Offensive Woes Continue

Browns offense struggles again as the 49ers hold off the Browns 20-10.

Many have left their hearts in San Francisco. The Browns left their offense in San Francisco…or maybe it never got out of Cleveland.

The offense moved the ball late, but it was too little too late as the Browns lost to the 49ers to drop to 3-4.

The Browns had a span of seven quarters in which they failed to score a touchdown dating back to the 24-17 loss to the Raiders. On Sunday, the Browns finished with 290 net yards on offense, but most of those came on two fourth quarter drives. Colt McCoy finished 22-of-34 for 241 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He had a 83.1 rating, but was sacked four times. McCoy fumbled after being sacked on the first series and that set the tone for the game.

The Browns put a lot of emphasis on getting off to a fast start, but it didn't happen. The Browns turned the ball over on the first series when McCoy was strip-sacked by Ahmad Brooks and the 49ers recovered on the Browns' 20.

After Frank Gore scored several plays later, the Browns were mired in a 7-0 deficit and found themselves behind 17-0 in the second quarter. In fact, if not for an outstanding goal line stand by the defense at the one yard line, the Brown would've been down 24-0 before Phil Dawson put the Browns on the board as the first half expired on a 51-yard field goal.

Through seven games the Browns have scored just three points in the first quarter. Other than the opening drive turnover, the Browns punted on their other two first quarter drives.

McCoy hit Joshua Cribbs on a sideline route for a 46-yard touchdown as Cribbs beat Terrelle Brown with 6:17 to play to cut the deficit to 17-10. On the drive, the Browns went 80 yards in eight plays taking just 2:24. A key play was on fourth-and-1 when McCoy picked up the first down on second effort from the Browns' 42.

The offense played the majority of the game with their third-string running back as Montario Hardesty went out with a calf injury after just two carries for six yards. Peyton Hillis and Mohamed Massaquoi also sat out with injuries. Chris Ogbonnaya, who just joined the Browns off the Texans' practice squad 10 days ago, finished with 11 carries for 37 yards and caught five passes for 24 yards. The Browns had just 66 yards rushing with McCoy rushing eight times for 30 yards.

Notebook

Goal Line Gem: After allowing no touchdowns and just 137 yards a week ago, the defense was gashed early by the 49ers. However, the defense recovered and held the 49ers' just one touchdown after the initial score. The 49ers totaled 253 yards in the first half.

The first touchdown was not the defense's fault as a Colt McCoy fumble gave the 49ers the ball on the Browns' 20.

However, after Brad Maynard pinned the 49ers back at the one, the 49ers drove 88 yards to the Browns' 11 before forcing a 29-yard field goal by David Akers.

With 11:21 to play in the first half, it looked as though the 49ers would go up 17-0 on a run by Gore. However, replay showed Gore was eight inches short of the goal line when his elbow hit the ground. The defense had given up three runs for over 24 yards already in the first half at that time.

Instead of being up 17-0, the 49ers had to run another play, but Gore was piled up for a one-yard loss by Chris Gocong. On the next play, Phil Taylor and LB Kaluka Maiava made the stop for no gain. Electing to go for it on fourth down from the one, D'Qwell Jackson speared under Gore and stopped him short of the goal. Instead of being down 17-0, the Browns took over inside the one, but only down 10-0.

However, the 49ers added a touchdown by Michael Crabtree before halftime to make it 17-0 with 1:31 to play. Gore rushed for over 103 yards in the first half.

Where's Evan?: TE Evan Moore wasn't seen until the fourth quarter when he caught his first pass with 13:04 to play in the game. He caught a five-yard pass and finished with just two catches for 17 yards.

Gocong Injured: LB Chris Gocong covered WR Michael Crabtree on a sideline pass. He also stopped RB Frank Gore inside the one-yard line. However, Gocong suffered a shoulder injury and was replaced by LB Kaluka Maiava. Gocong finished with five tackles.

McCoy Sack: QB Colt McCoy was sacked on the second play of scrimmage by DL Ahmad Brooks and the 49ers recovered at the Browns' 20. RB Frank Gore scored moments later and the 49ers were up 7-0 with 12:44 to play in the first quarter. McCoy was sacked four times.

Haden PI: CB Joe Haden interfered with WR Michael Crabtree on third-and-6 after breaking up the pass to give the 49ers a first down inside the 10. Gore scored on the next play.

Hillis Out; Hardesty In, then Out: RB Peyton Hillis missed his second-straight game with a hamstring injury. RB Montario Hardesty started in his place. Hardesty suffered a calf injury in the first half and RB Chris Ogbonnaya was the lone healthy running back. Hardesty finished with just two rushes for six yards. Ogbonnaya led the Browns with 11 carries for 37 yards and caught five passes for 24 yards.

D'Qwell Leads: LB D'Qwell Jackson led the defense with 10 tackles. However, he had a big face mask penalty when the Browns were trying to get the ball back. On third-and-three, Jackson stopped Gore short of the first down, but Jackson's penalty gave the 49ers a first down with under four minutes to go and the Browns didn't get the ball back. DL Ahtyba Rubin had eight tackles and DL Phil Taylor had the Browns only sack.

Money Phil: K Phil Dawson hit a 51-yard field goal to end the first half for the Browns only score in the first half. Trailing 17-0, the Browns got the ball at their 17 with 1:26 to play. QB Colt McCoy completed five passes on the drive and a personal foul on the 49ers allowed the Browns to get to the 49ers' 33 with four seconds to play. McCoy hit WR Josh Cribbs for 11 yards and Cribbs did a nice job of keeping his feet in bounds before the Dawson kick.

Good Move: The 49ers punted on their first possession of the second half and KR Josh Cribbs returned it to the Browns' 30. However, a penalty on the 49ers was called and after punting again, Cribbs returned the ball 20 yards to the 50. In all, the Browns picked up 20 yards in the exchange.

MoMass Out; Cribbs In: WR Mohamed Massaquoi missed the game with a concussion and WR Josh Cribbs started in his place. WR Jordan Norwood had his most productive day with five receptions for 32 yards. WR Greg Little caught four passes for 28 yards.

Cribbs had two receptions for 56 yards, including a 46 yard touchdown. He had three punt returns for 34 yards and four kickoff returns for 102 yards.

Dimitri Down: DB Dimitri Patterson injured his leg in the third quarter.

Inactives: Other than Hillis and Massaquoi, inactive was QB Thaddeus Lewis, DB Ray Ventrone, OL Oniel Cousins, OL Steve Vallos and DL Auston English.

Ties that Bind: Former Browns WR Braylon Edwards was active and former LB Blake Costanzo was as well. Former Glenville and Ohio State players WR Ted Ginn, Jr. and DB Donte Whitner played as did Buckeye OL Alex Boone. Former Browns special teams coach Brad Seely is in the same position with the 49ers. Edwards caught four passes for 42 yards.


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