The Browns couldn’t get out of their own way .
Continually shooting themselves in the foot with turnovers and costly penalties, the Rams scored 17 points off of four Browns turnovers in leading the way to a 24-6 win in St. Louis. The Browns were held without a touchdown. The Browns also had 11 penalties for 98 yards.
Taylor Gabriel fumbled on the third play offensive play of the game after being stripped of the ball by Janoris Jenkins on a short screen and Rodney McCleod returned the fumble 20 yards for the score.
That play set the tone and just like that it was 7-0 with 11:59 left in the first quarter.
On the next possession, Josh McCown was sacked by Williams Hayes and Akeem Ayers recovered at the Browns 25 setting up a 39-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein with 7:33 to play in the first quarter and just like that it was 10-0.
After scoring a field goal to open the second half and cut the deficit to 10-6, the Browns had a golden opportunity to cut further into the lead, but once again couldn’t get out of the way of themselves.
The Rams missed a field goal and the Browns took over and moved the ball, but had four penalties on the drive, including three holding penalties. The most costly was on Joe Thomas after Travis Benjamin caught a 40-yard pass on third-and-9 to move the ball inside the Rams 20. Instead of at least cutting the deficit to 10-9, the Browns are forced to punt the ball back to the Rams.
The Rams took the punt and moved the length of the field for a touchdown. The score was aided greatly on a long pass interference penalty on Pierre Desir. On the next play, Desir was beaten deep by Kenny Britt for 41 yards to the Browns one. Todd Gurley scored on the next play to make it 17-6.
Still in the game with 13:17 to play and down 17-6, the Browns were driving when McCown hit Travis Benjamin across the middle in space, but Benjamin was hit by T.J. McDonald, who stripped him of the ball and Nick Fairley recovered at the Rams’ 44.
The Rams moved to the Browns’ 21 and on third-and-8, Nick Foles threw an incomplete pass over the head of the receiver. However, K’Waun Williams held the receiver and instead of keeping it a two possession game, Gurley scored from 16 yards out on the next play to make it 24-6.
To add insult to injury, McCown was strip sacked on the next drive and the Rams recovered for their fourth turnover. McCown went to the locker room and did not return.
McCown Hurt: QB Josh McCown left late in the game with an apparent shoulder injury. McCown was trying to throw a pass and was hit and was ruled a fumble, which was recovered by the Rams.
It was McCown’s second fumble of the game. McCown finished 26-of-32 for 270 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. He also had four rushes for 21 yards. McCown was sacked four times and lost two fumbles.
Manziel Plays: When McCown went down late in the game, QB Johnny Manziel took over with 3:26 to play. He was 4-of-5 for 27 yards and had one rush for 5 yards. Unfortunately, his rush came on fourth-and-6 and he slid short of the first down marker.
Gurley Time: The Browns bottled up RB Todd Gurley in the first half and held him to just nine carries for 45 yards. However, a 41- yard run on his first attempt in the second half propelled him to a total of 128 yards and two touchdowns. He scored his first NFL touchdown after WR Kenny Britt caught a 41 yard pass inside the one on DB Pierre Desir. One player earlier, Desir was called for pass interference at the Browns’ 42. Hurley scored on a 16-yard run to make it 24-6 with 8:11 to play.
The Duke: RB Duke Johnson was the leading receiver with seven receptions for 73 yards. He had 17 yards rushing on six carries. Johnson had 11 yards at halftime rushing and three receptions for 30 yards.
Barnidge Continues Streak: TE Gary Barnidge continued his big play ability and finished with six receptions for 101 yards.
Turbinator: RB Robert Turbin had 30 yards on five carries, including a 22-yard run. He also caught two passes for eight yards.
Rough Day for WRs: WR Travis Benjamin had just four receptions for 47 yards, but lost the ball after a catch in the fourth quarter. He had a long ball for a reception, but it was called back on a holding penalty by OL Joe Thomas. WR Taylor Gabriel fumbled after his first reception.
Coons Continues: K Travis Coons hit his 13th-straight field goal in the first quarter from 25 yards after a 14 play, 73-yard drive that took 8:28. He hit his 14th straight with 11:45 to play in the third quarter from 44 yards out to make it 10-6 at the time. He is perfect on field goals and extra points thus far this season, including 14-of-14 field goals.
Turnover: The Browns lone turnover was provided when DB Donte Whitner hit TE Jared Cook and DB Jordan Poyer recover the ball at the Browns’ 16. LB Karlos Dansby, LB Christian Kirksey, Poyer and Whitner all led the Browns with five tackles.
Sackers: DL Desmond Bryant and DL Randy Starks had the Browns two sacks on QB Nick Foles.
Bowe IA for 3rd Straight Week: Inactive were: QB Austin Davis, DB Joe Haden, DB Tashaun Gipson, LB Craig Robertson, WR Dwayne Bowe, TE Rob Housler and TE E.J. Bibbs.