Browns overcome shaky start

In what was a mirror image of last week's game, the Browns trailed 13-0 early before they even knew what hit them. As the half continued, the Browns settled down and pulled to within 13-10 at halftime.

CLEVELAND — The Browns spotted the Rams a 13-point lead before cutting the deficit to 13-10 at the intermission.

The Rams jumped out to a 7-0 lead with 7:48 to play in the first quarter as A.J. Feeley hit Daniel Fells for a 10-yard touchdown. After the Browns started the game with a three-and-out, the Rams took the punt and marched 65 yards on 10 plays for a touchdown taking 5:01 off the clock. The Rams started the drive with a 16 yard pass from Feeley to Billy Bajema to the Browns' 49. An 11-yard run by Steven Jackson and another 10-yard pass to Bajema were the keys in the drive.

After the touchdown, the Browns ran one play before Jake Delhomme and Alex Mack mishandled the snap and Fred Robbins recovered on the Browns' 23.

The Rams extended their lead to 10-0 as Josh Brown kicked a 32-yard field goal after the fumble with 5:01 to play in the first quarter.

Sam Bradford entered for Feeley and his first pass was almost intercepted as Eric Wright stepped in front of the receiver, but couldn't hang on. On third down, Wright was called for pass interference to give the Rams a first down at the 15.

Bradford tried to hit Laurent Robinson, but Sheldon Brown went up and batted down the pass in the end zone and Brown kicked the field goal.

The Rams punted with less than two minutes to play in the first quarter and Cribbs was stripped of the ball and the Rams' Chris Massey recovered at the Browns' 21. Three plays later Brown hit a 39-yard field goal to make it 13-0 with 1:35 left in the first quarter.

The Browns cut the lead to 13-7 as Delhomme and Watson hooked up on a six-yard touchdown pass with 9:54 left in the first half.

The Browns finally got the offense going at the end of the first quarter. Trailing 13-0, Delhomme hit Watson for nine yards and then he hit Chansi Stuckey for 28 on the last play of the first quarter.

Peyton Hillis had a nine-yard run to the 27. After a loss, the Browns were faced with fourth-and-3 from the 19 and Eric Mangini elected to go for the first down rather than kicking the field goal. Delhomme hit Cribbs on a short pass that he broke a tackle and picked up the first down to the 10.

On second down Watson made a nice one-handed catch in the back of the end zone that was ruled incomplete. Mangini challenged and the call was overturned and the Browns had a touchdown to make it 13-7.

After forcing the Rams to punt after three plays, the Browns first team offense came out again and moved the ball to the 17 before turning it over on downs to the Rams as Mangini elected to go for the first down on fourth-and-3 and Hillis ran up the middle for just one yard. Delhomme hit Jerome Harrison on a short pass and he broke it for 32 yards to the Rams' 24.

The Browns cut the Rams lead to 13-10 with 1:05 to play in the first half as Phil Dawson kicked a 38-yard field goal. After the Browns forced the Rams to quickly punt once again, Syndric Steptoe returned the punt to the Rams' 41. An 18-yard pass to Stuckey took the ball to the 22. After two-straight tipped passes Dawson kicked the field goal. The Browns went 21 yards in six plays for the score.


Not Bad for Jake: QB Jake Delhomme overcame a slow start and finished the first half 12-of-16 for 127 yards and one touchdown. Many of his passes were short and the receivers were able to break loose after the catch. RB Jerome Harrison had a 32-yard reception on a swing pass and WR Chansi Stuckey had a 29- and 18-yard receptions. Delhomme was sacked once by DL Fred Robbins.His QB rating was 118.5.

Sam vs. Joe: The game featured the No. 1 and No. 7 picks in this year's NFL Draft in QB Sam Bradford and CB Joe Haden.  Haden picked up a bouncing kickoff and returned the ball 28 yards to the 40. Haden also knocked down a pass intended for WR Donnie Avery on third down from the Browns' 21 in the first quarter. Bradford relieved an injured QB A. J. Feeley and was 6-of-12 for 24 yards. Feeley injured his right thumb on the first series on a hit by LB Chris Gocong.

Stuck on Chansi: WR Chansi Stuckey was the Browns' leading receiver with three receptions for 51 yards. TE Ben Watson had three catches for 22 yards and a six-yard touchdown.

Rushers: Harrison had five rushes for 13 yards and one reception for 32 yards. RB Peyton Hillis had six rushes for 18 yards and two receptions for 12 yards.

Tacklers: LB Chris Gocong led the Browns with five tackles, while DB Eric Wright and LB Scott Fujita had four and DB T.J. Ward had three.

Offense: The Browns had 154 yards with 121 through the air and just 33 on the ground.

No Go on Third: The Browns were 0-of-5 on third down.

Eric the Gambler: Eric Mangini went for it twice on fourth down in the red zone, converting one of two.

Inactives: For the Browns: WR Mohamed Massaquoi, DB Coye Francies, RB Montario Hardesty, LB D'Qwell Jackson, OL Joel Reinders, OL Shawn Lauvao, DL C. J. Mosley, OL Floyd Womack, OL Tony Pashos, DL Shaun Rogers and LB David Bowens. Billy Yates started at right guard for Lauvao and Joshua Cribbs started for Massaquoi.

The OBR Top Stories