were facing a 10 point deficit. While they continued to run the ball and stay within their game plan, the point difference ended up being the difference in the game.
Effect: High. The confidence this instilled in the team and the excitement in the players was huge. The team continued to push and show great effort throughout the game as they finally didn’t “settle” for 3 points in a crucial situation. It also allowed the 3 Hoyer INTs to have less of an impact on the team.
Sheard Sack/Fumble of Ponder Near End of 1st Half
The Vikings took over after a Hoyer pick at the 46 yard line and only 47 seconds to go. They were able to drive down the field to the 10 yard line with only a few seconds left but 1 timeout remaining. On 2nd and goal from the 10 Ponder dropped back and was sacked by Jabaal Sheard which caused a fumble recovered by the Browns as time ran out on the half.
Impact: The Vikings trailed by 7 and the Browns were getting the ball after half. A field goal at minimum was a given but Ponder’s poor decision making led to no points. Instead of the Browns being up 4, or tied, going into half (after giving up 2 straight scores) they went into a half with a big defensive turnover.
Effect: Medium-High – Those 3, or 7 points, were important as was the momentum. The Browns defense stepped up for the mistake by Hoyer that gave the Vikings good field position. The Vikings on the other hand continue to struggle with confidence in their young signal caller.
Hoyer to Cameron for Game Winner
With just under a minute to go in the game, with the Browns down 3, Hoyer had driven the team to the 7 yard line and faced a third down. Cameron ran a fade pattern against a DB and Hoyer dropped the ball where only Cameron could catch it. This throw had oft been seen by Browns fans, except it normally was out of bounds and uncatchable. The Browns took a 4 point lead with 51 seconds remaining.
Impact: A bad throw, or failing to catch the ball, would of led to a FG attempt by the punter Lanning, with Kicker Billy Cundiff hurt. The Vikings would have a chance to kick a field goal to win the game or the game goes into overtime where all bets are off.
Effect: High - The Vikings did drive the ball on their next series and could of attempted a long field goal to win the game. Overtime, without a kicker, would of been dangerous for the Browns who were emotionally spent and without much of a running game.
Any other plays we should of focused on? How would they of impacted and effected the game?