Cleveland—The Browns found the end zone.
After not scoring a touchdown since Nov. 17, 2008, the Browns scored two touchdowns and two field goals in the first eleven minutes of the Great Lakes Classic to stake them to a 20-0 lead. The two touchdowns were in the first seven minutes.
The Browns went on to win 27-10 and improve their preseason record to 1-1.
Eric Mangini felt better about the Browns performance, particularly with the first half.
"I've seen a lot of good things," he said. "I'm not happy with a ninety-five yard kickoff return being brought back or third down conversions being brought back and penalties to extend drives. Those are things, as a whole package, we want to be consistent in."
The big plays in the game were an 84-yard punt return for a score by Josh Cribbs and a 81-yard run by rookie James Davis for a score. Cribbs had a 95-yard kickoff return called back by penalty on the opening kickoff.
Jamal Lewis went over from four yards out with 11:35 to play in the first quarter to give the Browns a 7-0 lead. Derek Anderson marched the offense down the field quickly after Cribbs' touchdown was negated on a holding penalty.
The Browns started at their own 26 with Anderson hitting Mohamed Massaquoi on the first play for 24 yards to the 50. After a short run, Anderson missed Braylon Edwards, who was wide open down the sideline. Edwards caught a ball that was behind him out of bounds.
Anderson then hit Mike Furrey for 14 yards to the 15 before Lewis went over right tackle for 11 yards to the four. Lewis went over left tackle Joe Thomas for the touchdown on first down. The Browns went 74 yards in seven plays in 3:25.
Eric Wright picked off rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford on the Lions' first play from scrimmage and returned it to the Lions' five. Stafford was trying to hit Adam Jennings. However, Wright was called for excessive celebration and drew a 15-yard penalty that took the ball back to the 20.
After the penalty, Anderson came out for his second series, but this time the offense stalled as the Browns gained just five yards in four plays and settled for a 33-yard field goal by Dawson to make it 10-0 with 9:48 to play.
The defense forced a three-and-out, Cribbs took the punt and weaved and bobbed 84 yards for a touchdown with 8:14 to play and the Browns led 17-0.
After the defense forced another punt, Anderson came out for his third series and hit Braylon Edwards for 34 yards to the Lions' 39. A pass interference on Massaquoi took the ball to the 22. On third-and-five, Anderson overthrew Royal in the end zone and the offense settled for a field goal. The Browns went 56 yards on the drive.
Anderson hit Steve Heiden on first down for 20 yards to the Lions' 47 on their next drive. After a short pass to Royal, the first quarter ended. Brady Quinn came in on the first play of the second quarter, a 3rd and 1, and was sacked forcing the Browns' first punt.
On Quinn's first full possession, he hit Brian Robiskie for 24 yards on first down to the 50. An illegal formation called on John St. Clair negated a 20 yard gain on a pass to Furrey that would've put the ball near the Lions' 20.
The Lions' deepest penetration was to the Browns' 28 with Daunte Culpepper at quarterback. The Lions went for it on fourth-and-one and Abe Elam made the stop to give the Browns the ball back with under a minute to play in the first half.
Anderson returned to run the hurry up offense, but after picking up a first down was intercepted and the Lions' Swayze Waters kicked a 51-yrd field goal as time expired to make it 20-3 at the half.
The Lions cut the score to 20-10 as quarterback Drew Stanton hit Carson Butler on the first play for a 20-yard score and it was 20-10 with 3:16 to play in the third quarter. The score was set up when DeWayne White beat George Foster for a sack and Brett Ratliff lost the ball and the Lions took over on the Browns' 20. The Lions scored on the first play.
After a non-descript third quarter, Davis broke loose with a couple of good moves and raced 81 yards for a touchdown to cap a six play, 89 yard drive to make the score 27-10 with 15 seconds to play in the third quarter. Davis rushed 12 times for 116 yards with a score.
QB Derby: QB Derek Anderson started the game and was at the helm for the Browns' first four offensive series. He led a touchdown drive of 74 yards on his first series and a short field goal drive after an interception in the Lions' red zone. He finished the first quarter 6–of-9 for 119 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. His longest pass was for 34 yards to WR Braylon Edwards. Anderson came back in with under a minute to play and ran the hurry up offense. After picking up a first down, Anderson threw a high pass that went off the hands of RB James Davis and it was intercepted and returned to the Browns' 34 and the Lions got on the board with a 51-yard field goal. With the final drive, Anderson finished, overall, 8-of-13 for 130 yards with an interception. His final rating was 63.0. The results of Anderson's drives were: touchdown, field goal, field goal, end of quarter and interception.
QB Brady Quinn came in on third-and-one at the start of the second quarter and dropped back looking deep and was sacked for a seven-yard loss. On the first play of the next series, he hit WR Brian Robiskie for 24 yards. He completed a pass to WR Mike Furrey that would've been to the Lions' 20, but OL John St. Clair was called for illegal formation. He finished the first half 3–of-5 for 29 yards, with a long of 24 yards. He was sacked once. The results of Quinn's drives were: punt (one play), punt and punt. His QB rating was 76.2.
QB Brett Ratliff started the second half and his two drives resulted in punts. On his third possession, Ratliff was stripped and fumbled at the Browns' 20. The last series resulted in a touchdown when RB James Davis broke loose for 81 yards and a scored. Ratliff was just 1-of-4 for 7 yards and was sacked twice. He rushed twice for six yards. Ratliff's QB rating was 39.6.
QB Richard Bartel saw his first action of the preseason and was 0–of-1.
Good D: The defense forced an interception and two three-and-outs on the first three defensive series. The defense didn't allow a first down by the Lions until the fourth series, near the end of the first quarter. The Lions had just 35 yards in total yards in the first quarter with only one first down. Meanwhile, the Browns had eight first downs and 147 yards in offense. The Browns had no sacks through the first three quarters.
"We've done a lot better and it's all tied into everybody doing their job first," Mangini said.
Adams Family: DB Mike Adams picked up a fumble after Aveion Cason lost the ball and returned it to the Lions' 48.
RB Stats: RB Jamal Lewis had seven carries for 23 yards and a touchdown. He had a long of seven yards. RB James Davis had 27 yards on five carries in the first half and finished with 12 carries for 116 yards, including an 81-yard score. Lewis had one reception for one yard, while Davis had two catches for 11 yards.
Rookie Flash: DB Coye Francies made a nice break up on a pass from QB Daunte Culpepper in the third quarter. However, he looked as though he was the victim of QB Drew Stanton's touchdown pass to WR Carson Butler in the third quarter. He also was beaten on a pass for a first down on third down in the fourth quarter.
Killer Penalties: KR Josh Cribbs took the opening kickoff yards for the score but DB Abe Elam was called for holding negating a 95-yard kickoff. The Browns started at their own 26. OL John St. Clair was flagged for an illegal formation negating a 20-yard gain on a pass and he was called for holding on the next series that called back a pass to RB James Davis that would've been a first down. CB Eric Wright intercepted a pass on the first play and returned it to the Lions' five, but then put on a celebration and it cost the Browns 15 yards.
No. 1 Pick: The first pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, Matthew Stafford, started for the Lions. He threw an interception on his first pass attempt, picked off by DB Eric Wright. The Lions were playing without their top three wide receivers: WR Calvin Johnson, WR Dennis Northcutt and WR Keary Colbert. Stafford was 5–of-13 for 34 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.
Old Friends: Former Browns QB Tim Couch was in attendance with former teammate Aaron Shea.
The Barge Comes Home: The Great Lakes Classic was a creation dubbed by former Browns president Carmen Policy. The Browns and Lions have been playing in the preseason with the winner getting to hold bragging rights and a trophy shaped like a barge. The Browns hadn't defeated the Lions since 2006. Last year, the Lions won 26-6.