Hogan leads Browns to comeback win over Buccaneers
TAMPA — Cleveland quarterback Kevin Hogan led a furious comeback in the fourth quarter, directing drives for a touchdown and field goal in the Browns’ 13-9 preseason win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday.
The winning drive, which included a fourth-down conversion and was aided by personal foul and pass interference penalties against the Bucs, culminated in a 5-yard touchdown pass from Hogan to receiver Jordan Leslie with 1:53 remaining in the game.
The Bucs defense produced an interception and forced a fumble and place-kicker Nick Folk connected on three field goals to take a 9-6 lead.
Despite Hogan’s heroics, the Browns (3-0) may not have gotten any closer to deciding on their starting quarterback for the regular season.
Rookie DeShon Kizer completed 6 of 18 passes for 93 yards. The Browns converted on five of their first seven third-down situations. But Kizer was intercepted after linebacker Lavonte David tipped a pass that was picked off by cornerback Vernon Hargreaves.
Meanwhile, Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston completed 17 of 27 pass attempts for 200 yards and an interception before leaving the game midway through the third quarter.
The Bucs’ first possession ended when Winston threw a pass wide of tight end Cameron Brate and it was intercepted at the goal line by Browns rookie defensive back Jabrill Peppers.
Tampa Bay (1-2) rested 16 players, including eight starters with minor injuries.
There have been 14 possessions by Winston and the first-team offense this preseason and it produced a total of one touchdown and five field goals.
But Saturday against the Browns, a team that had the worst record in football at 2-14 only a year ago, the Bucs’ offense couldn’t finish drives.
The Bucs’ first possession ended when Winston threw a pass wide of tight end Cameron Brate and it was intercepted at the goal line by Peppers.
Frankly, the Bucs were lucky to have that chance to begin with. The Browns extended the drive when they jumped offside as Folk was lining up for a 45-yard field goal attempt.
The Bucs were 0 for 7 on third down in the first half. Winston seemed out of sync with his receivers. He fired high to rookie Chris Godwin on the sideline. He led Adam Humphries too far over the middle of the field. Brate couldn’t hang on to another pass at the goal line.
The lone scores came on Folk’s 31-yard field goal with 1:17 remaining in the first half and a 42-yarder midway through the third quarter.
Kizer was relieved in the second half by Cody Kessler, who went 6-of-10 passing for 48 yards. Browns quarterback Brock Osweiler did not play in the game.
Hogan led the Browns on a 59-yard drive in the fourth quarter that ended with a 47-yard field goal by Cody Parkey, his second of the game.
The bright spot for the Browns offense was the way it ran the football behind running backs Isaiah Crowell (11 rushes for 40 yards) and Duke Johnson (3 rushes for 43 yards) in the first half.