The Browns played the Green Bay Packers in the first preseason game of the year for both teams Aug. 14 at Lambeau Field. Last year, the Browns were crushed twice by the Packers -- 17-0 in the preseason and 31-3 during Week 7 of the regular season.
- Browns 27, Packers 24 -- Of course, this is only preseason, but the Browns have plenty of reasons to be confident after their dramatic victory against the Packers. In his debut with the Browns, starting QB Jake Delhomme looked good in his first and only series of the game. He completed 6-of-7 passes for 66 yards, including a 12-yard pass to WR Mohamed Massaquoi on fourth-and-1 from the Packers' 26-yard line. Even more good news for the Browns: QB Seneca Wallace looked good, too. He went 4-of-8 for 72 yards and two touchdowns -- 13 yards to WR Brian Robiskie and 20 yards to TE Benjamin Watson. Rookie safety T.J. Ward has had a solid training camp, and he shined on several plays against the Packers. He finished with seven tackles, second to LB Marcus Benard, who recorded eight, including a sack and a forced fumble. CB Joe Haden had three tackles and one pass defensed in his NFL debut. CB Brandon McDonald had the Browns' lone interception. And Phil Dawson continued to be himself, hitting two clutch field goals in the final two minutes, a 58-yard kick to tie the score and a 46-yard kick to win the game. But not everything was perfect for the Browns. Rookie QB Colt McCoy struggled. He completed 5-of-10 passes for 25 yards and two interceptions. McCoy left the game after the third quarter with a hand injury. WR Johnathan Haggerty (foot) and DL Titus Adams (shoulder) left the game with injuries, too. The Browns' defense also took its lumps, but Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and Co. can make pretty much any team look bad on any given night. I'm eager to see more from the Browns' starting defense. Although the Packers were able to drive the ball in the first quarter, but Browns did force a fumble and recover it on Green Bay's first offensive play from scrimmage. How many times last season did the Browns force turnovers and capitalize on them? In summary, the Browns took a step in the right direction Saturday night. Yes, they finished with fewer first downs (22-17) and fewer yards (340-296), than the Packers but just think about how Green Bay manhandled them last year in the preseason. This was a definite improvement.
- End 1Q: Browns 14, Packers 7 -- 1. RB Jerome Harrison's 4-yard touchdown run capped the Browns' 11-play, 80-yard opening drive with 9:04 left in the first quarter. 2. After Delhomme was given the rest of the night off, backup QB Seneca Wallace threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to WR Brian Robiskie, giving the Browns a 14-0 lead with 8:32 left in the first quarter. 3. The Packers scored for the first time with 4:01 left in the first quarter. QB Aaron Rodgers hit Greg Jennings with a 25-yard touchdown pass with4:31 left in the first quarter. Browns rookie safety T.J. Ward had a really nice debut, but Jennings beat him on this play.
- End 2Q: Browns 21, Packers 14 -- 1. The Packers tied the score 14-14 when FB John Kuhn barreled ahead 2 yards for a touchdown with 14:29 left in the second quarter. 2. The Browns countered when Wallace hit TE Benjamin Watson with a 20-yard scoring strike over the middle with 11:17 left before halftime.
- End 3Q: Browns 21, Packers 21 -- 1. RB Kregg Lumpkin ran 1 yard to help the Packers tie the score with 9:21 left in the third quarter.
- End 4Q: Browns 27, Packers 24 -- 1. Mason Crosby hit a 33-yard field goal with 7:07 left to give the Packers a 24-21 lead. 2. Phil Dawson tied the score with a 58-yard field goal with 1:27 left in the fourth quarter. According to the Browns' media relations crew, the longest regular-season field goal make of Dawson's career is 56 yards. 3. Dawson nailed a 46-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Browns to a 27-24 victory.
Top storylines: 1. Quarterback Jake Delhomme will try to prove he can bounce back from a miserable 2009 season in his debut with the Browns. 2. Three rookies will start for the Browns tonight: cornerback Joe Haden, right guard Shawn Lauvao and safety T.J. Ward. Haden and Lauvao are replacing sidelined players Eric Wright and Floyd Womack, respectively. 3. Will the Browns' new defensive players show signs that they'll give the team legitimate upgrades compared to last season? Watch for newcomers Scott Fujita and Chris Gocong, both of whom will start at linebacker, cornerback Sheldon Brown, Haden and Ward. 4. How will backup quarterback Seneca Wallace perform? More important, will he outperform Delhomme? 5. Also, rookie quarterback Colt McCoy will make his NFL debut. Pay close attention to McCoy now, because if the Browns stick to their plan, you won't see him play at all during the regular season.
Sidelined players: Browns -- CB Eric Wright, LB D'Qwell Jackson, P Dave Zastudil, OL Tony Pashos, LB David Veikune, DB Coye Francies, DL Shaun Rogers, RB Montario Hardesty, OL Joel Reinders, OL Paul Fanaika (out because of a death in his family), OL Floyd Womack, DL C.J. Mosley, LB David Bowens. Packers -- S Atari Bigby, S Will Blackmon, CB Al Harris, RB James Starks, LB Alex Joseph, LB Clay Matthews, LB Cyril Obiozor, OL Jason Spitz.
Starting lineup changes: Browns -- Rookie CB Joe Haden will start in place of Eric Wright; rookie OL Shawn Lauvao will start in place of Floyd Womack at right guard; LB Eric Barton will start in place of D'Qwell Jackson at inside linebacker. Packers -- Brady Poppinga will start in place of Clay Matthews at left outside linebacker; Brad Jones will start in place of Brandon Chillar at right outside linebacker.