You were afraid it was just too good to be true.
After putting a 35-14 lambasting on the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants, the Browns came out flat once again against the Redskins and the result was a lackluster 14-11 loss.
The other three teams in the AFC North won and now the Browns at 2-4 are three games behind the first place Steelers who are 5-1.
The Browns had a chance to at least send the game into overtime when Phil Dawson was wide left on a 54-yard attempt with 25 seconds to play.
However, it never should've come down to that. If the Browns would've done anything in the first three quarters offensively, they would've won the game.
Derek Anderson and the Browns passing offense had just 40 yards through three quarters. They showed some signs of life late as Anderson threw for 96 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but it was too little, too late. The Browns finished with 236 yards on offense, most of it in the second half of the fourth quarter.
The Browns had first down on the Redskins' one twice in the fourth quarter. On the first attempt the Browns shunned taking the field goal trailing 14-3 and turned the ball over on downs at the three. Moments later, the Browns forced a turnover and received another chance and converted it into a touchdown and a two-point conversion to make it 14-11 with over two minutes to play.
After stopping the Redskins after cutting the lead to 14-11, the Browns took over on their 33 and Anderson hit Donte Stallworth for 14 yards to the 47. A holding penalty on London Fletcher moved the ball to the Redskins' 48 with 1:40 to play. Anderson hit Kellen Winslow for nine yards to the 39, followed by a first down run by Anderson to the 37.
Back-to-back incomplete passes made it third-and-10 from the 37 and Anderson failed to hit Edwards for the first down forcing to try the 54-yard attempt.
The Browns were holding the Redskins down for the better part of the game and the Browns were squandering opportunities. As the game wore on, Clinton Portis and the Redskins rushing game just continued to wear the Browns defense down. Portis rushed for 175 yards and a touchdown.
Anderson and the offense was horrific for most of the game after amassing 454 yards just six days before. Against Washington, Dave Zastudil punted after the Browns first seven possessions. Anderson finished 14-of-37 for 136 yards and a 57.9 QB rating, including 96 yards in the fourth quarter.
The game was scoreless midway through the third quarter when Portis went in from the three to make it 7-0 with 7:30 to play in the third quarter.
After holding the Redskins scoreless and to no big plays in the first half, Jason Campbell hit Santana Moss for 35 yards to the Browns' 27 on the Redskins' first offensive play of the second half. D'Qwell Jackson missed Moss after a short reception and Moss did the rest on his own. On second down, Campbell hit Antwan Randle El on a slant in front of Terry Cousin to the three. Portis took it to the end zone on the next play.
The Browns avoided the shut out as Dawson kicked a 37-yard field goal with 2:43 to play in the third quarter. It was the first drive that the Browns didn't end up punting. The Browns showed their only offense on the drive with back-to-back plays of 19- and 22 yards. The first pass play over 10 yards was with five minutes to go in the third quarter when Anderson hit Edwards for a 19-yard gain. On the next play, Jamal Lewis ran 22 yards to the Redskins' 19. After Anderson was sacked, Dawson kicked the field goal.
The Redskins increased their lead with 12:28 to play in the fourth quarter to 14-3 as Campbell hit Moss for an 18-yard touchdown. Cousin was again the victim of Moss. Portis had a 26-yard run to the Browns' 18 to set up the score.
Gerard Lawson took the kickoff after Moss' touchdown back to the 43. A 14-yard to Edwards moved the ball to the Redskins' 32. Anderson hit Steve Heiden for 11 yards to the 19. A swing pass to Lewis for 18 yards took the ball to the one.
After a run for no gain by Lewis and a pass for a two-yard loss to Charles Ali, put the Browns in a third-and-goal at the three and Anderson threw incomplete in the end zone. The Browns elected to go for the touchdown on fourth down, Anderson threw a pass that was batted down with 5:47 to play.
The Browns scored with 2:44 to play to cut the deficit to `14-11 after Anderson hit Josh Cribbs for a one-yard touchdown pass on fourth down, followed by a two-point conversion from Anderson to Edwards.
On the first play, Anderson hit Edwards for 20 yards to the nine. On the next play, Anderson hit Winslow for eight yards to the one. It was Winslow's first reception. Again, Lewis couldn't score from the one on second and third down. On fourth down, Anderson rolled out and hit Cribbs for the one-yard score.
The Browns kicked off and put the game in the hands of their defense to stop the Redskins. Portis ran the first two downs and used their final two timeouts with 2:26 to play. On third-and-five, the Browns stopped Portis short of the first down to force a punt at the two-minute warning.
The Browns moved down field but stalled and were decided to try the 54-yard field goal.
Little O: It was either a matter of neither team generating any offense or both teams playing good defense, but on the first 10 possessions of the games there were 10 punts—five by each team. The biggest play offensively came when QB Jason Campbell hit WR Antwan Randal El for a 25-yard gain as he got by Eric Wright. It was the biggest play of the game for either team with just under six minutes to play in the first half. The Browns longest pass play was a six yard pass to WR Donte Stallworth and FB Lawrence Vickers.
The Ghost: RB Jerome Harrison disappeared again until the fourth quarter, when he was finally put in. He had two runs for nine yards after playing a big role in the win over the Giants.
Bicker Time: It appeared as though frustration on the Browns' offense set in as QB Derek Anderson and FB Lawrence Vickers got into an argument and the Browns had to take a timeout
Rare Feat: The last time the Redskins were held scoreless at halftime was in 1981. Unfortunately, the Browns were also held score less.
Less Penalties: The Browns had just two penalties in the first half for 10 yards. The Redskins had three for 23. The Browns finished with for yards.
Braylon Drops: WR Braylon Edwards appeared to have reverted to his early season habit of dropping catchable passes. He had his hands on at least five passes that he wasn't able to hang on to, but only three were called drops.
Flash ‘In: Josh Cribbs' first appearance in the QB position was on third-and-short and he ran for the first down. Cribbs was injured when he was hit by DB Carlos Rogers in the third quarter after attempting to make a catch.
Bad Start: QB Derek Anderson got off to a bad start against the Redskins. He was 1-of-8 for six yards in the first quarter for a QB rating of 39.6. The Browns started drives at the Redskins' 47 and 45 and were unable to convert a first down. Anderson missed WR Donte Stallworth, who had a couple of steps on DB Fred Smoot near the end of the first half. Anderson was 3-of-14 for 17 yards in the first half for a 39.8 rating. RB Jamal Lewis had 38 yards on 11 carries with a long of 10 yards. Anderson was just 5-of-20 for 40 yards through three quarters.
Back to Work: After not punting once against the Giants, P Dave Zastudil punted after the Browns first seven possessions. He booted a 47-yard punt after the Browns opening possession in which they went three-and-out.
Williams Hurt: With the Browns defensive line already thin without DL Shaun Smith (hand), DL Corey Williams hurt his shoulder in the second quarter. He returned in the third quarter and tackled RB Shaun Alexander behind the line of scrimmage. DL Santonio Thomas had to fill in as Louis Leonard was starting at the opposite end.
Winslow, Jones, Shaffer Back: TE Kellen Winslow, S Sean Jones and OL Kevin Shaffer all returned to action for the Browns after missing time. Winslow didn't practice until Friday after an undisclosed illness caused him to miss last week's game. Shaffer had missed the Giants' game with a concussion. He started at RT for Ryan Tucker, who was inactive with a knee injury. Jones returned after having arthroscopic surgery on his knee after the season opener. S Mike Adams, who had started for Jones, was inactive with a hamstring injury.