The big story this past weekend in the NFL was kickers. Oh, what a terrible time to be a kicker. There were a total of 19 missed kicks in week 2.
The Browns kicker at the time was Zane Gonzalez. The second-year kicker from Arizona State University missed 2 field goals and 2 extra points. A combined 8 total points which would have given the Browns the victory.
Once again the Browns defense was showing how they’re not the problem that’s holding them back from a victory. The defense forced 2 fumbles in the first half and held the Saints to a field goal on a possession in which they got to the Browns 2 yard line.
Cleveland was up 12-3 headed into the 4th quarter. With 2:17 left in the game, Michael Thomas caught a pass from Drew Brees for a touchdown. Alvin Kamara then scored on the 2 point attempt to give New Orleans an 18-12 lead.
Another loss for the Brownies, right? Not so fast. On 4th and 5 from the Saints’ 48-yard line, Tyrod Taylor threw an absolute dime to Antonio Callaway who made a fingertip catch in the back of the end zone.
With 1:16 left all Gonzalez needed to do was make the extra point to give the Browns the lead. He missed for his third missed kick on the day.
The Saints get the ball back and Drew Brees pulls a vintage Drew Brees and brought the Saints within field goal range. With 21 seconds left the Saints hit a field goal giving them the 21-18 lead. Something magical happened next, however.
Taylor showed why he’s a captain and brought the Browns to within field goal range and gave them the chance to send the game into overtime. All the pressure was on Gonzalez who already missed 3 kicks on the day. With 3 seconds left in the game, he missed his 4th kick of the day and handed the Saints the victory.
The very next day the Browns hosted multiple kickers for tryouts and waived Gonzalez. They signed Greg Joseph, a rookie who made less than 70% of his kicks at Florida Atlantic University.
The new kicker will get his chance to prove he’s worth the signing on Thursday Night Football against the New York Jets. This game is in Cleveland and the Browns are going to debut their color rush jerseys for the first time as well. The Browns a strong opportunity to win their first game since December of the 2016 season.
Will the Browns finally put everything together and win or will there be another unthought of way to lose the game? This is the first time they are favored since 2015 which is one very hopeful sign.