Cleveland—The Browns spotted the Rams a 13 point lead before posting 17-straight points to take a 17-13 lead before the Rams rallied for two fourth quarter field goals to gain a 19-17 victory over the Browns in front of announced crowd of 58,250 in the rain at Cleveland Browns Stadium. With the loss, the Browns are now 1-1 in the preseason.
Josh Brown kicked four field goals for the Rams in the win, including the game-winner from 28 yards out with 3:29 to play in the game. The Rams scored nine points off of Browns' fumbles. The Browns committed five turnovers, three fumbles and two interceptions in the loss. The Rams had none.
"I don't think we ever gave up out there," running back Peyton Hillis said. "A loss is a loss and a win is a win no matter how you stir it up. We had five turnovers and it resulted in our loss. We need to correct that and build on it for next week."
Eric Mangini wasn't happy with the way the Browns started, as they turned the ball over three times that lead to Rams scores.
"I thought what we didn't do well was we didn't start fast we didn't protect the football," Eric Mangini said at the half. "We had self-inflicted wounds in the first quarter and we didn't get out defensively. All that being said, what I liked that we did was we hung in there, we didn't panic. The defense got two stops on the sudden change and then we were able to come back and put the game in the position that we are in right now."
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.
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.
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.
"He made a fantastic catch," Delhomme said. "To say that was where I wanted to throw the ball, I'd be lying to you. I looked at the coverage before the play and thought Ben was going to be the one open. Passes downfield are somewhat limited tonight, but he made a great play."
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.
Seneca Wallace started the second half and led the Browns down field for a touchdown to give the Browns a 17-13 lead with 9:08 to play in the third quarter. Wallace threw a nice pass over two Ram defenders and Cribbs hauled it in as he was going out of the end zone for a 15-yard score. Wallace hit Robert Royal for 25 yards to the Rams' 40 and Hillis ran the ball five-straight plays until the touchdown pass.
With 13:06 to play in the game, Brown hit a 21-yard field goal to make it 17-16. The score was set up by a fumble on a punt when Syndric Steptoe fumbled the ball and the Rams recovered on the Browns' 39.
The Rams took the lead with 3:29 as Brown kicked his fourth field goal from 28 yards to make it 19-17. Null hit Dominique Curry for 13 yards to the Browns' 25 on third down and then Joe Haden was called for pass interference on the next third down to give the Rams a first down on the 15. The Rams went 56 yards on 15 plays taking 7:25 off the clock.
The Browns had last chance as they took over with 1:48 to play at their own 24 with Brett Ratliff at quarterback. However, after a completion, Ratliff threw an interception to former Ohio State linebacker Bobby Carpenter.
"You don't want to sound this way, but you're glad it happened," Delhomme said. "It's probably good we had something like this. We're disappointed the way we started and we were sleepwalking for whatever reason at the beginning. We did make some plays in the second quarter to get back in it."
QB Play: 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. Delhomme finished with a QB rating of over 100 for the second-straight week.
QB Seneca Wallace started the second half with the rest of the starting offense and led the Browns on a 78-yard touchdown drive capped with a 15-yard pass to WR Josh Cribbs. On his next possession, Wallace had the offense moving, but it ended with an interception by DB Quincy Butler as he tried to hit WR Carlton Mitchell on a deep pass. A few players earlier, Wallace scrambled for 16 yards and a first down to the Rams' 48 on third-and-15. Wallace was 5-of-9 for 67 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
QB Colt McCoy came in the fourth quarter and was three-and-out, including two sacks on his first possession. He finished 0-of-2.
QB Brett Ratliff came in the final two minutes and was intercepted to end the game with 1:16 to play as Bobby Carpenter made the play. He was 1-of-4 for 10 yards and an interception.
Slippery Fingers: The game was played in rain and the Browns had trouble hanging on to it. RB Jerome Harrison lost the ball on his first two carries. The first was whistled down and the second WR Josh Cribbs recovered it. QB Jake Delhomme fumbled a snap exchange and Cribbs fumbled a punt return. In the third quarter, PR Syndric Steptoe fumbled a punt return and the Rams recovered at the Browns' 39. The Browns also had two interceptions. Meanwhile, the Rams had no turnovers.
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-14 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 had three receptions for 51 yards. TE Ben Watson had three catches for 22 yards and a six-yard touchdown. WR Josh Cribbs led the Browns with five receptions for 30 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown.
Rushers: Harrison had five rushes for 13 yards and one reception for 32 yards. RB Peyton Hillis had 12 rushes for 51 yards and two receptions for 12 yards.
Offense: The Browns had 285 yards in total offense with 187 passing and 98 rushing.
No Go on Third: The Browns were 0-of-5 on third down in the first half.
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.