CLEVELAND - There wasn't much to cheer about in the first half—or the first three quarters.
As far as that was concerned, the biggest cheers were at halftime provided by the Amherst Youth Football program as they provided entertainment with a youth game.
The Browns trailed 23-0 with 2:23 to play in the third quarter and ended up losing, 23-20. The Browns preseason record evened at 1-1.
However, the fans were rewarded late in the game as the biggest cheers came with 9:20 to play as rookie quarterback Brady Quinn entered the game for the first time. His first play was a screen pass to Chris Barclay for a gain of 30 yards, which was the Browns biggest offensive play of the game. After another completion to Barclay and Darnell Dinkins, the Browns were on the Lions' 22. Quinn then hit Maurice Mann for 10 yards to the 12. His fifth consecutive pass was tipped and completed to Syndric Steptoe to the four. After completing his first five passes, the sixth was off receiver Efrem Hill's hands at the goal line. Quinn hit Hill for a four-yard touchdown with 6:39 to play to make it 23-13. The two-point conversion went off the hands of Barclay incomplete. Quinn led the Browns down field in just seven plays for 63 in 2:41 for the score. Quinn was 6–of-7 for 63 yards, including the touchdown.
Trailing 23-13 with 2:10 to play, Quinn took over at the Browns' eight and completed his first pass for nine yards to Jerome Harrison and then followed that with another 16-yarder to the second-year running back. After a drop by Harrison, Quinn hit him again for 14 yards before spiking the ball with 1:17 to play. He then hit Steve Sanders for a 24-yard gain to the Lions' 29 and then spiked the ball again. After a first down completion to Harrison, Quinn again stopped the clock with 38 seconds to play. A pass to Jason Wright over the middle took the ball to the Lions' six. After another spike with 24 seconds to play, Quinn found Harrison over the middle for a touchdown to make it 23-20 with 18 seconds to play. Quinn drove the Browns 13 plays and 92 yards in 1:52. On the drive, he was 7-of-13 for 92 yards, including the score. Three of his incomplete passes were in spiking the ball.
Quinn finished 13-of-20 for 155 yards, including two touchdowns. His QB rating was 121.9.
"I'm disappointed with the play in the first half, " Romeo Crennel said of the weak effort by the starters. "We started off with a turnover and we had mistakes in the red zone. Those are the things a good football club doesn't make and we made them."
The Lions got on the scoreboard first on a 21-yard field goal by Kenny Byrd after the Lions recovered a fumble by Derek Anderson on the first play of the game to take a 3-0 lead. Anderson was dropping to pass and Jared DeVries ran by right tackle Kevin Shaffer and knocked the ball to the ground and teammate Cory Redding recovered on the Browns' 22. DeVries, who was also held on the play by Shaffer, was starting in place of starter Dewayne White.
The Browns countered the Lions score with a long drive of their own only to have it result in several miscues, culminating in a Derek Anderson interception, to end the drive. Linebacker Ernie Sims ntercepted a pass intended for Steve Heiden inside the three-yard line to end the drive. Prior to the red zone breakdown, the Browns were moving the ball with Jamal Lewis carrying six times for 26 yards on the drive. Anderson hit Edwards for 12- and 18-yards, as well. The drive was marred by having a delay of game called with a first and goal from the one and a false start from the two by Seth McKinney. The Browns also called two timeouts at the line of scrimmage as they looked confused in lining up
The Lions tacked on a 36-yard field goal by Byrd to make it 6-0 with 14:11 to play in the second quarter after Anderson's interception. The big plays on the drive were a 21-yard run by Tatum Bell and a 17-yard screen pass from Kitna to fullback Casey Fitzsimmons.
After taking over on downs with 59 seconds to play in the first half, Kitna took the Lions down the field rapidly on two quick connections with Troy Walters and then a 20-yard pass to Brandon Middleton to the Browns' 14. Kitna hit Shaun McDonald across the middle in front of Brandon McDonald to make it 13-0 with 31 seconds to play. It took the Lions just 28 seconds to cover 64 yards for the score.
Trying to make something happen after the Lions score, Frye threw an interception to Gerald Alexander as he overthrew Steve Heiden and the errant pass was returned inside the Browns' 20. After an incomplete pass in the endzone, Byrd hit his third field goal of the half to make it 16-0 with three seconds to play.
With 2:23 to play in the third quarter, T.J. Duckett took a sweep and went 15 yards untouched to make it 23-0. The Lions had quickly rumbled for 12 plays and 74 yards.
Ken Dorsey entered the game after the Lions' score and engineered a drive of 13 plays and 67 yards to finally get the Browns on the board and make it 23-7. The Browns first offensive touchdown of the preseason came on a one-yard run by Jason Wright with 11:03 to play in the game. Dorsey was 7 –of-9 for 68 yards on the drive. On third-and-one from the six, Andrew Hoffman was called for illegal procedure. However, on fourth-and-six, Ramzee Robinson was called for pass interference on Travis Wilson to give the Browns a first down on the one. Hoffman moved on first down to take the ball back to the six.
QB Derby: While the quarterback derby is supposed to be between Derek Anderson and Charlie Frye for the starting spot on Sept. 9, Ken Dorsey and Brady Quinn played the best in this one. Anderson started and was 2-of-3 for 30 yards, including an interception and a fumble in his first two series. Charlie Frye entered the game in the second quarter and was 5-of-10 for 42 yards on his first two possessions. He also was sacked and ran twice for 15 yards. His QB rating was 21.7, while Anderson's was 59.7. The combined QB rating for the Browns in the first half was 30.4. Meanwhile, Jon Kitna of the Lions was 121.1 as he was 12-of-16 for 137 yards, including a touchdown. Anderson finished 6–of-8 for 65 yards,while Frye finished 5–of-10 for 42 yards. Anderson's rating in the third quarter was 95.8. After a penalty on the punt return, Frye started his second possession at the Browns' four-yard line. Frye threw the ball over 50 yards in the air on a free play as Detroit was offside. It was incomplete to Edwards. He also bootlegged for a run of 14 yards on his second drive. However, the Browns turned the ball over on downs on the second possession near the end of the first half. Anderson started the second half and led the offense to the Lions' 19, but Phil Dawson missed on a 36-yard field goal wide left with 7:36 to play in the third quarter. Neither Frye nor Anderson have led the Browns to any touchdowns through the first two preseason games. Frye did not play in the second half.
Ken Dorsey relieved Anderson and led the Browns to their first score. He was 4-of-4 for 36 yards in the third quarter for a QB rating of 104.2. On the first drive, he was 7-of-9 for 67 yards. Dorsey finished the game with an 81.7 passer rating.
Brady Quinn entered the game with 9:20 to play in the fourth quarter and led the Browns to a touchdown on his first possession. He was 6-of-7 for 63 yards, including a touchdown. He finished 13 –of-20 for 155 yards, including two touchdowns. His QB rating was 121.9.
Steady Eddie: WR Braylon Edwards had the first three receptions for the Browns for 36 yards.
Peekin' Peek: LB Antwan Peek made a nice play dragging down RB Brian Calhoun for a 6-yard loss after a pass completion from Kitna. LB Kamerion Wimbley was giving Kitna a lot of pressure as he unloaded the ball.
Nice Work: RB Jamal Lewis played the first quarter and had seven carries for 28 yards. The Browns were moving the ball on the ground with him, but kept hurting themselves with penalties inside the five-yard line.
Big Plays: The Browns gave up 5 plays of over 17 yards in the half. Tatum Bell had a run of 21-yards run in the first quarter. They also gave up a 17-yard screen pass from Kitna to Casey Fitzsimmons and completions to Troy Walters of 23 and a 25-yard touchdown to Shaun McDonald.
Sack Man: LB Chaun Thompson sacked QB J.T. O'Sullivan for the Browns first and only sack of the game.
Good Challenge: Romeo Crennel isn't known for winning too many challenges but he did get one upheld as he said that a pass by QB J.T. O'Sullivan hit the ground and the replay proved that true in the third quarter.
Auspicious start: On the first play of scrimmage, defensive end Jared DeVries stripped Derek Anderson of the ball and the Lions' Cory Redding took over on the Browns' 22. Anderson started over Charlie Frye and was 2-of-3 for 30 yards and one interception and a fumble on his first two possessions.