The Browns had a great chance to upset the defending champion Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday, but a critical mistake by Rashard Higgins hurt their chances of doing so in a big way.
Cleveland was looking to cut Kansas City’s lead to 16-10, after Higgins caught a pass, and took the ball inside his opposition’s five-yard line. It would’ve been a first-and-goal scenario regardless, yet Higgins selfishly chose to dive for the pylon, in hopes of scoring a touchdown.
He didn’t, though.
Instead, Higgins fumbled the ball into the end zone for a touchback. The Browns would’ve had first-and-goal from the 1-yard line, and could’ve managed the clock. However, the Chiefs went down the field and kicked a field goal, making Higgins costly mistake a 10-point swing.
The Browns, like the Patriots, apparently have a strict policy that instructs players not to stretch for the end zone, especially when faced with a first-and-goal situation, and head coach Kevin Stefanski spoke about it after the 22-17 loss.
“I will never ever doubt Rashard Higgins’ effort or our guys’ effort,” Stefanski said, via Pro Football Talk. “Our rule there is not to reach the ball out when it is first and goal, and he knows that. Again, [I] appreciate his effort. He battled like he always does, but we have to fight that urge because it is such a big loss if it does end up being a touchback.”
Gonna be a tough once to watch for the Browns players and coaches in the film room.