Browns hold on to defeat Vikings 14-7

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The Browns gave the Vikings every opportunity to win on Sunday, but ultimately Minnesota didn’t take them.

Cleveland came away with a 14-7 victory at U.S. Bank Stadium in a game that was much more eventful than the final score would indicate.

After Minnesota scored first with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to receiver Justin Jefferson, the Browns moved down to the 6-yard line. But Cleveland didn’t score after quarterback Baker Mayfield got sacked on fourth down.

Cleveland didn’t get on the board until late in the second quarter, with Kareem Hunt scoring a 1-yard touchdown run. But that took eight snaps from first-and-goal at the Minnesota 5. And the Vikings allowed the Browns to extend their drive with a defensive holding penalty on fourth-and-goal from the 2.

Then the Vikings made things worse by attempting to call timeout on the extra point because too many men were on the field. Minnesota didn’t have any timeouts remaining in the first half, which caused a delay of game penalty. The Browns took advantage by going for two, and converted the opportunity with a pass to fullback Andy Janovich for an 8-7 lead.

Two field goals by Chase McLaughlin gave Cleveland its seven-point, winning margin.

But Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield helped keep Minnesota in the game with clearly his worst game of the season. Mayfield consistently missed open receivers, finishing 15-of-33 passing for 155 yards. Perhaps his worst miss came on third-and-5 late in the fourth quarter, overthrowing an open Odell Beckham Jr. down the right sideline — a play that would have put the game away.

Instead, the Vikings had another shot with just one timeout remaining. On fourth-and-7, cornerback Troy Hill was flagged for defensive pass interference to extend Minnesota’s drive. And while Kirk Cousins had a chance for a touchdown as time expired, the pass fell incomplete.

Cousins finished the day with 203 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Running back Dalvin Cook was on the sideline for much of the second half and had just 34 yards on nine carries.

The Browns are on the road again next week with a game against the Chargers. The Vikings stay home to play the winless Lions.

Browns hold on to defeat Vikings 14-7 originally appeared on Pro Football Talk