Breaking News
More () »

A lump of coal: Baker Mayfield throws 4 INTs, Cleveland Browns lose 24-22 Christmas Day heartbreaker to Green Bay Packers

Cleveland falls to 7-8, and needs a lot of help to even have a chance at the playoffs.

GREEN BAY, Wis. — For Baker Mayfield, this was as bad as it gets.

In a virtual must-win situation, the Browns quarterback threw a career-high four interceptions as Cleveland lost its second straight game, 24-22 to the Green Bay Packers. With just two weeks left in the regular season, the team's playoff hopes now look like a pipe dream.

'THERE'S JUST SOMETHING MISSING': 3News' Jay Crawford on the Browns' Christmas Day loss to the Green Bay Packers

Things looked promising early, with the Browns marching downfield and Nick Chubb earning a 1-yard touchdown run to make it 6-0 (the PAT was missed by rookie fill-in Chris Naggar). But after a quick defensive stop, the troubles began for Mayfield, as he was picked off while trying to hit Donovan Peoples-Jones in double coverage. Replays appeared to show an illegal contact penalty against Green Bay, but instead it was the start of a pattern that would emerge all afternoon long.

All of Mayfield's three first-half INTs led to Aaron Rodgers touchdown passes, the first of which broke Brett Favre's record for the most scoring passes in franchise history. The other two were to Davante Adams, who had 10 catches for 114 yards.

RELATED: Browns S John Johnson III questions play-calling during game vs. Packers

The Packers led 24-12 early in the third quarter, Cleveland fought back when Kevin Stefanski -- who like Mayfield was back on the sidelines after testing positive for COVID-19 last week -- began giving the ball to Chubb. The three-time Pro Bowler's 126 rushing yards on only 17 carries helped get the offense back on track, and a Mayfield scoring strike to Anthony Schwartz made it a two-point game with just 4:31 to play.

A shocking Adams drop gave the Browns the ball back with 2:05 left and three timeouts, and the team drove to midfield thanks to two Chubb runs and a reception. Then, they suddenly abandoned the running game again, and after two Mayfield incompletions he was intercepted by Rasul Douglas for the second time. Once again, video appeared to show contact against Donovan Peoples-Jones, but Cleveland's protests were to no avail.

WATCH: Controversial no-call seals Browns' loss to Green Bay Packers

Mayfield finished the game with 222 passing yards and two TDs, but his four picks (including one deep in Green Bay territory) cost the Browns in crucial spots. His 55.3 passer rating was also his second lowest of the season.

Now under .500 for the first time since Week 1 at 7-8, Cleveland remains in last place in the AFC North. While there are still very realistic scenarios that could seem then winning the division with a 9-8 record, they will have to win two straight to end the year, something they haven't done this season since Week 4.

What follows is a comprehensive drive-by-drive recap of today's action, with the most recent plays and updates closest to the top. Stay tuned for more analysis throughout the evening on both 3News and WKYC.com.

Sports anchor Nick Camino gave his take following the game's conclusion:


0:00: Aaron Rodgers' hard count on third-and-inches draws Malik Jackson offsides, and the Packers go into victory formation.

0:43: Despite pleading for a flag, Baker Mayfield throws his fourth interception of the game, the second by Rasul Douglas. The Packers take over at their own 40 and will try to run out the clock.

2:05: Aaron Rodgers has Davante Adams wide-open on third down, but the All-Pro uncharacteristically drops it, and the Packers are forced to punt again. Donovan Peoples-Jones returns it to his own 25, and the Browns will have a chance to take the lead with all three timeouts plus the two-minute warning in their back pocket.

4:31 - Packers 24, Browns 22: On third-and-10 from the Green Bay 35, D'Ernest Johnson runs and end around and bursts free for 30 yards. One play later, Baker Mayfield catches the Packers off-guard and tosses to Anthony Schwartz for a 5-yard touchdown. It's the rookie's first NFL scoring reception, and the Browns are back in it.

6:41: The Packers go three-and-out again as M.J. Stewart and Sheldon Day team up to stuff an Aaron Jones run. Corey Bojorquez's punt is fair-caught by Donovan Peoples-Jones at the Browns 24.

8:57: The Browns get all the way to the Packers 28, but Baker Mayfield is sacked on back-to-back plays by Preston Smith and Dean Lowry, respectively. A controversial false start by Wyatt Teller stops Cleveland from going for it on fourth-and-22, and Amari Rodgers returns Dustin Colquitt's first punt of the game to the Green Bay 20-yard line.

14:49: A Joe Jackson tackle for loss on first down sets up a big three-and-out for the Browns' defense. Corey Bojorquez rockets his punt 56 yards downfield, and Donovan Peoples-Jones returns it to his own 28.


1:07 - Packers 24, Browns 15: Now it's Baker Mayfield's turn to lead a methodical drive, but it sadly ends with a sack by Rashan Gary. Cleveland settles for a 37-yard Chris Naggar field goal, the first points of his NFL career.

9:12 - Packers 24, Browns 12: Aaron Rodgers comes out of the half with an 11-play drive, but the Cleveland defense tightens up and forces a 32-yard Mason Crosby field goal.


0:00: Demetric Felton returns the kickoff 29 yards before Baker Mayfield takes a knee, sending us into halftime.

0:12 - Packers 21, Browns 12: In one of his patented two-minute drills, Aaron Rodgers marches Green Bay to the goal line before hitting Davatne Adams for a 1-yard touchdown.

1:51: Baker Mayfield finds Rashard Higgins for a big third-down conversion, but on the very next play throws his third interception of the game. Rasul Douglas gets it this time, and gives the Packers the ball at the Browns 49-yard line.

4:42: The Packers go three-and-out as Aaron Rodgers gets stepped on by one of his own linemen then takes a shot from Ifeadi Odenigbo. Corey Bojorquez's punt rolls to the Browns 29.

7:03 - Packers 14, Browns 12: Cleveland responds with a solid drive that ends with a 1-yard touchdown pass from Baker Mayfield to Harrison Bryant. Unfortunately, the try for two fails, and Green Bay maintains the lead.

10:47 - Packers 14, Browns 6: Allen Lazard makes an incredible one-handed catch, and moments later Aaron Rodgers finds a wide-open Davante Adams for a 9-yard touchdown.


0:35: The Browns convert a fourth down and then get deep into Green Bay territory with another long run by Nick Chubb, but after a missed facemask penalty on a sack, Baker Mayfield overthrows Jarvis Landry on third down and gets picked off for the second time. Chandon Sullivan's takeaway puts Green Bay at its own 22.

5:13 - Packers 7, Browns 6: Following a deep strike to Davante Adams, Aaron Rodgers hits Allen Lazard on an out route and he finds the pylon for an 11-yard touchdown. It's the 443rd TD pass of Rodgers' career, breaking Brett Favre's record for the most in Packers history.

8:37: On the first play of the drive, Baker Mayfield goes deep for Donovan Peoples-Jones, but he's double-covered and the pass is intercepted by Darnell Savage. Green Bay takes over at its own 47.

8:45: After Aaron Jones and the Packers convert on fourth-and-short from their own 34, the Browns' defense holds and forces a Corey Bojorquez punt. A penalty on the return puts Cleveland back at its own 8-yard line.

12:21 - Browns 6, Packers 0: A 41-yard catch-and-run by Nick Chubb coupled with a Green Bay penalty sets up a 1-yard scoring run by the Pro Bowler. However, Chris Naggar's extra point attempt is no good.


3:10 p.m.: The following Browns players remain on the reserve/COVID-19 list and will not play Saturday:

  • RB Kareem Hunt
  • OT Jedrick Wills Jr.
  • C JC Tretter
  • DE Jadeveon Clowney
  • DT Malik McDowell
  • DT Jordan Elliott
  • LB Mack Wilson Sr.
  • LB Tony Fields II
  • CB Greg Newsome II
  • CB Troy Hill
  • S Ronnie Harrison Jr.
  • K Chase McLaughlin

With McLaughlin out, undrafted rookie Chris Naggar will make his NFL debut as Cleveland's placekicker, and Pro Bowl left guard Joel Bitonio could be at left tackle again with Wills sidelined. In addition, John Johnson III is out with a hamstring injury, meaning the team will be without its top two safeties.

Before You Leave, Check This Out