Cleveland— Even the storm couldn't stop the Browns.
However, after a 79-minute weather delay, the Browns stormed back to take a 17-14 decision over the New York Giants at Cleveland Browns Stadium in the preseason opener for both teams as rookie kicker Tyler Jones hit a 41-yard field goal with 6:22 to play.
The win was the first for Browns coach Romeo Crennel as the head coach of the Browns.
After the opening kickoff taken by the Giants –sandwiched by a storm delay-- play resumed. Eli Manning completed his first five passes, including a 20-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress as the Giants moved 69 yards in nine plays to start the game. Manning was 5-of-5 for 39 yards, including the touchdown to give the Giants a 7-0 lead.
The Browns first possession was anything but impressive as the Browns moved the ball before shooting themselves in the foot on consecutive holding penalties by Cosey Coleman and Ryan Tucker. Lee Suggs picked up nine yards on his first two carries and Trent Dilfer converted a short pass to fullback Terrelle Smith to open the Browns offense. However, the penalties forced the Browns to punt.
"We're trying to develop some rhythm," Dilfer said. "We're trying to see the field and develop some chemistry. I thought we did alright. Obviously, the penalties kill you. You'd like to overcome those things, but we were in such a hole it was hard to get out of."
Dilfer was just 2-of-5 for 16 yards, including a sack in his two series.
"I felt real comfortable," Dilfer said. "I was real pleased with my composure and my vision on the field. I made one poor decision on third and long. The safety kind of waited for me to throw it down the middle. I'll look at those mistakes, correct them, and hopefully not make them again."
The Browns had an impressive drive in the second quarter with Doug Johnson at quarterback as they tied the game at 7-7 with 4:50 to play in the second quarter. William Green was the key in the drive as he touched the ball 12 times and accounted for 49 yards, including a one-yard touchdown drive. The Browns held the ball for 9:17 and went 80 yards. The big play on the drive was a 20-yard Johnson pass to Dennis Northcutt. Green rushed 10 times for 32 yards and caught two passes for 17 yards. Johnson was 4-of-7 passing for 42 yards
"William stepped it up," coach Romeo Crennel said. "I'm really proud of him, the way he's playing. Hopefully, that will continue."
Rookie Charlie Frye led the Browns on a six play drive and a touchdown on his first series of plays, including a 19-yard touchdown pass to tight end Paul Irons to give the Browns a 14-7 lead with left in the third quarter. He was 5-of-7 for 36 yards, including the touchdown. Frye finished the night 6-of-9 for 45 yards, including a touchdown.
Josh Harris took over as the Browns quarterback and was aided by a personal foul on the Giants that moved the ball to the Giants 22. Harris scrambled for 13 yards. However, a 15-yard clipping call on Greg Randall took the Browns back to the 26 and gave them first-and-25. After failing to convert the first down, Jones hit the 41-yard field goal.