It only took a snap.
The Browns couldn't overcome two key mistakes as they dropped the season opener, 29-10 to the Philadelphia Eagles for the Browns 12th consecutive opening game loss.
However, the outcome could've been different.
Two key plays changed the course of the game.
The first big mistake happened after the Browns had just cut the Eagles lead to 13-10 with 13:57 left in the third quarter on a 35-yard field goal by Patrick Murray, when the game turned. The Browns defense forced an Eagles punt on the next series and the Browns took over on their own 15. However, Cameron Erving snapped the ball over Robert Griffin III's head and it sailed out of the end zone for a safety and the Eagles received a gift two points to make it 15-10. Erving had trouble in training camp with bad snaps out of the shotgun, including in a preseason game, but vowed that it would be corrected.
"I don't think about snapping the ball, I just do it," Erving said after the game. "It went over (Griffin's) head and that's something I can't do as a professional. And that's all I have to say about it."
After receiving the free kick after the safety, Philadelphia moved 73 yards for a touchdown as Carson Wentz hit Nelson Agholor down the sideline for 35 yards and a touchdown to give the Eagles a 22-10 lead with 6:17 left in the third quarter and that was all the Eagles needed to get the win.
Earlier in the game, after three straight three-and-outs to start the game, the Browns began to get their offense going. The Browns went 75 yards on seven plays as Griffin opened the drive with a 11-yard pass to Terrelle Pryor and then a 16-yard screen to Duke Johnson. after a false start by Pryor, Pryor went up over Nolan Caroll and hauled in a 44-yard catch to the Eagles nine. After a pass interference penalty on Malcolm Jenkins on third down, Isaiah Crowell went around left end to the end zone for the two-yard score to make the score 10-7 with 9:11 left in the first half.
After stopping the Eagles and getting the ball back with 7:35 to play in the first half, Griffin moved the Browns from the 20 to the Eagles 28 after a 20-yard run by Griffin and a five-yard run by Crowell.
The second big mistake happened when Griffin tried to throw a slant to Corey Coleman and the ball was tipped at the line of scrimmage and intercepted by Rodney McLeod to end the threat. Instead of a Browns lead or at least a 10-10 tie, the Browns lost their offensive momentum.
Carson Wentz, making his NFL debut started the game with an impressive 75-yard drive, capped by a 19-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Matthews as Matthews was able to get behind Tramon Williams. Wentz finished 22-of-37 for 278 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions as he won the first round over the Browns, who elected to not draft Wentz and trade with the Eagles for the right to the pick.
RG3 Debut: The offense started with a three-and-out as TE Gary Barnidge dropped the first pass and then after a one-yard run by RB Isaiah Crowell, Griffin ran the read option for three yards. Griffin finished 12-of-26 for 190 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. He rushed five times for 37 yards. He was 9-of-15 for 118 yards in the first half with one interception on a topped pass at the line of scrimmage. Griffin ran three times in the first half for 26 yards, including a long run of 20 yards. Griffin was sacked three times and appeared to be shaken up near the end of the game, but returned for the final series, but just handed the ball off.
Corey's Debut: Top pick WR Corey Coleman's first NFL reception was for 58 yards on the first play of the third quarter as Robert Griffin III threw down the left sideline and three Eagles defenders didn't find the ball and Coleman caught the pass at the Eagles 17. Coleman finished with two catches for 69 yards to lead the Browns.
Barnidge Shut Out: Pro Bowl TE Gary Barnidge did not catch a pass in the opener. Barnidge had two passes go off his hands in the game.
What was he thinking?: The Browns tried a fake punt with 14:49 left in the second quarter on their own 35. Duke Johnson took a direct snap and was immediately dropped with P Britton Colquitt not lined up deep. The Eagles took over and moved to the three-yard line but a stop forced the Eagles to settle for a field goal.
Bad Cam: C Cameron Erving snapped a shotgun snap over the head of QB Robert Griffin III for a safety to make the score 15-10 with 10:42 to play in the third quarter. Not only did the Eagles take a 15-10 lead, but the Eagles took the free kick and scored a touchdown with 6:17 to play as Carson Wentz hit Nelson Agholor down the sideline for a 35-yard touchdown as he beat Joe Haden and the Eagles let 22-10 with 6:17 to play.
Pryor Big Play: WR Terrelle Pryor continued to catch the long ball as he did in preseason. Pryor caught three passes for 68 yards in the first half, including a 44-yard grab that set up the first touchdown.
The Crow: RB Isaiah Crowell scored the Browns first touchdown of the season on a two-yard sweep to the left in the second quarter. Crowell had just 12 yards on seven carries in the first half. He caught two passes. He finished with 62 yards on 12 carries, but most of the yardage was on the final drive when the Eagles allowed the Browns to run up the middle of the field.
Duke: RB Duke Johnson, Jr. caught three passes for 29 yards and rushed three times for 22 yards.
Kirksey Spark: LB Christian Kirksey sacked QB Carson Wentz on a blitz in the first half for the Browns first sack of the season. DB Jordan Poyer had six tackles, while Kirksey, LB Demario Davis, DB Ibraheim Campbell, Kirksey and DB Derrick Kindred had five tackles.
Rookies Flash: Rookies Emmanuel Ogbah and DL Carl Nassib batted down passes in the first half on Wentz. Nassib put pressure on the quarterback and sacked Wentz on the final play of the third quarter for the Browns second sack. Nassib had three tackles, while Ogbah had one tackle and LB Joe Schobert had one tackle.
Tough Day for Tramon: DB Tramon Williams was holding to give the Eagles a first down on a third down incomplete pass on the first drive. Williams was also beaten by WR Jordan Matthews for a 19-yard touchdown on the Eagles first possession. Williams was back for punt returns in place of PR Corey Coleman. Williams elected to let a couple of punts drop and the Eagles downed one ball at the one-yard line and another inside the 10.
For Kicks: K Patrick Murray hit a 35 yard field goal in the third quarter to go with an extra point in his Browns debut.
For Starters: The Browns haven't won an opening regular season game since 2004, losing the previous 11 and are 1-16 since 1999.
Inactives: QB Cody Kessler, OL Shon Coleman, WR Jordan Payton, LB Scooby Wright III DB Marcus Burley, DB Boddy-Calhoun and DL Tyrone Holmes were inactive for the Browns.null