Brown Out in the Desert

The Browns and Cardinals battled to the final play, but the game was lost before that, reports the OBR's Fred Greetham. Here's Fred's game wrap up and notes from the Browns 27-21 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

This was one for the birds.

The Cleveland Browns got one on the last play against the Ravens. They almost got one on the last play against the Arizona Cardinals.

However, it wasn't to be as Kellen Winslow's would-be game winning touchdown catch on the game's final play was ruled out of bounds and the Cardinals hung on for a 27-21 win over the Browns. Winslow caught the pass between two defenders and appeared to have one foot in, as his other foot was knocked out of bounds. The officials reviewed the play and didn't overturn the call on the field, thus the Cardinals came out on top.

However, the story of the game was turnovers and mistakes. In the NFL, the turnover ratio usually tells the story and the Browns turned the ball over four times, creating just one.

Compounding the turnovers were several costly mistakes, including a personal foul on the final kickoff return by Simon Fraser cost the Browns 15 yards.

The Browns dug themselves a 14-0 deficit early, as they did against the Rams, but this time they couldn't overcome the lead. The Browns drop to 7-5 as the Cardinals scored all three of their touchdowns off of Browns' turnovers.

In spite of turning the ball over four times, the Browns still had a chance to win at the end of the game, but the defense couldn't stop the Cardinals as they took over four minutes off the clock, mostly on the ground, before settling for a 20-yard field goal by Neil Rackers with 1:48 to play to make it 27-21.

Trailing 27-21, the Browns got the ball back with 1:43 with no timeouts at their own 33. However, a personal foul on Fraser took the ball back to the 18.

 A first down on a pass to Jason Wright took the ball to the 28 and then an out to Kellen Winslow took it to the 35 with under a minute to play. Anderson hit Joe Jurevicius on a slant over the middle to the Cardinals' 47 with 40 seconds to play.

Anderson scrambled for 10 yards and then threw an incompletion with 20 seconds to play at the Cardinals' 37. An incomplete pass to Edwards left just 15 seconds left and then an incomplete pass to Jurevicius in the end zone left just six seconds to go.

On fourth down from the 37, Anderson threw to the end zone and it was caught by Winslow as time expired, but he was ruled out of bounds. He was knocked out of bounds by two defenders. The play was reviewed by the official and upheld and the Browns lost 27-21.

The game started auspiciously as the Cardinals turned two quick Browns turnovers into 14 points and a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.  Anderson moved the ball into Cardinals' territory on the Browns' first possession. However, but on third down, he threw a pass in the toward the sideline and Roderick Hood stepped in front of Tim Carter and returned the interception 71 yards for a 7-0 lead with 10:46 to play in the first quarter.

Anderson fumbled the snap and the Cardinals' recovered on the Browns' 43. The Browns appeared to have held as they forced Kurt Warner to throw an incomplete pass on third down, but Leigh Bodden went over and kicked the ball to draw a delay penalty which handed the Cardinals a first down. Warner then hit tight end Leonard Pope for a five-yard touchdown with 4:59 to play in the first quarter and the Cardinals had a 14-0 lead.

The Browns moved the ball on their third possession to the Cardinals' 19, but stalled and settled for a 37-yard field goal by Phil Dawson to make it 14-3 with 1:41 to play in the first quarter. The field goal was set up when Lawrence Vickers took a dump pass and turned it into a 25-yard reception and a 22-yard reception by Edwards.

Prior to the end of the first half, the Browns went 70 yards in 10 plays for their first touchdown to make it 14-10 with 1:14 to play. Jamal Lewis took a swing pass from Anderson at the six and leaped over Hood as he dove into the end zone.

The Cardinals tried to get into field goal range before the half, but Sean Jones intercepted a pass after Willie McGinest deflected Warner's pass at the line of scrimmage with 30 seconds to play at the Browns' 38. The Browns were unable to move the ball and trailed at the half, 14-10.

Neither team could move the ball in the second half, until Joshua Cribbs muffed a punt stumbling over Daven Holly with 3:46 to play in the third quarter and former Browns defensive back Ralph Brown recovered at the Browns' 22.

The Cardinals extended their lead to 21-10 with 43 seconds to play as Warner hit Bryant Johnson in the corner of the end zone behind Bodden. A key play on the drive was a personal foul on Jones that gave the Cardinals a first down on the two.

The Browns had a chance to get off the field on first down as  Warner threw into the end zone and Pope bobbled what should've been an easy touchdown into the hands of Chaun Thompson, who couldn't hang on to ball. After throwing incomplete to Johnson on second down, he hit him on third down for the score.

The Browns came to life quickly after Arizona's score. After a short run by Lewis, Anderson threw a 67-yard touchdown pass to Edwards as Anderson hit Edwards between two defenders on the final play of the third quarter.

Edwards beat Antrolle Rolle in catching the ball. He hit the ground, bounced up and raced to the end zone. The rule on the field was a touchdown, but Arizona challenged and the officials ruled that he was not touched byTerrence Holt and it was upheld to make it 21-16. The Browns went for two and Cribbs took the snap and after faking the run, threw to Winslow for the score to make it 21-18 after three quarters.

The score seemed to ignite the Cardinals as Steve Breaston returned the ensuing kickoff 59 yards to the Browns' 40 to start the fourth quarter. Edgerrin James then ran to the Browns 13 after a completion to Johnson.

However, a holding penalty moved the Cards back to the 23. On third-and-13, from the Browns' 16 Warner threw an incomplete pass to the end zone. Neil Rackers then hit a 33-yard field goal to make it 24-18 with 12:10 to play.

The Browns added a score with 6: 17 as Dawson hit a 22-yard field goal to make it 24-21. Cribbs got the drive going with a 31-yard punt return with 9:16 to play to give the Browns the ball at their own 47. On the first play, Anderson hit Edwards and he took the ball to the Cardinals' 24 for a pickup of29 yards. A pass to Winslow took the ball to the 11, followed by a six-yard run by Lewis to the five. Lewis was then stopped for one yard and the Browns had third-and-3 from the four. Anderson tried to hit Edwards in the end zone, but the pass fell incomplete and the Browns elected to kick the field goal.

After the field goal, the Browns defense couldn't stop the Cardinals, even with Larry Fitzgerald and Anquin Boldin out, the Cardinals converted five first downs.  James had a 14- and 8-yard run to keep the clock going. He finished with24 carries for 114 yards.

Similar to Lewis last week against the Texans, the Browns couldn't stop James when they knew what was coming until the Cardinals moved to the Browns' two. The defense stiffened inside the five and forced Arizona to kick the field goal with under two minutes to play.

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