Browns establish halftime lead

In the season opening half, the Browns established a's 14-10 lead thanks to a touchdown pass to Mohamed Massaquoi, a touchdown run by Peyton Hillis and a Jake Delhomme interception that set up the Buccaneers lone touchdown.

The Browns looked as though they had things well in hand in the first half, leading 14-3 and going in for a possible score, but Jake Delhomme's interception to Ronde Barber dampened that.

Barber returned the ball to the Browns' three and the Bucs scored on the next play to make it 14-10 at the half.

The Browns started well as they took a 7-0 lead with 2:48 to play in the first quarter as Jake Delhomme hit Mohamed Massaquoi for a 41-yard touchdown. Massaquoi got behind two Tampa Bay defenders and Delhomme lofted the ball high enough for it not to be intercepted. The two key plays on the drive were when Bucs' cornerback Ronde Barber jumped offsides on third-and-5 and then Peyton Hillis picked up the first down on third-and-12 on a draw play up the middle. On the next play, Delhomme found Massaquoi.

Tampa Bay answered the Browns with a 49-yard field goal by Connor Barth with 50 seconds to play in the first quarter to make it 7-3. The field goal was set up by a 33-yard scramble by quarterback Josh Freeman to the Browns' 30.

The Browns increased their lead to 14-3 with 5:35 to play in the second quarter as Peyton Hillis went around left end for a 10-yard touchdown run. Hillis opened the drive with two runs for eight yards and then on third-and-two, Josh Cribbs took the direct snap for six yards and a first down around the right side. On the next play, Jerome Harrison broke loose for 39 yards to the Buccaneers' 10. Hillis went in on the next play. The Browns went 63 yards on five plays as they took 5:35 off the clock.

In the final two minutes of the first half, Tampa Bay was driving when Mike Adams intercepted a pass from Freeman and returned it to the Browns' 47 with 1:34 to play in the first half. After moving to the Bucs' 39, Delhomme threw an errant pass and Ronde Barber intercepted it and returned the ball to the Browns three.

The Buccaneers cut the lead to 14-10 with 18 seconds to play in the half. On the first play after the interception, Freeman hit Mike Williams in the end zone. Sheldon Brown batted the ball up in the air and Williams came down with it in the back of the end zone.

Phil Dawson tried a 62-yard field goal to end the first half and it was wide to the left.


Cyclone Debuts: The Browns opened their second possession with QB Jake Delhomme on the sidelines and WR Josh Cribbs took the first direct snap for five yards. On the next possession, Cribbs threw a 9-yard pass to QB Seneca Wallace.

Jake's Start: QB Jake Delhomme threw a short pass to RB Peyton Hillis on the first play for 16 yards. He hit RB Jerome Harrison for seven yards on his next pass, before TE Ben Watson couldn't hang on to a third down pass. Delhomme was 2-of-3 for 23 yards on his first possession. He finished the first half 11-of-18 for 106 yards with an interception.

Smash and Dash: The Browns lined up RB Peyton Hillis in the backfield with the starting unit to open the game and he carried a lot of the load. RB Jerome Harrison broke loose on a 39-yard run in the second quarter. Hillis had a 10-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Hillis had 6 carries for 34 yards and two receptions for 14 yards. Harrison had three runs for 42 yards and one catch for seven yards.

Long Ball Mo: WR Mohamed Massaquoi caught a 41-yard touchdown for the Browns first score of the season. Massaquoi had two receptions for 46 yards in the first half.

Big Joe: CB Joe Haden didn't start, but had two big plays in the first quarter as he broke up a pass intended for WR Mike Williams. On the next play, a third down, Haden broke up a pass intended for WR Michael Spurlock.

Like Mike: DB Mike Adams had the first interception of the season for the Browns in the second quarter. He lead the Browns in tackles with three.

Early Dividends: LB Scott Fujita combined with LB Marcus Benard for a sack on Tampa Bay's second possession. The Browns had trouble getting to the quarterback in the preseason, but picked up their first one on third down. DB Sheldon Brown batted down a long pass intended for WR Mike Williams.

Long Drought: The Browns haven't had a win in their season opener since 2004.

Right Side Surprise: In a mild surprise, John St. Clair started at right tackle, despite missing a week for personal reasons. OL Tony Pashos was signed as an unrestricted free agent in the off-season. Womack missed all of the preseason with a knee injury, but OL Shawn Lauvao twisted an ankle this past week.

Nice Start for T.J.: On the first series, the Bucs threw a screen to TE Kellen Winslow on third down and S T.J. Ward smothered Winslow for a one-yard loss forcing a punt.

Rubin Starts: DL Ahytba Rubin started at nose tackle in place of DL Shaun Rogers.

Old Friends: Former Browns OL Jeff Faine, DB Sean Jones and TE Kellen Winslow played against the Browns.

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