Browns’ Nick Chubb admits to scoring game-LOSING touchdown in 31-30 loss against Jets
Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb pointed the finger at himself and took the blame for a touchdown run that should have eliminated the Jets on Sunday.
Instead, it gave them hope.
“I probably shouldn’t have scored right there, honestly, looking back on it,” Chubb, 26, said Tuesday. ‘It cost us the game.’
Cleveland Browns’ Nick Chubb said he’ll take the blame for his Q4 TD instead of kneeling
However, the running back made it clear that his TD only came to light ‘because we didn’t win’
Two days after the Browns collapsed and blew a 13-point lead in the final two minutes to lose 31-30 to New York, Chubb said he made a mistake entering the end zone for his third touchdown (TD) with 1:55 left.
With the Browns leading 24-17, Chubb took a pass from the 12-yard line and ran left. He made a cut, stepped through a tackler and scored to put Cleveland up by 13 and send a raucous home crowd into a frenzy.
Looking back, Chubb wishes he had done things differently.
Had he run out of bounds or been tackled after picking up a first down, the Browns could have simply taken three knees, run out the clock and improved to 2-0 for the first time in 29 years.
Instead, after Chubb’s TD, the Browns committed a dizzying series of mistakes in less than two minutes.
First, rookie kicker Cade York missed an extra point conversion, the Browns’ secondary miscommunicated and gave up a 66-yard TD pass, wide receiver Amari Cooper failed to recover New York’s onside kick, and the Browns let Jets quarterback Joe Flacco operate with no timeouts, throw a clear TD pass with 22 seconds left.
It wasn’t until after the game that Chubb realized the whole thing could have been avoided.
“Many things went wrong, not just one thing,” he said. ‘But collectively as a unit, as a team we all could have done things differently but it’s only a problem because we didn’t win. So I should probably have gone down’.
Chubb ran the ball past NY Jets’ Jordan Whitehead before extending the Browns’ lead to 30-17
NY Jets QB Joe Flacco sparked a comeback in the final two minutes to stun the Browns
Of course, Chubb is not to blame, and no one is pointing a finger at the three-time Pro Bowler.
Ditto for Cooper, who said Tuesday he should have either hit the squib kick or knocked it out of bounds.
“It was my play to make and I didn’t make it,” he said.
The Browns’ failure to recognize the situation lies with coach Kevin Stefanski, who made it clear that it was his responsibility to close out the victory. He appreciated the accountability of his players, but does not pass the money on.
“Put it on me,” he said. ‘The players don’t hide from it. I don’t hide from it.’
Chubb’s willingness to take the loss is hardly surprising. He is one of the team’s most respected players, revered by his teammates for his work ethic and willingness to put the Browns first.
A born leader.
The reserved 26-year-old Chubb said the more he replayed the game in his mind, the more he realized he could have changed the outcome.
Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson had two TDs, including the game-winner against the Browns
Browns safety Grant Delpit (22) tackles New York Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson (17)
However, he acknowledged that once he got close to the finish line, there weren’t many options.
‘It would have been difficult (to stop),’ he said. ‘I think the first down was at 1 or 2 and the goal line is right there too. I probably could have fallen down. It would have been third-and-short, third-and-inch, but it probably could have happened.
‘I could have gone out of bounds but people were behind and they would have pushed me in or something. I should probably have just fallen down after I made the cut.’
The interesting thing is that Chubb – and the Browns – were in the same spot two years ago in a game against Houston. With Cleveland protecting a 10-7 lead, Chubb broke loose on a 59-yard run, but instead of scoring, he stepped out of bounds at the 1-yard line and the Browns burned out the clock.
Two years ago, Stefanski had submitted a play called ‘no mas’ to ensure clock control.
Chubb said he shouldn’t have had to be told again.
“We all work together,” Chubb said. ‘We all communicate. But at the end of the day, I’ve been in that situation before, and so I really can’t blame it on anyone but myself at this point. I think the biggest thing is that I was aware of what was going on and I thought the game was over, to be honest.’
The Cleveland Browns will have a chance to atone for last week’s loss this Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons (0-2), while the Jets face the Steelers (1-1).