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#pounditSaturday, November 27, 2021

Unreal: Browns literally pull Austin Ekeler into end zone for smart reason

Browns pull Austin Ekeler to the end zone

The Cleveland Browns found themselves in the unusual situation of actively helping the opponent score a touchdown during Sunday’s game.

The Browns were nursing a 42-41 lead with 1:31 left, but the Los Angeles Chargers had the ball at the Browns’ three-yard line after Austin Ekeler went down before the goal line on purpose. The Chargers were setting up for an inevitable chip shot game-winning field goal. They had plans to run down as much clock as possible so Cleveland, which didn’t have any timeouts left, wouldn’t have time to get the ball back and score themselves.

The Chargers decided to hand the ball off to Ekeler to kill some clock. However, the Browns responded by essentially pushing and pulling Ekeler into the end zone themselves. The touchdown gave the Chargers the lead but ensured the Browns would get the ball back with a minute and a half left.

The strategy didn’t pay off in a victory, as the Browns ended up losing 47-42. There is no denying they did the smartest thing they could have done in this spot, though. Cleveland was able to get the ball back with plenty of time to drive, even if they were unable to score a touchdown.

Late-game clock management situations can lead to some really weird and unusual situations where offenses don’t want to score and defenses want to give up touchdowns. There was a particularly memorable one last year that cost one team dearly. This one certainly falls into the same category.

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