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Game day blog: Eagles 17, Browns 16 (Week 1 from pregame to postgame)

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 9, 2012

Final score: Eagles 17, Browns 16 (game story; notebook; Trent Richardson's quiet NFL debut included big blast; Marla Ridenour's column; Jason Lloyd's column; box score)

End 4Q: Eagles 17, Browns 16 - D'Qwell Jackson intercepted Michael Vick early in the fourth quarter, Vick's fourth pick of the day, and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown to give the Browns a 16-10 lead. But a steady diet of Vick and LeSean McCoy were enough to pull off the game-winning score, a four-yard pass from Vick to tight end Clay Harbor on third down with 1:18 left in the game. Brandon Weeden's first pass of the potential game-winning drive drive air-mailed and was intercepted by Kurt Coleman. 

End 3Q: Eagles 10, Browns 6 - The Browns added a field goal and then ended the third quarter with Joe Haden's interception of Michael Vick and a 50-yard return to the Eagles 22-yard line. A defensive holding penalty gave the Browns first and goal at the 7-yard line. Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin is in the locker room getting an IV and has yet to return to the game. T.J. Ward has returned. Brandon Weeden was again picked in similar fashion while looking for Bejamin. 

End 2Q: Eagles 10, Browns 3 - The Browns defense very nearly kept the Eagles offense out of the end zone for the first half. That was until Jeremy Maclin turned Joe Haden around in the end zone and Vick found him for an 18-yard post-route touchdown with 17 seconds to go in the second quarter. Maclin also beat Buster Skrine for a 46-yard gain on the play before. Brandon Weeden's rookie-status showed as well. Weeden had Ben Watson and then Massaquoi wide open from midfield, but didn't see Watson and overthrew Massaquoi on the same drive. At the half, Weeden is 7-19 for 68 yards and two interceptions. Trent Richardson has been held largely in check. He has 25 yards on 11 carries, but did wow the crowd when he ran over Kurt Coleman and popped his helmet off with the hit. Coleman later had his chin looked at on the sidelines. Safety T.J. Ward, who has a forced fumble and a sack, is questionable to return with cramps. 

End 1Q: Browns 3, Eagles 0 - The dynamic Eagles offense looked explosive in their first two drives, but both were ended with turnovers. T.J. Ward stripped LeSean McCoy near midfield and D'Qwell Jackson fell on the ball in the scramble. Later, Michael Vick missed Jason Avant and instead found Craig Robertson, who intercepted Vick at the Browns' 40-yard line. The Browns took the lead following Jackson's fumble recovery with a six-play, 26-yard drive highlighted by Brandon Weeden finding Mohamed Massaquoi for a 24-yard gain with his first pass as a pro. Trent Richardson was largely ineffective, running for four yards on three carries. Cornerback Sheldon Brown took a hard hit from McCoy late in the quarter and was slow to get up. He jogged to the locker room a few moments later, and is questionable with a shoulder injury. 

Pregame notes

Inactives: Browns – quarterback Thaddeus Lewis (right thumb), wide receiver Jordan Norwood, running back Chris Ogbonnaya (ankle), rookie cornerback Trevin Wade, strong safety Usama Young (thigh), rookie linebacker James-Michael Johnson (ribs/oblique) and offensive tackle Oniel Cousins (ankle). Note: The Browns received a roster exemption after starting strongside linebacker Scott Fujita had his three-game suspension overturned Friday, but Fujita remains on the team’s exempt list. He stretched and ran on the field before the game, but he's still dealing with an injured left knee. Eagles -- wide receiver Riley Cooper (collarbone), safety David Sims, running back Dion Lewis (hamstring), safety Colt Anderson (knee), offensive lineman Nate Menkin (shoulder), defensive end Vinny Curry and offensive tackle Demetress Bell.

Lineup changes: Browns – undrafted rookie L.J. Fort will start at strongside linebacker in place of Johnson; rookie Billy Winn will start at defensive tackle in place of rookie John Hughes. Eagles -- none.

Top storylines: 1. With Jimmy Haslam III on the verge of taking control as the Browns’ new owner in October, the team is kicking off a new era. The regular-season opener represents a changing of the guard from Randy Lerner to Haslam, and it’s all unfolding three days after the death of former Browns owner Art Modell. 2. Browns rookie running back Trent Richardson, the third overall pick in this year’s draft, will start today after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Aug. 9. 3. Brandon Weeden, the 22nd overall pick in this year’s draft, will become the 17th starting quarterback for the Browns since their expansion era began in 1999. He is one of 15 rookies on the Browns’ active roster. 4. Browns strongside linebacker Scott Fujita’s three-game suspension for his alleged role in the New Orleans Saints’ bounty scandal was overturned Friday by a three-member appeals panel, but Fujita won’t play today. The Browns received a roster exemption for Fujita, though he remains on the exempt list, a team spokesman said. 5. Browns cornerback Joe Haden is permitted to play today while his appeal of a four-game suspension for a reported failed drug test seemingly remains unresolved. 6. The Browns are 1-12 in regular-season openers since 1999. They’re looking to upset the Eagles, who dominated them Aug. 24 in the third preseason game. The offense must hold its own against the Eagles' stellar pass rushers, and the defense must limit Eagles quarterback Michael Vick.

Preview stories via Ohio.com: 1. Browns coach Pat Shurmur and front office focus on present as uncertain future comes with ownership change. 2. Getting to know the foundation of the Browns’ rookie class and revamped offense. 3. Breakdown of the Browns’ key rookies. 4. Marla Ridenour’s column: Two ways to look at nearly every Browns issue. 5. Matchup of the week: Eagles quarterback Michael Vick vs. Browns’ defense. 6. Injury report. 7. Keys to the game. 8. Storylines. 9. Predictions. 10. Quote of the week. 11. By the numbers. 12. Browns cancel plan to honor Art Modell before game at request of family.

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