Browns Stumble to 0-2

Fred Greetham recaps the team's disappointing home opener.

CLEVELAND—The Chiefs were rude guests as they spoiled, not only the Browns home opener, but the Ring of Honor ceremonies in defeating the Browns, 16-14, in front of 65,377 fans at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

The Browns drop to 0-2, while the Chiefs improve to 2-0.

"It is very frustrating," Josh Cribbs said. "We have talented guys, talented quarterbacks, receivers and running backs. It is just very unfortunate that we couldn't pull out one for the fans. With me being a leader, I apologize to the Browns fans who have been faithful to us, year in and year out."

The Browns held the Chiefs to no offensive touchdowns, but an interception return for a score and three Ryan Succop field goals were all the Chiefs needed to prevail.

"From what I know about this team, our margin of error is not going to be great," Chiefs coach Todd Haley said. "We're a team that hasn't won a lot of games, and that doesn't happen by accident."

Phil Dawson missed his only field goal attempt from 42 yards as the first half ended, depriving the Browns of taking a 17-10 halftime lead. Instead they carried a a 14-10 lead at the half.

The Chiefs had two long drives of over six minutes that resulted in field goals in the second half, but that was all the Chiefs needed to win.

In the final two minutes, the Chiefs elected to go for the first down on fourth-and-inches with 1:53 to play as Thomas Jones leaped high and a good spot gave the Chiefs the first down and the game. The officials reviewed the spot, but did not change it. With the Browns out of timeouts, the Chiefs kneeled and ran out the clock.

Seneca Wallace starting for the injured Jake Delhomme and was 16-of-31 for 229 yards, 187 in the first half, with a touchdown and an interception. Wallace hit Josh Cribbs on a 65-yard strike in the second quarter. He also had completions of 23-yards to Jerome Harrison and 44-yards to Ben Watson.

However, Wallace's undoing was a pass to Chansi Stuckey, but Brandon Flowers stepped in front of the pass and returned it 33 yards for a touchdown to give the Chiefs a 10-7 lead.

"A bad, bad mistake by me," Wallace said. "I take full responsibility. It was a ball I shouldn't have thrown out to the flat. It came out late and Flowers made a good play and ran it back. Those are mistakes we can't have. We had last week (against Tampa Bay) and it came back and bit us in the butt a little bit here in the second half this game."

The Chiefs scored first as Ryan Succop converted a 35-yard field goal with 8:43 to play in the first quarter to take a 3-0 lead. Jerome Harrison fumbled on the Browns' 22 on the Browns' second possession and Harrison's second carry of the game. The Chiefs' Mike Vrabel recovered to set up the score.

The Browns got on the scoreboard with 12:31 to play as Peyton Hillis went over from the one-yard line to make it 7-3. The Browns went 98 yards in 10 plays, taking 5:06 off the clock.

After a few trading of punts, the Browns received the ball after a punt on their six, but Blake Constanzo was flagged for unnecessary roughness and the Browns started at the three.

Hillis ran up the middle for 10 and then Seneca Wallace hit Mohamed Massaquoi for nine yards and a first down to the 25. Wallace threw a short pass to Harrison, who broke loose for 23 yards to the 48. Two plays later, Wallace found Watson across the middle for 44 yards to the Chiefs' nine. Watson had four receptions for 62 yards in the first half.

On first down, Wallace threw to Cribbs for no gain and then Harrison went around left end for four yards to the five. On third-and-goal, Wallace was stopped for a short gain, but Vrabel was called for holding and the Browns received a first down on the two.

Hillis ran for one-yard on first down, and then went in on his second effort on second down with 12:31 to play to make it 7-3. Hillis had six carries for 24 yards, including the touchdown and one reception for 11 yards.

The Chiefs took the lead as Flowers stepped in front of Stuckey and returned an interception 33 yards to give the Chiefs a 10-7 lead with 10:02 to play in the first half.

The Browns regained the lead at 14-10 just 1:19 later as Wallace hit a streaking Cribbs on the Chiefs' 28 and he raced into the end zone to complete the 65-yard touchdown behind Brandon Carr. The Browns went 74 yards in just three plays for the score.

The Chiefs received the second half kickoff and marched all the way to the Browns' six before settling for a 26-yard field goal by Succop to make it 14-13. The Chiefs had the ball for 6:15 as they drove 63 yards on 11 plays. Cassel hit Tony Moeaki for 20 yards to the Browns' 47 on third down to jump start the drive. He then hit Dwayne Bowe for 17 yards to the Browns' 26. Jones picked up 20 yards rushing on the drive. On third-and-one from the six, T.J. Ward and Eric Barton stopped Jamaal Charles for a two-yard loss to force the field goal.

The Chiefs took the lead, 16-14, with 7:41 to play as Succop hit a 23-yard field goal. It followed a 14 play, 68-yard drive that consumed 6:31. The Chiefs started at their 27 and moved to the Browns' five before stalling.

Cassel hit Bowe for 19 yards to the 49. On third-and-six from the Browns' 47, Charles ran up the middle for seven yards and a first down. A 12-yard pass to Tony Moeaki to the 25 on third-and-seven and then a 15-yard pass to Chris Chambers put the Chiefs at the eight with a first down.

After failing to get in the end zone, the Chiefs settled for their third field goal of the game, which turned out to be the game-winner.


Mistake Day: The Browns had nine penalties and turned the ball over twice, as well.

"Our starting point has to be us," Browns coach Eric Mangini said. "When you have a turnover that goes for a touchdown and you have another turnover that sets up three points, (you have) a 10-point swing in a game that's decided by a very small margin."

Seneca's Start: QB Seneca Wallace became the 15th different quarterback to start for the Browns since the team returned to the NFL in 1999. Wallace's first two passes were dropped, one by TE Evan Moore and one by WR Chansi Stuckey on third down. Wallace's first completion was to TE Ben Watson for no gain. Wallace led the Browns on a 98-yard touchdown drive hitting RB Jerome Harrison for 23 yards and TE Ben Watson for 44 yards. Wallace was 11-of-21 for 187 yards with a touchdown and an interception in the first half and finished 16-of-31 for 229 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Dawson Misses: Near the end of the first half, K Phil Dawson was wide left on a 42-yard field goal attempt after DL Ahtyba Rubin intercepted a pass tipped by LB Matt Roth.

Rough Call: DL Kenyon Coleman was flagged for roughing the quarterback with just over five minutes to play in the game and it gave the Chiefs a first down after being faced with third-and-long.

For Openers: The Browns came into the game 1-10 in home openers. This was the first season since 1999 they did not open the season at home. Their last home opening win was in 2004 against the Ravens. The Browns are now 1-11 at home in season openers.

Fumblemania: The Browns continued early on in their propensity to put the ball on the ground. RB Jerome Harrison with 9:19 to play on the Browns' 22 and LB Mike Vrabel recovered. It was Harrison's second carry of the game. The Browns lost two fumbles in the season opening loss to the Bucs last week.

Sheldon's Pick: CB Sheldon Brown went high in the air to intercept a pass from QB Matt Cassel intended for WR Chris Chambers in the second quarter on a deep pass.

Rubin's Pick: NT Ahytba Rubin had an interception prior to the end of the first half when LB Matt Roth tipped a pass and Rubin dove and caught it. However, the Browns were unable to capitalize as K Phil Dawson was wide left on a 42-yard field goal. Rubin had four tackles in the first half.

Cribbs the Wideout: WR Josh Cribbs had two catches for 65 yards including a 65-yard touchdown in the first half and finished with three receptions for 74 yards.

Jerome's Day: RB Jerome Harrison had more carries in the first half than last week as he had 11 carries for 28 yards. He caught two passes for 28 yards. He finished with 16 carries for just 33 yards and had three receptions for 35 yards.  RB Peyton Hillis had eight carries for 35 yards and a touchdown and three receptions for 26 yards.

Marcus the Sack Man: LB Marcus Benard picked up the first sack for the Browns in the first half to give him 2 ½ in two games. He has six sacks in eight NFL games played.

For the Defense: Rookie DB T.J. Ward led the Browns with eight tackles and an assist. LB Matt Roth had five tackles and two assists, while DB Abe Elam had six tackles.

Maiava, Smith Injured: LB Kaluka Maiava injured his leg in the second quarter and his return was questionable. DL Robaire Smith injured his leg with 4:30 left in the second quarter, but he returned. TE Evan Moore injured his head when he was hit by DB Kendrick Lewis on a pass attempt. He did not return to the game. Lewis was flagged for a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty on the play.

Ring of Honor: The Browns honored their 16 Hall of Famers by inducting them into the team's inaugural Ring of Honor. The players names were unveiled from the third deck of the stadium at halftime of the game. Leroy Kelly, Paul Warfield, Joe Delamielleure and Bobby Mitchell were present. Families were in attendance to represent all of the players, with the exception of Jim Brown, who was not in attendance.

Inactives: For the Browns: QB Jake Delhomme, WR Carlton Mitchell, DB Derrick Roberson, LB D'Qwell Jackson, OL Steve Vallos, OL Shawn Lauvao, DL Derrick Robinson and TE Alex Smith. QB Seneca Wallace started in place of Delhomme and QB Colt McCoy is the backup.

For the Chiefs: CB Jackie Bates, FB Mike Cox, S Jon McGraw, LB Charlie Anderson, LB Justin Cole, T yan O'Callaghan, TE Jake O'Connell and DE Tyson Jackson. RT Barry Richardson started for O'Callaghan. Former Browns DL Shaun Smith started for Jackson and Kendrick Lewis started for McGraw.

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