Browns Finish Preseason on High Note

The Bears are supposed to be Monsters of the Midway, but it was the Cleveland Browns who looked more threatening their preseason finale. The 19-9 victory left the Browns at 3-1 and helped Romeo Crennel's squad develop a little momentum heading into their regular season opener...

The goal was simple.

Get in, get out, and nobody get hurt.

The plan seemed to work pretty well.

The Browns special teams looked in mid season form as the first half was dominated by field position and a 70-yard punt return for a touchdown by Joshua Cribbs to build a 19-0 lead. They went on to win 19-9 and finished the preseason at 3-1. It was the Bears first loss of the preseason and the defending NFC Champions also finished 3-1.

The big play of the game was the return by Cribbs.

"We want to take that momentum from the preseason and carry it into the regular season," Cribbs said. "We feel that we can do that."

The Browns offense played arguably the best defense in the NFL. They had great field position in the first half, but couldn't put any points on the board for the most part. Their average starting position was their own 45.

In all fairness to Charlie Frye, he had just one series and threw a pinpoint deep pass to Braylon Edwards that was dropped at the Bears' three-yard line.

It took the Browns four possessions to finally get on the board as they settled for a field goal from Phil Dawson from 24 yards out with 10 seconds to play in the first quarter to take a 3-0 lead.

The Browns went up 5-0 as Danny Manning fumbled the ball out of the end zone for a safety with two seconds to play after the kickoff after Dawson's field goal.

After stopping the Bears for the fourth time, Cribbs' had a 70-yard punt return to make it 12-0 with 11:48 to play in the second quarter.

After the Bears started to move the ball, Clifton Smith picked off a pass by Kyle Orton and returned it to midfield. Quinn directed the Browns on a nine play, 50 yard drive to make it 19-0 with a little over two  minutes to play in the first half.  Jerome Harrison carried the bulk of the load on the drive, including a one-yard touchdown run.  Quinn hit Travis Wilson three times on the drive for 19 yard, including a third down play.

The Bears got on the board as Robbie Gould hit a 21-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to make it 19-3. The Bears picked up a first down inside the Browns' 10 as safety Michael Adams was called for pass interference at the five.  Smith batted down a pass by Orton to force the field goal.

The Bears moved the ball to start the third quarter, but it resulted in a missed field goal by Gould with 11:47 to play.

The Bears cut the Browns lead to 19-9 as Chris Leak hit Mike Hass in the corner of the end zone with DeMario Minter hanging over him with 5:54 to play. Romeo Crennel challenged the call but it was not overturned. The Bears went for the two-point conversion, but Leak's pass was intercepted by rookie Brandon McDonald.

Notebook

QB Play: Frye hit WR Braylon Edwards on the game's first play and then hit TE Kellen Winslow on the second play. The Browns picked up one first down before having to punt. Frye threw a beautiful toss to Edwards on the first play of the second series at the Bears' three, but Edward lost control making the transfer. The Browns punted on their second series, as well. Frye was 2–of-5 for 19 yards.

QB Derek Anderson entered in the first quarter with 8:50 to play on the Browns' third possession. Anderson threw it to Winslow on his first play for five yards. Anderson picked up a first down on a pass over the middle to Edwards. Edwards dropped a third pass in the first quarter on third down. Anderson came out for the second series and . Anderson hit Cribbs down the field to the Bears' 11. Anderson finished 6–of-9 for53 yards. Anderson led the Browns to their first score with an 8 play, 47 yard drive in 3:49.

Brady Quinn entered the game to start the second quarter.  Quinn's first pass was a five-yard out to TE Darnell Dinkins. The Browns punted after two dropped passes by RB Jerome Harrison. On his second series, Quinn led the Browns to a touchdown which was his fourth in three games.  He was 3-of-5 for 32 yards. Quinn was intercepted in the third quarter after a tipped pass at the line of scrimmage. It was Quinn's first interception of the preseason. Quinn finished 9–of- 14 for 64 yards, including an interception.

Ken Dorsey came in with 10:42 to play in the game.  He was sacked once and did not throw a pass.

Batting Practice: LB Kris Griffin batted down a pass by QB Kyle Orton and then DL Babatunde Oshinowo also turned the trick.

Good Punting: P Dave Zastudil pinned the Bears inside their 10 on their first three possessions. The first time was at the nine and the second time at the four. The Bears went three-and-out on their first three possessions. On their third possession, they started at their seven. In the third quarter,  Zastudil placed a punt inside the one-yard line for his fourth punt inside the 10 on five punts.

No. 3 WR Battle: WR Travis Wilson, who has been plagued with drops throughout the preseason, caught three passes for 19 yards on the Browns' first touchdown drive. He finished with four catches. WR Tim Carter, who was expected to battle for the third spot saw his first extensive action in the preseason and was lined up on the wrong side forcing a timeout by the Browns. He caught no passes. Cribbs caught one pass for 21 yards.

Backup RB Battle: The two running backs battling for the third spot in the final preseason game came out with a slight edge to Harrison. RB Jerome Harrison had 8 carries for 31 yards, including a touchdown  and two receptions for 17 yards. Chris Barclay had five carries for 34 yards and one catch for three yards.

Thompson Attack: LB Chaun Thompson sacked QB Brian Griese at the third yard line in the first quarter. Thompson has 2.5 sacks in the preseason. DB Jereme Perry picked up a sack on QB Chris Leak in the third quarter on a blitz.

Run Stopping: The Browns forced the Bears to go three-and-out on their first three series.

Busy Man: PR Josh Cribbs had a 24-yard return on the Bears' first punt and then broke a 70-yard return for a touchdown in the second quarter. He had four punt returns for 110 yards and a kickoff return for 25 yards. Cribbs also caught one pass for 21 yards.

Big Mac: Rookie CB Brandon McDonald had two interceptions. He had one on a two-point conversion and then later in the fourth quarter. LB Clifton Smith also had an interception.

No O: The Bears had very little offense midway through the second quarter as they had 12 plays for 24 yards on no first downs. The Bears picked up their first first down with just over 10 minutes to play in the second quarter.

Top Tacklers: S Michael Adams, DL Melila Purcell and LB Clifton Smith led the Browns with 9 tackles apiece.

Injury Update: There were no major injuries announced during the game. DL J'Vonne Parker left the game in the third quarter with a calf injury. The Browns held out several key players, whom they hope will be ready for the season opener. OL Kevin Shaffer (concussion), OL Eric Steinbach (knee), LB Andra Davis (knee), DL Simon Fraser (abcess) and LB Willie McGinest (back). DB Gary Baxter (knee) did not play and a roster decision must be made on his status when the final cut down is announced on Saturday. 

 


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