The Browns wanted to have a better start against the Panthers.
They did. They were only outscored 7-3.
Maybe you can call that baby steps.
After being outscored 27-3 in the first quarter of the first four games, the Browns doubled their production on a 28-yard field goal by Phil Dawson with 5:30 to play in the first quarter to make it 3-0.
However, the rest of the game they were outscored 13-9 and the Browns lost to the Panthers, 20-12 to fall to 1-4 as they approach the bye week.
The Browns took advantage of a mistake the Panthers made in a Browns punting situation. They appeared to be heading for a three-and-out on their first possession, but a penalty on the punt by the Panthers allowed the Browns to continue the drive and they turned it into a field goal. The big play on the drive was a 23-yard reception by Kellen Winslow from Charlie Frye to the Panthers' 27 on third down.
However, before the Browns could enjoy their lead too much, Richard Marshall picked off a Frye pass that went off of Dennis Northcutt's hands for a 30 yard score and just like that the Panthers had a 7-3 lead with 3:19 left in the first quarter.
The Browns were unable to muster much offense and the Panthers finally got going on their fifth offensive drive. Jake Delhomme found Keyshawn Johnson for a 17-yard touchdown to give the Panthers a 14-3 with 4:28 left in the second quarter. Brodney Pool was covering Johnson on the play and had pretty good coverage, but Delhomme placed the ball perfectly.
On a fumble by
Trailing 17-3, it was Joshua Cribbs once again, who ignited the Browns with a 61-yard return to the Panthers' 30. However, the Browns offense stalled
on third-and-inches, as they tried a trick play. The Browns were forced to kick
a 47-yard field goal from
After a 34-yard punt return by Cribbs, the Browns settled for
But that was the closest the Browns could get.
The Panthers put the game away with 4:03 to play as Kasay kicked a field goal from 19 yards to make it 20-9.
Frye threw his second interception of the game as the Browns were driving to end any thought of the Browns coming back. They did get the ball back and were able to get
Rather than kicking an onside kick, the browns kicked long and the Panthers downed it to close the game.