Saints Come Marching In

The Browns once again stuggled in a home opener, their eighth since returning to the NFL in 1999. This one was particularly disheartening, as the team displayed little energy in the first half and ultimately fell to the New Orleans Saints, 19-14 in front of over 70,000 disappointed fans.

CLEVELAND — It wasn't what the Browns had in mind.

Home opener. New beginnings. New hopes.

Same result as the Browns lost their season opener for the seventh time in eight years since they returned to the NFL in 1999.

The final score was 19-14.

The Browns snoozed their way through the first half and didn't make a first down until near the two-minute warning. They had only three in the half, and turned the ball over twice. They committed three costly penalties and were just 1-of-6 on third down. They were fortunate to only be down 9-0 at the half.

However, the Browns showed life in the second half, mostly on Charlie Frye's scrambling ability and the play making of Kellen Winslow and Braylon Edwards.

The Browns started to move the ball on their first possession of the second half. Frye got things going as he rolled out and ran for a first down. On third-and-eight, he scrambled once again for 10 yards to keep the drive going. Frye scrambled three times on the drive to spark the drive. He rushed six times for 44 yards.

From the 18, Frye hit Kellen Winslow, who rambled in for his first career touchdown. They went 67 yards on 10 plays in 5:04 to make it 9-7 with 9:05 to play in the third quarter. Winslow caught the ball near the 10 and broke a tackle by Roman Harper on his way to the end zone.

After the Saints took over, Brian Russell hit Deuce McAllister, who fumbled and Sean Jones recovered it at the Saints' 38. However, the Browns did nothing and punted the ball right back to the Saints.

The Saints countered with a touchdown from Brees to Marques Colston for 12 yards. They went 73 yards in 11 plays to make their lead 16-7.

The Browns came back with a 13 play, 74 yard drive of their own to make it 16-14 with 11:20 to play in the game. Frye ran in from the one to give the Browns their first rushing touchdown of the season..

Just when it seemed the Browns had the momentum, the Saints came right back with a 70-yard scoring drive to increase their lead to 19-14 on Carney's fourth field goal of the game with 5:42 left in the game. The Browns did have a nice goal line stand as the Saints had a first down on the two, but the Browns held on three plays to force the field goal.

The Browns held the Saints on third-and-one as Andra Davis knifed in and dropped McAllister for no gain forcing the Saints to punt.

Dennis Northcutt fielded a low punt and had a short gain, but was grabbed by the face mask by Terrence Melton to give the Browns the ball at the 50 at the two minute warning. After two incomplete passes, the Browns had a third-and-10 and Frye had another incomplete pass. However, an illegal contact call on Fred Thomas gave the Browns automatic first down.

The first play went off Edwards hands and it was intercepted by Josh Bullocks to end the game.

The Saints drew first blood as John Carney kicked a 43-yard field goal with 9:37 to play in the first quarter to give the Saints a 3-0 lead. They went 10 plays and 27 yards in 3:14. A curious decision by the Browns was to decline a penalty on the Saints that would've moved them back five-yards and take a two-yard pass reception by Reggie Bush rather than give the Saints another third down.

Carney kicked a 25-yard field goal with 14:28 to play in the second quarter to give the Saints a 6-0 lead.

After a Charlie Frye interception by linebacker Scott Fujita that gave the Saints the ball on the Browns' 33, the Saints marched to the two before Ted Washington dropped Deuce McAlister at the line of scrimmage forcing them to settle for a 21-yard field goal by Carney. It was Carney's third field goal of the game to make it 9-0.

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