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Browns late comeback falls short

The Browns furious rally late fell two points short in sixth-straight loss

Hue Jackson went for it early.

However, that decision cost the Browns a chance to at least send the game into overtime as the Browns lost their sixth-straight game to start this season, 28-26 to the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. Dating back to last season, the Browns have lost nine-straight games.

Trailing 28-13 with 6:43 to play in the game, Cody Kessler led the Browns on a 75-yard touchdown drive capped with a five-yard slant for a touchdown to Terrelle Pryor with 2:07 to play. The touchdown trimmed the Titans lead to 28-19, but needing two scores, Jackson decided to go for the two-point conversion after the first score. Kessler threw a pass behind Ricardo Louis, who couldn't hang on and the score remained at 28-19. Jackson explained why he decided not to kick the extra point after the first touchdown. 

"I went for two early because I know at some point we needed to go for it," Jackson said. "Obviously, we didn't make it. I felt at that time that's what we needed to do because I knew we needed to do so at some point."

Jackson said he has a chart that he goes by, but ultimately it's his decision. 

"I'm making these decisions with very good information," he said. "I know everything is going to get questioned and it's on me. I made the decision and I take responsibility for it. We went for it and we didn't make it."

The Browns did get the ball back, but still needed two possessions as they now trailed by nine as Cody Parkey bounced the onside kick off a Titans player and Rashard Higgins recovered at the Browns 37.

Nine plays later, Duke Johnson dove in from one-yard out to make the score 28-25. However, still needing another score, Parkey's PAT made it 28-26 with 27 seconds left to play.

Parker's second onside attempt was recovered by Andre Johnson and the game was over.

The Browns haven't started 0-6 since 1999 when they lost their first seven games before they defeated the Saints on a last second 'Hail Mary' pass from Tim Couch to Kevin Johnson. 

The Browns will travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals next Sunday trying to avoid their seventh-straight loss to start the season. 

 Extra Points

Gutsy Cody: Making his fourth start, QB Cody Kessler gutted out a performance after being knocked out a week ago against New England with chest/rib injuries. Kessler was 26-of-41 for 336 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. HIs rating was 105.3, but Kessler was blasted all day on his tender chest/rib area. The offensive line couldn't keep Kessler off the ground as he was sacked six times and knocked to the ground 11 other times.

Kessler led the Browns on a 94-yard touchdown drive to end the first half, bringing the Browns to within one point, 14-13. He then led the Browns on two touchdown drives in the final moments to give the Browns a chance. He threw a five-yard touchdown pass to WR Terrelle Pryor with 2:07 to play to cap a 75 yard drive. He then led the Browns 62 yards for another touchdown when RB Duke Johnson scored from the one.

Couldn't Make Stop: The defense couldn't get off the field when they needed to. Trailing by just one score at 21-13, the Titans had an

11 play, 65 yard drive that took 6:59  off the clock to make it a two possession game at 28-13.

Torched Secondary: The Browns secondary without DB Joe Haden had a rough day giving up many big plays, especially on third down. On the Titans final touchdown drive, QB Marcus Mariota hit Delanie Walker for 21 yards. He completed three, third down passes to WR Kendall Wright on the touchdown drive, including the third time for 13 yards on third-and-8 on DB Tramon Williams.The Titans were able to throw deep throughout the game as the receivers beat the Browns. Wright caught a 48-yard touchdown behind DB Irbraheim Campbell and DB Jamar Taylor. Later, WR Rishard Matthews beat DB Derrick Kindred for a 43-yard pass play.

TP Time: WR Terrelle Pryor continued to be the Browns best play maker as he accounted for 75 yards receiving on nine receptions, including two touchdowns. Pryor also threw one pass that was completed for a yard and he rushed once for three yards.   

No Run: The Browns had their second-straight rough rushing game. RB Isaiah Crowell had 16 yards on nine carries, with a long of 11 yards. RB Duke Johnson had 18 yards on four carries, including a one-yard touchdown. Johnson caught four passes for 56 yards, including a 28 yard catch. Crowell had two catches for 20 yards. Crowell entered the game with 416 yards, third bet in the NFL. As a team, the Browns were averaging 124.8 yards a game, 5th in NFL.

Barnidge, Williams Active: TE Gary Barnidge (forearm/hip) and DB Tramon Williams (shoulder) both were active despite being listed as questionable. Barnidge had a 43-yard catch on the first offensive play from Kessler to set up a 45-yard field goal by K Cody Parkey. Barnidge had three receptions for 59 yards. Williams had an interception.

Sack Men: DL Danny Shelton and rookie OLB Emmanuel Ogbah had the only two sacks for the Browns. 

The Other Cody: K Cody Parkey  converted on two field goal attempts in the first half and is now 5-of-8 on field goals from the season. He has not missed since he missed the attempted game-winning field goal against the Dolphins in his first game. 

Poyer, Duke Hurt: DB Jordan Poyer left the game for a concussion evaluation in the first half and did not return. RB Duke Johnson also injured his knee, but returned. Jackson said that Poyer had a lacerated kidney and will remain in Nashville.

Ricardo Time: Rookie WR Ricardo Louis caught a 42-yard pass from Kessler on the drive that resulted in a touchdown to WR Terrelle Pryor. He had four receptions for 58 yards in the first half and finished with five for 65 yards. However, Louis dropped at least two catchable passes and also was called for a false start penalty.

Hawk: WR Andrew Hawkins had three catches for 48 yards, including a 22 yard reception that set up the Browns final touchdown. 

Haden Out: CB Joe Haden was inactive with a groin injury that surfaced on Thursday. Rookie DB Briean Boddy-Calhoun started in Haden's place, instead of veteran DB Tramon Williams.  Body-Calhoun tied LB Demario Davis for the team lead with seven tackles. 

Sitting Out: Inactive for the Browns were: WR Corey Coleman (hand), QB Josh McCown (shoulder), FB Dan Vitale, TE Randall Telfer (ankle), TE Seth DeValve (knee) and DL Xavier Cooper (shoulder).

 


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