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Jacoby Brissett goes out with a win, as his Browns shock Tom Brady, Buccaneers

Cleveland tight end David Njoku fully extended to bring in Jacoby Brissett's 12-yard pass in the final minute of regulation Sunday, the quarterback's lone touchdown pass in his final start before Deshaun Watson's suspension ends.Kirk Irwin/Associated Press

CLEVELAND — Jacoby Brissett wasn’t seeking sympathy and he didn’t want any ceremonial sendoff. After all, he’s not leaving.

The Browns gave him one anyway.

Nick Chubb scored on a 3-yard touchdown run with 19 seconds left in overtime and Cleveland rallied Sunday to stun Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 23-17, in Brissett’s final start before Deshaun Watson returns from his 11-game suspension.

Afterward, the Browns gave Brissett a game ball before the popular 29-year-old channeled Brady, his former teammate with the Patriots.

“I mean this in no disrespect,” Brissett said when asked how he felt after the comeback win. “But in the words of Tom Brady, that was [expletive] awesome. That was [expletive] awesome.”


Brissett and the Browns shocked Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.David Richard/Associated Press

Chubb powered through a pile of bodies at the goal line as the Browns (4-7) sent Brissett off with a win as they transition to Watson, who was banned by the NFL for sexual misconduct allegations. He’ll start next week in Houston, which traded him to Cleveland in March.

So this was a special one for Brissett, who has been invaluable to the Browns during another turbulent season.

“I’m obviously grateful for this opportunity and grateful for those men in that room,” said Brissett, who also threw a key block on receiver Anthony Schwartz’s 31-yard TD run. “This was a great game to kind of end it on, but we have to stack them.”

Chubb’s short TD was set up when Brissett connected on a 45-yard pass to wide receiver Amari Cooper, who found himself wide open when Bucs cornerback Carlton Davis III slipped and fell near midfield.

The Browns forced overtime on tight end David Njoku’s remarkable, one-handed TD catch with 32 seconds left in regulation. Njoku extended his left arm to haul in Brissett’s 12-yard scoring strike in the back of the end zone.


“I threw it, and I thought I threw it too high and I was about to start crying,” Brissett said. “I saw him pull it down, and I was like, ‘I could have ran up and kissed him.’ Clearly I didn’t.”

Brady threw two touchdown passes, but couldn’t get anything going in the 10-minute OT as the Bucs (5-6) were unable to keep their momentum going following a bye.

“Seventeen points isn’t going to do it,” Brady said. “It’s been the same thing all year. We’re not scoring enough points. Every play is an individual win or loss, and we’re losing too many. There were too many plays where we were not on the right page, and we’ve got to correct that.”

The loss was a first for Brady, who had been 218-0 in his career when up seven or more points heading into the final two minutes of regulation.

Garrett, seen here picking Brady up after an overtime sack, played a sizable role in Cleveland's win.Jason Miller/Getty

Led by All-Pro end Myles Garrett, who had 1½ sacks, the Browns held Tampa Bay without a point on its final seven possessions. Garrett played the final minutes of regulation and OT in extreme pain after aggravating a shoulder injury sustained in a car crash.

“It hurt really bad,” said Garrett, who intends to put off surgery until after the season. “I thought I had broken something.”

Brady completed 29 of 43 passes for 246 yards and was sacked three times.

Brissett went 23 of 37 for 210 yards with one TD and an interception. Chubb finished with 116 yards on 26 carries.


Brady opened the second half by completing his first six passes, including a 28-yarder to Mike Evans, who became the first Tampa Bay player to reach 10,000 yards receiving.

The Buccaneers took a 17-10 lead when Brady connected with rookie Ko Kieft on a 5-yard scoring pass. It was the 638th TD pass for Brady, and No. 1 for Kieft, who is listed as the team’s fourth-string tight end.