Cleveland — — with no roof over their heads, the Saints went out to deal with the dreaded weather — and the Browns.
They’re still in the playoff mix.
with Alvin Kamara Tatham Hill Each with a touchdown run, New Orleans left the comfortable dome to beat the Browns, who were officially eliminated from the playoffs, 17-10, and endured Cleveland’s Arctic-like conditions.
The Saints (6-9) were 0-6 in outdoor games this season before beating the Browns (6-9) in the coldest game in New Orleans history.
“I didn’t want to be part of it,” joked Kamala, who wore a scuba-like suit underneath her jersey. “The elements are the elements, so just use common sense. It was cold. Nothing stopped the cold. On those long runs, I was really more excited to get back into the heat on the sidelines.”
Quarterback Deshaun Watson pushed Cleveland to 15 for the Saints in the final minute, but with 19 seconds remaining, he was dismissed on fourth down by Karl Granderson.
“It’s very disappointing,” said Browns star defensive end Myles Garrett. “It’s not where we want it to be. It’s not where we expected it to be at the beginning of the season.”
Kamara scored on a 4-yard run late in the third quarter — set up by Daniel Sorensen’s Watson interception and 36-yard return — to help the Saints, still kicking in the NFC playoff hunt, pull off a 10-0 deficit. overcame.
New Orleans took a one-game lead over Tampa Bay in a weak, wide-open NFC South. The Saints, who traveled to Cleveland a day early to acclimate to the bone-chilling weather, aren’t done yet.
Saints manager Dennis Allen said, “I said this game was going to be about mental toughness. But I was ready,” he said.
Cleveland is guaranteed a losing season in coach Kevin Stefanski’s third year formed by Watson’s ban.
Watson had a 12-yard rushing TD, but struggled to pass in ferocious conditions (15 of 31 in 135 yards), returning from an 11-game suspension over sexual misconduct allegations. Since then, he has fallen to 2 wins and 2 losses as a starter.
The Browns’ porous rushing defense again became a problem as the Saints rotated Andy Dalton and Hill at quarterback, snapping it directly to Kamala and rolling it 152 yards to the ground.
Hill, who ran for 56 yards on nine carries, said, “If they know to line up and run the ball and they can pull it off, that’s a big deal.” conduct. “
The temperature at kickoff was 6 degrees., making it the coldest regular season game in Cleveland history. Only his 1981 Oakland playoff game against the Raiders in the Browns (once) was worse.
FirstEnergy Stadium, which opened in 1999, was the coldest. During the first quarter, the Browns invited fans sitting on his upper deck to move to his lower bowl, and hundreds of fans accepted the offer.
The Saints had never been this cold. Their previous coldest game was his 24th at his stadium on December 26, 1993 against the Veterans of Philadelphia.
Kamala’s TD is It was the 72nd of his career and tied him with Marquez Colston in Saints history.
After getting a 23-yard field goal by Will Lutz on the last play of the first half, New Orleans took the second-half kickoff and allowed Hill to barrel in from the 8-yard line to make it, for a tying TD. drove 67 yards for all 10 with 9:40 remaining.
Watson’s TD Lumper gave the Browns a 7–0 lead early in the second quarter.
Cleveland’s offense was nothing productive, defense acted as a safety Grant Delpit He intercepted a Dalton pass that went off the hands of tight end Juwan Johnson and returned 40 yards to the Saints’ 30 yards.
Five plays later, Watson swept left on third down and scored unscathed in the first rushing TD in Cleveland.
The Browns then ate up 8:44 on a drive capped by rookie Cade York’s 30-yard field goal to take a 10–0 lead.
Saints: LG Andras Pete (foot) was brought into the locker room in the first quarter to deliver another blow to New Orleans’ offensive line after guard Cesar Ruiz joined the IR earlier this week. … S Justin Evans (shoulder) did not play in the second half. … WR Jarvis Landry (ankle) was unable to reunite with his former Cleveland native teammate after he joined the IR on Thursday.
Saints: in Philadelphia on January 1st.
Browns: Visit Washington on January 1st.
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