Jacoby Brissett delivered Sunday in what was likely his last game as the Browns’ starting quarterback.
Deshaun Watson is available to return in Week 13 against the Houston Texans following his 11-game suspension, but Brissett wasn’t going to go down quietly in Week 12 as Cleveland earned an upset 23-17 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in overtime.
The seventh-year veteran took a page out of Tom Brady’s book and executed a game-tying drive capped off by tight end David Njoku’s remarkable one-handed catch on fourth-and-10 with 32 seconds left in the game.
Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles made some questionable decisions, or lack thereof, in the final two minutes of the game. The Buccaneers also lost their top offensive lineman, Tristan Wirfs, late in the game, as well. But Cleveland’s defense kept Brady and the Tampa offense in check, and Nick Chubb scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime after a clutch pass from Brissett to Amari Cooper.
The Browns entered the game as 3.5-point underdogs at home, and their moneyline was set at +155 on DraftKings Sportsbook. This means a $100 bet would have paid out $255. Prior to kickoff, 78% of bets and 83% of the handle were on the Buccaneers moneyline (-180) at DraftKings.
The win puts Cleveland at 4-7 on the season, which doesn’t mathematically eliminate it from playoff contention. Tampa Bay moves to 5-6 on the year, which kept them at first place in the NFC South after the Atlanta Falcons lost to the Washington Commanders, but the loss continues the Buccaneers struggles.
The defeat was more of a gut punch since the Bucs had a 94.2% win probability after Rakeem Nunez-Roches sacked Brissett on third-and-11 with 3:20 left in the fourth quarter, according to ESPN Analytics. But Cleveland’s defense forced a quick three-and-out and proceeded to tie the game.
The Buccaneers will move on to face divisional rival New Orleans Saints in Week 13, and the Browns will likely turn to Watson against his former team, the lowly Texans next Sunday.