CLEVELAND - Romeo Crennel was hoping the Browns looked ‘decent' in their final preseason game .
Mission accomplished—at least for the first team—or how few they were.
In the first half, the Browns starters scored on their first two possessions and built a 10-0 lead before turning it over to the reserves. Meanwhile, the defensive starters forced a turnover and a punt on their two possessions. The Browns were missing six starters, three each on offense and defense.
The offensive and defensive starters were out of the game for the Browns midway through the second quarter with the Browns leading 10-0.
In the end, the Bears' reserves outscored the Browns' reserves 16-0 and won the battle of previously winless teams, 16-10. The Bears finished the preseason 1-3, while the Browns were 0-4.
The Browns had not gone winless in the preseason since 1972 when they were 0-6. The Browns were 10-4 that year and made the playoffs as a Wild Card team. That might not be the case this year as they face the seventh toughest NFL schedule this year.
The Browns took the lead quickly as they took the opening kickoff and held the ball for 5:01 as they drove 66 yards in 11 plays for a 26-yard field goal from Phil Dawson. Brady Quinn hit Travis Wilson on two passes for 20 yards on the drive. Jason Wright rushed the ball three times for 25 yards, including an 11 yard. He also caught an 11-yard pass. However, on third-and-four from the eight, Quinn threw behind Kellen Winslow incomplete in the end zone and the Browns settled for the field goal with 9:59 to play in the first quarter. Quinn was 4-of-6 for 37 yards on the opening drive, but the miss to Winslow cost the Browns a touchdown.
After the score, the Browns defense turned the ball back over to the offense as Robaire Smith hit Kyle Orton as he was throwing downfield and Brandon McDonald intercepted the pass and returned the ball 12 yards to the Browns' 28.
After the interception, the Browns once again moved the ball down the field and extended their lead to 10-0 with 52 seconds to play in the first quarter as Jerome Harrison went in from one yard out. A big play was a third down conversion from Quinn to Wilson after a personal foul on the Bears.
Quinn then hit Steve Sanders for a 17-yard completion to the Bears' six. Harrison had a five-yard run to the one. Wright tried from the one and could not get in on third down. The Browns went for it on fourth down and Harrison took a pitch from Quinn to the corner of the end zone for the score. The Browns went 72 yards on 10 plays in 6:04. Quinn was 7-of-9 for 65 yards through the first two drives.
After Dave Zastudil pinned the Bears back on their own five, the Bears moved the ball 95 yards in 13 plays against the Browns second team for a touchdown with 3:04 to play in the second quarter to make it 10-7. Rex Grossman hit Brandon Rideau on a short pass and Rideau was able to break a tackle by Travis Key and rambled in from 19 yards out. The Bears had the ball for 6:16 on the drive.
The Bears got the ball back after a Browns punt with just 1:45 to play and moved 50 yards for a field goal to tie the score at 10-10 at halftime. Robbie Gould hit a 48-yard field goal as time expired. The Bears had scored a touchdown, but a holding penalty negated the score as third quarterback Caleb Hanie hit Mark Bradley for a touchdown as Bradley got behind recent acquisition Travis Daniel.
Travis Key intercepted Haney and returned the ball 22 yards to the Bears' 39. A personal foul on the play allowed the Browns to start at the Bear's 24. However, back-to-back penalties by Isaac Sowells took the Browns back to the 36. Jason Reda missed a 47-yard field goal with 11:08 to play in the third quarter to keep the score tied at 10.
After the missed field goal, the Bears moved to the Browns' 12 and Gould kicked a 29-yard field goal to give the Bears a 13-10 lead with 7:57 to play in the third quarter. The big play was a long pass to Rideau for 38 yards as he beat Gerard Lawson on the play.
The Browns moved to the Bears' 12 with 7:07 to play and were faced with fourth-and-one. Foregoing the tying field goal at this stage of the preseason, Romeo Crennel elected to go for it. Fullback Charles Ali picked up four yards for the first down, but he fumbled the ball and the Bears recovered at the nine by Leonard Peters.
However, a challenge by Crennel overruled the call and the Browns had a first down on the Bears' nine. On first down, Dorsey hit Paul Hubbard for five yards to the four. Thomas had a two –yard run to give the Browns a third-and-goal. Dorsey rolled out and threw to Hubbard in the end zone, but Hubbard couldn't hang on. On fourth-and-goal, Dorsey was forced out of the pocket and he threw incomplete in the end zone to Thomas.
The Bears took over on their own three with 5:34 to play and held it until 2:47 to play when they punted. The Browns took over, but Dorsey threw an interception on the first play by Trey Brown on a pass intended for Sanders. The Bears had the ball on the Browns' 30 and after running the clock, Gould kicked a 46-yard field goal with 30 seconds to play to make it 16-10.
Nice First O Showing: The first team offense only played two series. They scored on each series and put up 10 points. QB Brady Quinn was 7-of-9 fro 65 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. QB Ken Dorsey took over early in the second quarter and finished the game. He was 10 –of-20 for 92 yards and an interception. Wright had nine carries for 41 yards, while Harrison had seven for 35, including the touchdown. Wright also had two receptions for 13 yards.
Nice First D Showing: The first team defense played just two series and forced a turnover and a punt. DL Robaire Smith forced QB Kyle Orton to throw an interception by CB Brandon McDonald on the first series which the Browns converted into a touchdown. However, the Browns failed to sack Orton. DB Gerard Lawson led the Browns with 7 tackles, along with 7 by LB Leon Williams. DB Brandon Mitchell had six.
I'm Loving It: CB Brandon McDonald intercepted a pass from QB Kyle Orton in the first quarter. DB Travis Key intercepted QB Caleb Hanie in the third quarter. He also sacked Hanie in the third quarter, but a penalty on the Bears negated the sack in the stats.
Winless Preseason: The last time the Browns were without a win in the preseason was 1972 under Nick Skorich. The Browns played six games that preseason and were 0-6. In the regular season, they went on to a 10-4 record and made the playoffs as a Wild Card team. They lost the first playoff game.
Travis Sighting: WR Travis Wilson started for the third consecutive preseason game and did something he hadn't done in the previous two. He caught a pass on the first drive for 11 yards from QB Brady Quinn. He caught another pass on the drive for nine yards. He finished the first half with six receptions for 57 yards. He caught a third down pass for a first down. WR Steve Sanders, who is in a battle with Wilson for a receiving spot caught two passes for 23 yards. However, Wilson dropped a pass down the sideline from Dorsey in which he was wide open.
Travis 2: Undrafted rookie free agent RB Travis Thomas had a 33-yard run on the final play of the third quarter to take the ball to the Bears' 28. However, the Browns were unable to score as they had a holding penalty to take them out of field goal range. Thomas led the Browns with 11 carries for 70 yards.
Injury Report: WR/KR Syndric Steptoe injured his shoulder on the opening kickoff and did not play any more. OL Rex Hadnot left with a knee injury in the first quarter and did not return. Rookie DB Gerard Lawson filled in for Steptoe on return duties, while OL Seth McKinney stepped in for Hadnot at right guard. DL Chase Pittman and OL Derrick Morse were injured in the second half and did not return. TE Darnell Dinkins injured his hip in the third quarter and did not return. He had three catches for 33 yards. LB Kris Griffin left in the fourth quarter with an elbow injury.
Midseason Form: P Dave Zastudil pinned the Bears to their own five on his first punt. He later had a 54-yard punt.
The Turk Looms: The Browns will cut their roster to 53 by Saturday. Currently, there are 75 players on the roster.
No Play: As expected, 14 players did not play against the Bears: QB Derek Anderson, WR Joshua Cribbs, WR Braylon Edwards, DB Brodney Pool, DB Sean Jones, RB Jamal Lewis, OL Marvin Philip, LB Willie McGinest, LB Antwan Peek, LB Beau Bell, OL Lennie Friedman, OL Ryan Tucker, WR Joe Jurevicius and TE Martin Rucker. Anderson, Edwards, Tucker, Jurevicius were seen in street clothes on the sideline.
WR Travis Wilson started in place of Edwards, while Brady Quinn started for Anderson. Jason Wright replaced Lewis and Alex Hall started for McGinest. Nick Sorensen started in place of Jones and Mike Adams started in place of Pool. Syndric Steptoe replaced Cribbs as the return man.