Christmas Day Replay: Green Bay Packers beat Cleveland Browns, taking advantage of four Baker Mayfield interceptions
It was a quick turnaround in Week 16 for the Browns, who suffered a crushing home loss to the Las Vegas Raiders just five days ago to seriously damage their playoff chances. On Christmas Day in Green Bay, the Packers just about finished off the Browns by beating them 24-22.
The Browns (7-8) drop below .500 for the first time this season, to fall further behind in the AFC playoff picture. After having 22 players (at least nine starters) and three coaches — including head coach Kevin Stefanski — out with COVID-19 for the Raiders game, the Browns had their coach and a number of players back Saturday, including QB Baker Mayfield.
The Packers (12-3) beat an AFC North team for the second straight game. They were coming off a win over the Ravens in Baltimore last Sunday when they became the first team to clinch a playoff spot this season.
Here's how the Browns-Packers game unfolded Christmas Day:
Browns final drive ends with final Baker Mayfield interception
The Browns' hopes for a dramatic win ended with another interception Saturday.
Cleveland took over at its own 25 with 2:05 left in the fourth quarter. A big third-down conversion catch and run by Nick Chubb got the Browns to midfield with 1:01 left. Chubb caught a short pass to the left on third-and-6, and powered through a defender to gain 7 yards to the 50.
Rasul Douglas ended Cleveland's comeback bid by intercepting a pass at the Packers 40 on a ball that went through the hands of Browns receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones with 43 seconds left.
The Browns outgained the Packers 408-311.
Anthony Schwartz touchdown catch pulls Browns closer
Rookie receiver Anthony Schwartz caught a 5-yard TD pass from Baker Mayfield with 4:31 left in the fourth quarter, cutting Cleveland's deficit to 24-22. The TD catch is the first of Schwartz's NFL career.
The work of running backs Nick Chubb and D'Ernest Johnson powered the drive. Chubb accounted for 31 yards on the drive. Johnson delivered a 30-yard run to put the Browns in scoring position.
The Browns, though, couldn't get any closer. Their next possession ended in an interception with less than a minute left.
Back-to-back sacks of Baker Mayfield stalls Browns drive
The Browns drove into Green Bay territory and promptly stalled out early in the fourth quarter. Back-to-back sacks of Baker Mayfield left the Brown with a fourth-and-22 from the Green Bay 43. The Browns lined up to go for it on fourth down. But after a false start pushed them back another 5 yards, the Browns punted away with 9:06 left in the fourth.
Chris Naggar makes his first field goal for Cleveland Browns
Chris Naggar hit a 37-yard field goal with 1:07 left in the third quarter, cutting the Browns' deficit to 24-15.
Nick Chubb had a couple of nice runs to help the Browns drive down the field before they stalled out in the red zone.
Green Bay took the nine-point lead into the fourth quarter.
Mason Crosby helps Packers add on to open second half
The Packers took the kickoff to open the second half and drove to the Browns 14-yard line before the Browns held. A 32-yard field goal by Mason Crosby gives the Packers a 24-12 lead with 9:16 to go in the third quarter.
Packers make Browns pay again
The Packers cap a 49-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers to Davante Adams with 12 seconds to go in the half and the Packers lead 21-12. Baker Mayfield has thrown three interceptions and Rodgers has thrown a TD pass after each one. The Packers will have the ball to start the second half.
Baker Mayfield throws third interception
On first-and-10 from the Browns; 40, quarterback Baker Mayfield tries to hit Jarvis Landry along the left sideline but it is intercepted by Rasul Douglas and the Packers take over at midfield with 1:51 to go in the first half.
Big play keeps Browns drive alive
With the Browns facing a third-and-16 from their own 23, quarterback Baker Mayfield connects with wide receiver Rashard Higgins for a 17-yard gain. The Browns have a first down at their own 40 at the two-minute warning in the second quarter. The Packers still lead 14-12.
Browns get three-and-out
The Browns force a three-and-out and a punt by the Packers and take over at their own 29-yard line with 4:42 to go in the half. The Packers still lead 14-12.
Baker Mayfield leads efficient TD drive for Browns
Baker Mayfield capped a six-play, 70-yard drive with a 1-yard TD pass to tight end Harrison Bryant with 7:03 to go in the first half. Mayfield's pass to Donovan Peoples-Jones on a 2-point attempt was batted away in the end zone and the Packers still lead 14-12.
Browns pay again for turnover
Aaron Rodgers leads the Packers on a 78-yard drive after Baker Mayfield's second interception of the game. The drive was capped by a 9-yard TD pass from Rodgers to Davante Adams in the face of an all-out blitz on a third-and-goal play and the Packers lead 14-6 with 10:47 to go in the first half at Lambeau Field.
Browns drive ends after missed call and second interception by Baker Mayfield
A 28-yard run by Nick Chubb and an 11-yard end around to Anthony Schwartz set the Browns up at Green Bay's 16-yard line but a sack by Rashard Gary put the Browns back on the 25. Mayfield complained that there should have been a facemask penalty and a replay showed he was correct. On the next play, Mayfield threw high to Jarvis Landry and it was intercepted by PaChanden Sullivan. The Packers lead 7-6 after the first quarter.
Browns keep drive alive with fourth-down conversion to Donovan Peoples-Jones
Facing fourth-and-1 at their own 34-yard line, the Browns go for it and quarterback Baker Mayfield hits wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones for 5 yards and the first down. The Packers challenged the catch but the play stands.
Record TD pass for Aaron Rodgers gives Packers ahead
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers caps a 53-yard drive with an 11-yard TD pass to Allen Lazard that gives the Packers a 7-6 lead. The touchdown pass breaks a tie with Brett Favre and puts Rodgers on top of the Packers' all-time list with 443 career touchdown passes.
Baker Mayfield throws interception
On the Browns' second possession, quarterback Baker Mayfield tried to hit wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones on a long pass down the middle but the pass was overthrown and intercepted by Darnell Savage at the Green Bay 47-yard line. It appeared Peoples-Jones was held downfield but there was no call.
Packers convert fourth-down but drive stalls
The Packers went for it on 4th-and-1 in their own territory and made the first down but the drive stalled when Aaron Rodgers threw an incomplete pass on third-and-5. The Browns take over at their own 8 after an illegal block penalty on the punt return.
Nick Chubb makes big play, scores on first series
The Browns took the opening kickoff and, on the second play, quarterback Baker Mayfield hit Nick Chubb on a screen pass for 41 yards. A personal foul on the Packers moved the ball to the Green Bay 14. Three plays later, Chubb scored on a 1-yard run. Chris Naggar's extra-point attempt was wide right and the Browns lead 6-0.
How to watch the Browns game today
Game time: 4:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, Dec. 25
Where: Lambeau Field, Green Bay
TV: WJW Fox, NFL Network
Online livestream: Free on Amazon Prime, with coverage beginning at 3. Also, available on desktop web via FOXSports.com or in the FOX Sports app on mobile phones, tablets and connected devices. Viewers need FOX as part of their TV channel line-up in order to watch NFL games on the FOX Sports website and app. Browns games also are live (to in-market fans only) on the official Browns iOS Mobile App.
Browns at Packers betting odds, spread and lines
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated Friday at 9:18 a.m. ET.
Money line: Browns +280 (bet $100 to win $280) | Packers -370 (bet $370 to win $100)
Against the spread (ATS): Browns +7.5 (-115) | Packers -7.5 (-105)
Over/Under (O/U): 45.5 (O: -115 | U: -105)
AFC North Standings, updated after Christmas Day game
Bengals ... 8-6
Ravens .... 8-6
Steelers ... 7-6-1
Browns .... 7-8
More Browns, Raiders News
Joel Bitonio News:Bob Wylie: Plan 'Z' Joel Bitonio did A-OK as Browns left tackle, should be viewed as Hall of Fame-caliber guard
Myles Garrett News:Browns star Myles Garrett expects to push through injury, face Packers QB Aaron Rodgers for first time
Aaron Rodgers News:Opinion: Aaron Rodgers taking more risks with his body in determined bid for second ring
Baker Mayfield News:Browns notes: Quarterback Baker Mayfield expected to start Saturday in Green Bay, coach Kevin Stefanski says
Jarvis Landry News:Baker Mayfield, Jarvis Landry among five Browns activated from COVID-19 list; kicker Chase McLaughlin tests positive
JC Tretter News:Browns center JC Tretter tests positive for COVID-19; Grant Delpit, James Hudson III activated
Kevin Stefanski News:Coach Kevin Stefanski back with Browns after clearing COVID-19 protocols
Chase McLaughlin News:Browns notes: Chase McLaughlin remains Browns' kicker; Kareem Hunt not expected to play against Packers
Browns 75th anniversary all-time team:Pro Football Hall of Famers abound, but who is No. 1? Jim Brown or Otto Graham?
Browns Playoff Chances:By the numbers: Evaluating the Cleveland Browns NFL playoff chances entering Week 16
NFL Playoff Picture:Cowboys clinch spot as Titans close on division crown, No. 1 seed
NFL Playoff Scenarios:NFL playoff clinching scenarios for Week 16: AFC, NFC fields could come into focus
Dustin Colquitt News:Browns waive punter Jamie Gillan, give job to Dustin Colquitt
Takk McKinley News:Browns D-ends banged up: Takk McKinley has torn Achilles, team awaiting test results on Myles Garrett's groin injury
Chasing NFL Records:Six NFL records that could fall by end of 2021 regular season
NFL and COVID-19:How NFLPA shifted its COVID-19 testing fight in response to threat of cancellations, players' demands
NFL and COVID-19:Browns' JC Tretter counters Raiders' complaints about postponement by pointing out he fought for them to be paid