INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Kareem Hunt scored on a 1-yard touchdown plunge with 15 seconds left Sunday, capping an 80-yard touchdown drive that gave the Cleveland Browns a 39-38 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
P.J. Walker used all but 15 seconds of the final 2:35 to rally the Browns for the second consecutive week, this time taking advantage of debatable back-to-back defensive penalties against the Colts, an illegal contact and a defensive pass interference call on cornerback Darrell Baker Jr.
The first call nullified a fumble recovery by the Colts. The second put the ball at the 1-yard line, setting up Hunt’s fourth-down score. He had 10 carries for 31 yards and two TDs.
It’s the second straight week Walker has rallied Cleveland (4-2). This time it was in relief of Deshaun Watson, who started his first game since Sept. 24 but left in the first quarter after taking a big hit that left him sprawled on the turf for several minutes.
Watson was cleared after being evaluated for a head injury but did not return to avoid hurting his already injured right shoulder.
The Colts (3-4) lost their second straight as Gardner Minshew committed four more turnovers — three of which Cleveland turned into scores and the last sealing the victory. Somehow, though, Minshew still had Indy in position for the win after hooking up with Michael Pittman Jr. on a 75-yard TD pass to give the Colts a 38-33 lead.
They just couldn’t hold it.
Browns defensive end Myles Garrett dominated the game, recording nine tackles, two strip-sacks and blocking a 60-yard field goal attempt. Cleveland’s Dustin Hopkins broke the NFL record by making a field goal of 50 or more yards in a fifth straight game. He converted two 54-yarders and a 58-yarder.
Jerome Ford opened the scoring with a 69-yard TD run on the game’s third play.
Minshew answered with a 59-yard TD pass to Josh Down on Indy’s first possession.
Ford had 11 carries for 74 yards and Walker finished 15 of 32 with 178 yards and one interception.
Minshew was 15 of 23 for 305 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He also ran for a career-high two scores. Jonathan Taylor had 18 carries for 75 yards and his first score of the season. Downs had five receptions for 125 yards, while Pittman had two catches for 83 yards.
Browns: In addition to Watson, DE Alex Wright and CB Denzel Ward both were evaluated for head injuries and Ford left in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury.
Colts: Rookie CB JuJu Brents left with a quad injury in the first half and did not return. Receiver Isaiah McKenzie was evaluated for a concussion in the second half.
Browns: Head to Seattle next Sunday.
Colts: Play their fourth home game in five weeks next Sunday against New Orleans.