Browns Find a New Way to Lose


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Ravens safety Will Hill grabbed a blocked field goal and ran for the winning touchdown against the Browns on Monday night.

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David Richard/Associated Press

Browns fans are used to losing. Twelve seasons without a playoff spot, 21 years without a playoff win, 51 without a championship.

They are also used to losing in strange and heartbreaking ways. The Browns have lost to John Elway’s heroics, and because a player took off his helmet to celebrate an apparent victory.

One masochistic Browns fan recently ranked every loss since the team returned in 1999.

So when the Ravens blocked a Browns field goal attempt and Will Hill ran it back 64 yards for a touchdown as time expired Monday night, it was just another way to lose.

But this one was a little bit more unusual.

The most remembered “kick six” of recent times came in college, when Auburn won the 2013 Iron Bowl by returning a missed Alabama field goal 109 yards for a touchdown.

Monday night brought the first blocked field goal for a touchdown in the N.F.L. since last December, when Kyle Arrington of the Patriots blocked a Dolphins kick.

But that return came in the first quarter. The last time it happened in the fourth quarter was in December 2012, when Justin Bethel of the Cardinals ran one back against the Bears.

But that return made no difference in the game; the Bears led by 22 at the time. The last time a blocked field goal for a touchdown in the fourth quarter changed the leader was in 2005, when Matt Ware of the Eagles ran one back against the Chargers to give Philadelphia a 20-17 lead it would not lose.

But there were two minutes-plus left in that game. For a blocked field goal that won the game as time expired, you have to go back to Nov. 20, 1988. Giants fans may remember it, to their chagrin. The Eagles lined up for a game-winning field goal in overtime, but the kick was blocked. Big Clyde Simmons of Philadelphia gathered the ball and rumbled 15 yards to win the game for the Eagles.

But in that case, the kicking team scored the points. For a play similar to Monday night’s disaster, you have to go back to a 1985 Chargers-Broncos game, when Louis Wright blocked a field goal in overtime and ran it back 60 yards to win the game for Denver.

As you might expect for a loss this unusual, the reaction on Monday night was intense:

And hey, when your team is about to kick the game-winning field goal, why not take a video selfie? Oops.

The final look on the Browns fan’s face says it all. Another way to lose.

Cleveland has the worst record in the league at 2-9. There will be more losses to come.



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