The Browns play the St. Louis Rams in the second preseason game of the year for both teams at 7:30 tonight at Cleveland Browns Stadium. The Browns won their preseason opener 27-24 on the road against the Green Bay Packers. The Rams, meanwhile, suffered a 28-7 loss against the Minnesota Vikings in their 2010 debut.
- Rams 19, Browns 17 -- The bad news? The Browns had an awful start. They fumbled four times in the first quarter and lost two of them. Their defense also let the Rams march down the field on their first offensive possession and score a touchdown. The good news? The Browns looked like a different team in the second quarter. Quarterback Jake Delhomme led the Browns on an 11-play, 77-yard scoring drive. He completed 7-of-7 passes during the march, including a 6-yard touchdown pass to tight end Benjamin Watson. Delhomme played the entire first half and finished 12-of-16 for 127 yards and a touchdown. The Browns' defense also made some key stops, forcing the Rams to settle for field goals. In the third quarter, backup quarterback Seneca Wallace entered the game and had mixed results. He hit wide receiver Josh Cribbs with a 15-yard touchdown pass, but he also threw an interception. Wallace finished 5-of-9 for 67 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Rookie quarterback Colt McCoy entered the game in the fourth quarter and continued to struggle. He threw two passes without a completion. He was also sacked twice. Speaking of sacks, this is disturbing: The Browns had none against a team that allowed six the week before against the Minnesota Vikings. On the other hand, the Rams had four sacks -- one each against Delhomme and Wallace and two against McCoy. Of course, the worst part for the Browns was their five turnovers (three lost fumbles and two interceptions). The Rams did not throw an interception. They fumbled once, but they recovered. Therein lies the problem for the Browns. Their final miscue of the night proved to be the ultimate dagger. while trying to spark a rally, Browns quarterback Brett Ratliff threw an interception to Rams linebacker Bobby Carpenter late in the fourth quarter. The Rams then ran out the final 1 minutes, 16 seconds out to win the game.
- End 1Q: Rams 13, Browns 0 -- 1. Rams quarterback A.J. Feeley hit tight end Daniel Fells with a 9-yard touchdown pass with7:48 left in the first quarter, completing a 10-play, 65-yard drive. Kicker Josh Brown's extra point was good. 2. Josh Brown made a 32-yard field goal with 5:01 left in the first quarter, shortly after Browns quarterback Jake Delhomme fumbled a snap and the Rams recovered deep in Cleveland's territory. 3. Browns return man Josh Cribbs fumbled a punt, the Rams recovered and Josh Brown hit a 39-yard field goal four plays later with 1:35 left in the first quarter.
- End 2Q: Rams 13, Browns 10 -- 1. Browns tight end Benjamin Watson made a great one-handed catch in the back of the end zone on a pass from Delhomme with 9:54 left in the second quarter. The play was ruled a touchdown after Browns coach Eric Mangini challenged the original call. Officials originally said Watson was out of bounds. Phil Dawson made the extra-point kick. 2. Dawson capped Cleveland's six-play, 21-yard drive with a 38-yard field goal with 1:05 left before halftime.
- End 3Q: Browns 17, Rams 13 -- 1. Seneca Wallace hit Josh Cribbs with a 15-yard touchdown pass with 9:08 left in the first quarter. Dawson made the extra point.
- End 4Q: Rams 19, Browns 17 -- 1. Josh Brown hit a 21-yard field goal with 13:06 left in the fourth quarter, trimming the Rams' deficit to a point. 2. Josh Brown hit a 28-yard field goal to give the Rams a 19-17 lead with 3:29 left in the fourth quarter.
Top storylines: 1. Quarterback Jake Delhomme will play in his first home game at Cleveland Browns Stadium. He had a great start last week against the Packers, completing 6-of-7 passes for 66 yards while leading the Browns on an 11-play, 80-yard scoring drive to open the game. It was Delhomme's lone series, though, so it will be interesting to see if he can pick up where he left off. 2. The Browns' defense forced a turnover during the Packers' opening possession, but it struggled to keep up with Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Co. after that. Therefore, the Browns' defense still has several questions it hopes to answer against the Rams. 3. Safety T.J. Ward and cornerback Joe Haden, both of whom are rookies, will make their debuts at their home stadium. Ward shined against the Packers, and Haden was respectable. Both of them made a few mistakes, too. Where do they go from here? 4. Rookie quarterback Colt McCoy struggled against the Packers. He completed 5-of-10 passes and threw two interceptions. Can he show promise against the Rams? 5. The rookie quarterback on the Rams' side, top overall pick Sam Bradford, is the subject of a prominent national story. A.J. Feeley is the Rams' starting quarterback now, but will Bradford surpass him on the team's depth chart? More important, will the Rams be able to keep Bradford safe? The Vikings finished with six sacks last week. Bradford was the victim of four.
Sidelined players: Browns -- WR Mohamed Massaquoi, LB David Bowens, DL Shaun Rogers, OL Tony Pashos, OL Floyd Womack, DL C.J. Mosley, OL Joel Reinders, LB D'Qwell Jackson, RB Montario Hardesty, DB Coye Francies and OL Shawn Lauvao (out for personal reason). Rams -- WR Brandon Gibson, CB Jerome Murphy, CB Justin King, CB Kevin Dockery, S James Butler, DE George Selvie, OL John Greco and DE Eugene Sims.
Starting lineup changes: Browns -- WR Josh Cribbs will start in place of Mohamed Massaquoi, who's sidelined with a hamstring strain (Massaquoi would have played tonight if it were a regular-season game, coach Eric Mangini said through a spokesman); OL Billy Yates will start in place of rookie Shawn Lauvao at right guard. Lauvao is not injured, but he's away tending to a personal matter. Rams -- CB Bradley Fletcher will start in place of Kevin Dockery; OL Jason Smith will start in place of Adam Goldberg at right tackle; Goldberg will move to center to start in place of former Browns player Hank Fraley.