Josh Lambo's game-winning field goal with no time left hands Browns crushing defeat

Akron Beacon Journal

SAN DIEGO _ The Browns suffered a heartbreaking, 30-27 loss to the San Diego Chargers in a dramatic, back-and-forth showdown Sunday at Qualcomm Stadium.tmpplchld After the Browns tied the score with 2:09 remaining, the Chargers marched in crunch time to set up rookie kicker Josh Lambo's game-winning, 34-yard field goal. Lambo made the kick with no time left on the clock.tmpplchld But the Chargers actually dodged a bullet.tmpplchld Lambo missed a 39-yard field goal moments earlier, only to receive a second chance because Browns veteran cornerback Tramon Williams was penalized for an offside penalty, giving the Chargers an untimed down.tmpplchld The Chargers started their final drive on their 27 with 2:03 left.tmpplchld On second-and-2 at the Browns' 43, running back Danny Woodhead ran up the middle for 19 yards, moving the Chargers into field-goal range.tmpplchld The Browns (1-3) tied the score 27-27 with 2:09 remaining when tight end Gary Barnidge caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Josh McCown and wide receiver Taylor Gabriel followed with a reception for a successful two-point conversion to cap a 10-play, 67-yard drive.tmpplchld Barnidge got the Browns to the Chargers' 1 when he tipped a pass to himself and dived to catch the ball with his left elbow down inbounds despite safety Jimmy Wilson applying tight coverage. The play was initially ruled an incomplete pass, but the officials reversed the call after the Browns challenged the call.tmpplchld During the Browns' first possession of the second half, kicker Travis Coons capped a nine-play, 68-yard drive with a 33-yard field goal to give his team a 16-13 lead with 5:54 left in the third quarter. Isaiah Crowell had the most important play of the series when he caught a short pass over the middle on second-and-20 at the Browns' 32 and turned it into a 53-yard gain. The Browns advanced to the 9 but fizzled and relied on Coons to do the scoring.tmpplchld The Chargers (2-2) went ahead 20-16 during the next possession. Woodhead was wide open when he caught a short pass from quarterback Philip Rivers over the middle and turned it into a 61-yard gain. On the next play, Rivers threw a 19-yard touchdown pass over strong safety Donte Whitner and into the hands of tight end Ladarius Green with 4:23 left in the third quarter.tmpplchld After both teams stalled on offense, the Browns marched 40 yards in eight plays to set up Coons' 40-yard field goal, which trimmed the team's deficit to 20-19 with 9:57 left in the fourth quarter. The Browns advanced to the Chargers' 25, where outside linebacker Jerry Attaochu rushed into the backfield unblocked off the offense's right side and sacked McCown for a 12-yard loss on second-and-8. On third-and-20, McCown completed a 15-yard pass to Barnidge to set up Coons' kick.tmpplchld But the Chargers had an answer, as evidenced by the 27-19 lead they captured with 7:26 remaining in the fourth quarter. Rivers connected with wide-open tight end John Phillips in the back of the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown two plays after wide receiver Dontrelle Inman broke loose on third-and-5 from the Chargers' 31, turning a short reception into a 68-yard gain.tmpplchld Coons made a 28-yard field goal with three seconds left in the second quarter to tie the score at 13 at halftime.tmpplchld The Browns started the final drive of the first half at their 20-yard line with 1:36 remaining in the second quarter. McCown took a sack on the first play but still managed to orchestrate a nine-play, 70-yard drive in which he completed 6-of-7 passes for 61 yards. Wide receiver Travis Benjamin caught passes of 11 and 15 yards during the march. Then, on second-and-10 at the Chargers' 24, Crowell gained 14 yards on a screen pass to set up Coons' field goal.tmpplchld McCown completed 19-of-26 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown with a rating of 109.8 in the first half. Crowell ran four times for 36 yards (9 average), and rookie running back Duke Johnson caught seven passes for 82 yards and a touchdown on eight targets.tmpplchld The Chargers took a 13-10 lead with Lambo's successful 45-yard field goal with 1:36 left in the first half. The kick finished a 10-play, 60-yard drive after the Chargers advanced to the Browns' 27, where Rivers threw three consecutive incomplete passes. Earlier in the series, defensive lineman John Hughes committed a neutral-zone penalty on third-and-3 at the Browns' 45, giving the Chargers a first down.tmpplchld The Browns avoided a potential disaster early in the game. Outside linebacker Melvin Ingram beat Barnidge while pass rushing on the edge and hit McCown as he attempted to throw. The play was ruled a fumble, and Ingram recovered at the Browns' 40 with 12:17 left in the first quarter.tmpplchld But instead of allowing the Chargers to capitalize, the Browns refused to budge and forced a three and out. Defensive lineman Randy Starks tackled rookie running back Melvin Gordon for a 2-yard loss on first down, inside linebacker Chris Kirksey sacked Rivers for a 7-yard loss on second down and cornerback Pierre Desir, starting in place of injured Pro Bowler Joe Haden (rib contusion/finger) broke up a deep pass intended for wide receiver Malcolm Floyd on third down.tmpplchld The Browns took possession at their 18 after a punt and produced an 11-play, 64-yard scoring drive. They settled for Coons' successful 36-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead with 4:12 left in the first quarter after McCown connected with Johnson for a gain of 11 yards on third-and-13 at the Chargers' 29.tmpplchld Earlier in the drive, the Browns faced fourth-and-2 at the Chargers' 32 and elected to go for it instead of summoning Coons for a 50-yard field goal. Cornerback Brandon Flowers was penalized for pass interference while covering Benjamin on a short route. The Browns were granted a first down but stalled three plays later.tmpplchld The Chargers struck back during the next series. Wide receiver Keenan Allen capped an eight-play, 80-yard drive by diving in the front right corner of the end zone to catch a 28-yard touchdown pass from Rivers over tight coverage from Desir. The highlight play allowed the Chargers to seize a 7-3 lead with 48 seconds left in the opening quarter.tmpplchld During the ensuing possession, the Browns' running backs stepped up. Crowell broke free on second-and-1 at Cleveland's 29 for a 32-yard run, the Browns' longest run of the season.tmpplchld Two plays later on second-and-5 at the Chargers' 34, Johnson lined up in the slot, beat inside linebacker Donald Butler on a go route and caught a 34-yard touchdown pass from McCown in the back left corner of the end zone. The Browns took a 10-7 lead with 14:10 left in the second quarter.tmpplchld The game's back-and-forth pace rhythm when the Chargers marched 56 yards in eight plays during the next drive to set up Lambo's successful 46-yard field goal. The kick tied the score at 10 with 10:37 left in the second quarter.tmpplchld ___tmpplchld (c)2015 Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)tmpplchld Visit the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio) at www.ohio.comtmpplchld Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.tmpplchld

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