CLEVELAND—The Browns fought valiantly until the end, but came up short, 30-23, to fall to 1-11 as they fell victim to the Chargers.
After taking the opening kickoff and methodically marching 72 yards for a touchdown, it was downhill from there as the Chargers scored 27 unanswered points to improve to 9-3. However, the Browns fought back and were in position at the end if they would've been able to convert a second onside kick, but were unable to do so and the Chargers prevailed.
The Browns squandered two opportunities in the first half with a missed field goal and a fumble inside the Chargers' five-yard line that prevented them from having a halftime lead.
The Browns took the opening kickoff and marched 72 yards in 10 plays for a quick 7-0 lead with 8:37 left in the first quarter. Quinn hit Mohamed Massaquoi on an 11-yard slant in the back of the end zone. Harrison, starting for the injured Jamal Lewis had four carries for 21 yards and newly signed tight end Evan Moore had three receptions for 42 yards. The last time the Browns scored on their opening possession was 35 games ago on Nov. 11, 2007 against the Steelers. The Browns had the ball for 6:23 on the drive.
Quinn was 12-of-20 for 159 yards and a touchdown in the first half, but fumbled after being sacked when the Browns were near the Chargers' goal line.
The Chargers answered the Browns score quickly with a 32-yard field goal from Nate Kaeding with 2:59 left in the first quarter. The Chargers went 55 yards in 12 plays, taking 5:38 off the clock. Philip Rivers hit Antonio Gates three times for 39 yards on the drive.
The Browns started moving the ball again and moved to the Chargers' 31 after a 43 yard catch by Brian Robiskie set up a field goal attempt. With 58 seconds left in the first quarter, Phil Dawson was wide left from 43 yards out.
On the first play after the missed field goal, Rivers threw a short pass to fullback Mike Tolbert, who rambled 66 yards untouched to give the Chargers a 10-7 lead with 45 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Browns started at their 18 after a penalty on the kickoff after the San Diego score and started moving the ball. A 14-yard pass to Harrison got the drive going and then another pass to Harrison for 12 yards moved the ball to the Chargers' 43.
Quinn then hit Moore for 18 yards to the 25. A Quinn scramble moved the ball to the 16 for third-and-one. Quinn did a sneak over right guard for the first down.
On third-and-three from the eight, Quinn hit Chansi Stuckey for a first down to the two. Harrison was dropped for a loss on first down back to the four and Quinn threw incomplete on second down. As he tried to scramble, Quinn was sacked by Shaun Phillips and the ball was recovered by Jacques Cesaire at the 13.
The Chargers got the ball back after a Browns' punt and moved to the 35 with six seconds left as Legedu Naanee threw a 21-yard flea-flicker to LaDainian Tomlinson. Rivers hit Malcom Floyd on a quick out to the 24 with two seconds left and then Kaeding hit the field goal as time expired.
The Chargers took the second half kickoff and quickly went down the field for a touchdown to make it 20-7 with 10:30 left in the third quarter as Darren Sproles caught a short pass from Rivers and sprinted 31 yards for the touchdown. A big play on the drive was a 37-yard pass from Rivers to Gates to the Browns' 46. The Chargers went 85 yards in eight plays spanning 4:38.
After a Browns punt, the Chargers went right back to work and Tomlinson scored from four yards out with 5:58 to play to make it 27-7. Rivers hit Gates for 56 yards to the Browns' 28 as he took the ball from Abe Elam and Hank Poteat. Another 18 yard pass to Gates put the ball at the eight. Two players later, Tomlinson went in from the four. They covered 83 yards in just six plays.
The Browns made it 27-14 with 9:15 to play as Quinn hit Harrison from eight yards out. The Browns went 68 yards in nine plays after stopping the Chargers on downs at the Browns' 32.
The drive started as Josh Cribbs took the direct snap and ran to the Chargers' 38 for a gain of 30 yards on first down. On fourth-and-4, Quinn hit Cribbs to the 25 for a first down. A 9-yard pass to Stuckey moved the ball to the 16. Quinn hit Stuckey for 8 yards to the eight for a first down.
Quinn dumped the ball to Harrison, who was able to stretch the ball into the end zone with 9:15 to play.
The Chargers answered with a 22-yard field goal by Kaeding to make it 30-14 with 4:12 to play. They moved 77 yards in 5:03 with the big play a 41-yard pass to Vincent Jackson to the Browns' 24. An 11-yard pass to Sproles moved the ball to the 10. Tomlinson carried twice, but couldn't get into the end zone.
Trailing 30-14, Cribbs returned the kickoff to the 42. Quinn hit Harrison on third down for 17 yards to the 27. He then hit Robiskie for 14 yards to the eight. Quinn then shoveled the ball to Harrison for the final eight yards to make it 30-20 with 1:55 to play. Quinn tried to run in the two-point conversion, but was tackled short of the goal line. The Browns went 58 yards in seven plays.
The Browns cut the lead to 30-23 with 39 seconds to play as Dawson kicked a 49-yard field goal. Dawson performed an onside kick and Blake Costanzo recovered it on the 41. After two incomplete passes, Quinn hit Massaquoi for a first down to the Chargers' 46.
Massaquoi had a step down the sideline, but Quinn overthrew him and on third down, Quinn's pass was batted down. On fourth-and-10 from the 46, Quinn hit Moore for 13 yards and a first down to the 33 with 59 seconds left.
Quinn threw into the end zone and Robiskie couldn't come down with the pass in the end zone on first down. Needing two scores after failing to convert the first down, Dawson kicked the field goal to make the final 30-23. The Browns went 28 yards in 11 plays to set up the field goal.
The Browns tried a final onside kick but Tomlinson was able to grab it for the Chargers and end the game.
Big Play O: The Browns had nine offensive plays of 10 yards or more in the first half. QB Brady Quinn finished the first half 12-of-20 for 159 yards with a touchdown and a fumble. He was 6-of-6 for 61 yards on the first scoring drive. Quinn finished 25-of-45 for 271 yards and three touchdowns.
Robiskie Action: Rookie WR Brian Robiskie, who has been inactive the past two weeks, was active and caught a third down pass for a first down. He then had a 43-yard reception on the next possession. He had two receptions for 50 yards in the first quarter, but didn't have the ball thrown his way again until late in the fourth quarter. He finished with four receptions for 69 yards.
Jerome's Action: RB Jerome Harrison carried 10 times for 35 yards and caught seven passes for 62 yards, including two touchdowns.
New Guy: Newly signed TE Evan Moore caught three passes on the Browns' first possession for 42 yards. Moore (6-6, 247) was a free agent from Stanford who spent four weeks on the Browns' practice squad. He was cut by the Packers at the end of training camp. Moore had six receptions for 80 yards.
LT Passes Jim Brown: RB LaDainian Tomlinson moved into eighth place on the NFL's all-time rushing list as he passed Marshall Faulk and Jim Brown during the game. He scored his 150th touchdown in the game as well. Tomlinson finished with 64 yards on 20 carries, including the touchdown.
Golden Flash: Coming back to play the Browns, former Kent State basketball player,TE Antonio Gates caught eight passes for 167 yards, a career high. He had four receptions for 114 yards in the third quarter alone.
Mosley, Adams Start: C.J. Mosley started in place of DL Kenyon Coleman at left end, while Mike Adams started at right cornerback in place of Brandon McDonald, while Hank Poteat moved to safety in Pool's place. Mosley injured his right ankle on the first defensive series.
Top Defenders: DB Mike Adams, DL Robaire Smith and DB Hank Poteat led the team in tackles with six each.