CLEVELAND — Down to the final snap again, the Cleveland Browns finally got the ball to bounce their way.
Jacksonville rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert's pass into the end zone on the last play was incomplete, allowing the Browns to escape with a 14-10 win over the Jaguars on Sunday.
Gabbert rifled a 3-yard pass high over the middle that went off wide receiver Mike Thomas' outstretched hands, and the Browns (4-6) celebrated a win they nearly gave away. Last week, the Browns lost 13-12 to the St. Louis Rams when they botched a snap and kicker Phil Dawson missed a 22-yard field goal.
This one nearly ended under similar circumstances.
Browns quarterback Colt McCoy shook off an apparent shoulder injury and threw a 3-yard TD pass to Josh Cribbs in the fourth quarter to give Cleveland a 14-10 lead. But Dawson missed a 38-yarder with 2:49 left to give the Jaguars (3-7) a final chance and Gabbert, who had some good and bad moments, nearly pulled off the comeback.
Chris Ogbonnaya rushed for 115 yards and scored on a 1-yard run for Cleveland, ending a TD drought at home that lasted more than 158 minutes. The Browns had scoring drives of 87 and 85 yards, rarities in their first season under coach Pat Shurmur.
The Browns appeared in control when Dawson sent his kick toward the goal post. However, the officials standing directly under the uprights ruled it was wide and sailed over the top of the right post. Dawson argued that his kick should have counted but referee Terry McAulay announced the attempt could not be reviewed.
Gabbert then drove the Jaguars down the field and Jacksonville caught a break when Browns cornerback Joe Haden was called for interference in the final minute on third down.
Maurice Jones-Drew was stopped twice inside the 5, and the Browns were fortunate when Gabbert's pass on 2nd-and-goal went off wide receiver Jason Hill's chest in the back corner of the end zone. That set up a dramatic finale, and this one went Cleveland's way, giving the Browns a much-needed win before the schedule gets rougher.
McCoy completed 17 of 24 passes for 199 yards. And while his numbers were efficient, the second-year QB again showed he's a gamer by staying in despite being rocked on a sack in the third quarter.
Gabbert was 22 of 41 for 210 yards, and Jones-Drew rushed for 87 yards on 21 carries.
Josh Scobee kicked a 42-yard field goal to bring the Jaguars within 14-10 with 5:39 left.
Cleveland briefly took a 10-7 lead in the third on Dawson's 40-yard field goal, one play after McCoy appeared to injure his right shoulder when he was sacked by two Jaguars. However, Jacksonville's Mike Lockley was flagged for "leaping," giving the Browns an automatic first down at the Jaguars' 11.
McCoy got the Browns to the 6, but he forced a pass over the middle that was intercepted by safety Dawan Landry. McCoy helped tackle on the play, and Cleveland's quarterback slowly walked to the bench, where he was surrounded by team medical and security personnel, who formed a wall around him.
The Browns finally found their way into the end zone in the second quarter, when Ogbonnaya's first career TD, a 1-yard run off the left side tied it 7-7 with 3:21 left before halftime.
It was Cleveland's first touchdown at home since Oct. 2, a drought of 158 minutes, 15 seconds – or 2 hours, 38 minutes and 15 seconds, nearly the length of time it takes to play an entire NFL game.
Ogbonnaya's TD was set up by McCoy's 51-yard pass to Jordan Norwood, who juked out safety Chris Prosinski after making his catch near mid-field.
Jones-Drew powered up the middle for a 6-yard TD run, capping Jacksonville's 18-play, 92-yard scoring drive that devoured 9:32 off the clock. Jones-Drew dragged safety Mike Adams and linebacker Chris Gocong into the end zone and followed with a celebration designed to irk Cleveland fans by imitating the powder toss NBA superstar LeBron James started while he played for the Cavaliers.