Game in review
Browns 7, Chargers 6
Offense: Neither team performed well on offense in cold, rainy, windy conditions. Fortunately for the Browns, rookie running back Trent Richardson was the bright spot, and his 26-yard touchdown run with 4:17 left in the first quarter proved to be enough. He rushed for 122 yards on 24 carries (5.1 average) and caught one pass for 12 yards despite his rib injury. The Browns converted only 4-of-15 third downs (27 percent) and gained 250 yards. Thumbs down.
Defense: The Browns kept the Chargers from scoring a touchdown and produced the lone turnover of the game when rookie strongside linebacker James Michael-Johnson forced running back Ryan Mathews to fumble and rookie defensive tackle Billy Winn recovered in the first quarter. With 1:20 left in the fourth quarter, cornerback Buster Skrine broke up quarterback Philip Rivers’ fourth-down pass to wide receiver Malcolm Floyd to seal the outcome. Thumbs up.
Special teams: Rookie Johnson Bademosi caught Reggie Hodges’ punt at the Chargers’ 3-yard line early in the fourth quarter. It was one of three punts downed inside the 20 by the Browns. Josh Cribbs had the longest return of the game (25 yards on a kickoff). Thumbs up.
Coaching: The Browns had only four penalties and did not commit a turnover. After scoring during their first possession, they couldn’t maintain a drive and punted nine times. But the defense stepped up. Defensive coordinator Dick Jauron and his men deserve the bulk of the credit for the win. Thumbs up.
— Nate Ulrich