In case you missed it, Gary Barnidge had one of the best plays – if not the best play – in the NFL this past weekend. The Browns tight end caught an 18-yard touchdown pass with his feet to give Cleveland a 22-21 fourth-quarter lead over the Ravens.
The Browns ultimately won, 33-30, in overtime to improve to 2-3 on the season.
What the heck happened on that play?
“Well, I saw there was pressure, so I knew it was going to be a good opportunity because it was man coverage,” Barnidge recalled on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “So (Josh McCown) threw it up and I went up to try to get the ball. I saw we both went for it and it came down and I felt it hit my foot. Once I felt it on my leg, I just closed my other leg on it. I was like, ‘I’ve got to get it to my hands as quick as possible so it doesn’t get on the ground.’ I saw another defender running at me. I think he saw the same thing. I was trying to get it to my hands as quick as I could. I was trying to maneuver it up my legs to get it to my hands because I knew once it got to my hands, it wasn’t going anywhere.”
Asked if he’s ever caught a pass with his feet, Barnidge said simply, “No, that was a first.”
Barnidge finished the day with game-highs in receptions (eight) and receiving yards (139) and has now caught a touchdown in three straight games – this after scoring three touchdowns in his first four years of his career.
“I think it’s just more opportunities, honestly,” the 30-year-old Barnidge said. “It’s tough when you’re behind Pro Bowlers Greg Olsen and Jordan Cameron to get your opportunities. Now that the Browns gave me that confidence and that chance to be the guy, it’s been great. I’m just trying to do what I can to help the team win because that’s all that matters.”
Sunday’s mark snapped a two-game skid in which the Browns had lost to Oakland and San Diego by a combined 10 points. The loss to the Chargers came on the final play of the game – a 34-yard field goal by Josh Lambo.
Nobody expected much from the Browns this season, but they’ve hung tough, even in defeat.
“We try to show that we’re never going to be out of a game,” Barnidge said. “No matter what the score is, we’re never going to stop, we’re never going to quit, we’re never going to give up. We’re going to keep fighting to the very end. We’ve never had any dysfunction within our team. I know at the beginning of the year, everybody thought, ‘Oh, they don’t have the players at these positions to do this kind of stuff.’ We’ve known all along inside of our building that we have the guys to do what we want to do. We’re showing it, and we’re just going to keep going.”
The Browns host the Broncos (5-0) this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.