The Cleveland Browns got off to a rocky start against the Miami Dolphins with Cody Kessler under center, but they fought back to tie up the game in the fourth quarter and send the game to overtime, thanks in large part to Terrelle Pryor. Unfortunately, the Browns kept Kessler in at quarterback for the Browns' last possession of overtime, and it cost them the game. Cleveland lost with a final score of 30-24.
Kessler got off to a rough start, with his catastrophic first series consisting of a delay of game penalty, a botched snap, and a fumble during a sack. Pryor came in on the next series, and he was actually able to move the ball. The Browns rotated Pryor in at quarterback throughout the rest of the game.
Pryor said this week that he was willing to do anything to help the Browns win, including cutting off a finger. Thankfully, that wasn't necessary, and all he had to do was contribute at a bunch of different positions for Cleveland against the Dolphins.
According to ESPN Stats and Info, Pryor is the first player since the AFL-NFL merger to have at least three passing attempts, three rushing attempts, and three receptions in a single game. Prior finished the day with three completions for 35 yards, four carries for 21 rushing yards and one touchdown, and eight receptions for 144 yards.
Pryor's perspective was unchanged after the game. He said he'll do whatever the team needs him to do.
"I'll play anything for Coach Jackson ... center ... tackle," Pryor said.
There's a good reason that Pryor is so willing to do whatever it takes to help the team win.
"This game was almost taken from me, and that's why it means so much to me," Pryor said.
Not only did Pryor contribute in several roles on offense, but he also played a defensive snap to defend against a Hail Mary attempt from Ryan Tannehell and the Dolphins.
After the game, Browns head coach Hue Jackson said he wasn't surprised by how well Pryor played. The plan was always to get Pryor some work at quarterback based on what he had done in practice this week.
"I just liked his style," Jackson said. "I liked what he did in practice, and I told him he was going to have an opportunity to go out there and play regardless of whether we were totally healthy or not."
Pryor's just happy to be contributing.
"They're going to have to pull me off the field," Pryor said. "I love the game."
Pryor was a huge factor, but the Cleveland defense deserves recognition for its late-game play in particular. With less than a minute remaining in the game, Browns linebacker Corey Lemonier sacked Tannehill, forcing a fumble, which Lemonier then recovered. It was a long field goal attempt for Cody Parkey, who was just signed by the Browns on Saturday, and it went wide left, sending the game to overtime.
Cleveland surprisingly opted to kick off to start the overtime period, and the Browns defense forced a three-and-out on Miami's first possession. The Browns took over, with Kessler lining up at quarterback for the first offensive series, and on a crucial third-and-2, Kessler delivered a strike to -- who else? -- Terrelle Pryor to convert.
Kessler took a sack and lost 7 yards, and then a holding penalty pushed Cleveland even farther into Browns territory. Ryan Tannehill hit Jarvis Landry with a 32-yard pass to put the Dolphins on the 11-yard line, and Jay Ajayi walked into the end zone untouched for the win.
Pryor did enough to put the Browns in a position to win, but the Browns couldn't seal the deal.