CLEVELAND — With midnight 45 minutes away, Mike Holmgren exited the Cleveland Browns locker room with a stoic look on his face. A step behind the team president was the head coach, Pat Shurmur.
His look was equally as sullen following the Browns 30-28 loss to the Detroit Lions in the second preseason game of the season.
"There was some really good stuff in the first half," Shurmur said. "We come out second half and score right away. It's hard get a (28-13) lead and then we went to getting sloppy. Numerous penalties and two fumbles in second half led directly to points. Those are killers. Guys in the game are in charge of taking care of the game and you can't get sloppy."
Colt McCoy's encore performance at Cleveland Browns Stadium did not carry the sloppy theme, but he was routinely bumped, banged and bruised by an aggressive Lions' defense. McCoy, who played all but about two minutes of the first half, finished 10-for-18 for 96 yards and three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 110.2 quarterback rating.
In two preseason games, McCoy is 19 of 28 for 231 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions.
"We had our ups and downs for sure," McCoy said. "In the first half we did some good things, capitalized on short fields. We didn't settle for field goals and that's crucial to winning football games."
In that first half, two of the Browns' three scoring drives took advantage of good field position. On the third play of the Lions' first possession, Browns rookie defensive end Jabaal Sheard striped running back Javid Best of the ball. Sheard recovered his forced fumble on the Lions' 34-yard-line.
"We face one of the toughest offensive lines every day in practice," Sheard said. "I think that is making us better."
Six plays later, McCoy connected with Evan Moore on a 2-yard touchdown pass.
That duo was not done.With the Browns trailing 10-7, Cleveland forced Detroit to punt deep in its own territory, and a 20-yard return by Jordan Norwood set up the Browns at the Lions 21-yard-line. On first down, McCoy threw deep to Moore, who caught an over-the-shoulder pass and drug his feet for a touchdown. It was originally called incomplete, but Shurmur challenged the play and it was reversed.
The Browns final scoring drive of the first half began at their own 17-yard line but ended 10 plays later with a 13-yard touchdown pass from McCoy to Greg Little.
"Colt is doing a great job at spreading the football around," Cribbs said. "We're going to see the athletes make plays."
The Browns 28-13 third quarter lead disappeared quickly thanks to two turnovers that led to 14 Lions' points. With 9:51 remaining in the game, Dave Rayner kicked a 48-yard field goal that proved to be the winning game.
Detroit has beaten Cleveland four of the last five preseason meetings.