The final score, 27-19, makes it look like the Cleveland Browns had this game comfortably in hand. They didn't, and in fact, minus the stupid mistakes, the game was going very much like last week's opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Bad first quarter.
Great second quarter.
Nothing for the third quarter...and part of the fourth.
But then, after being stuffed all game long, the commitment to running back Peyton Hillis finally paid off. He broke to the left for a 24-yard touchdown, putting the Browns ahead by more than one possession. Let's see how they got there.
Colt McCoy and the Browns offense caught fire in the second quarter after a couple of key receptions by receivers. Tight end Evan Moore caught the first touchdown of the game in the back left corner of the end zone, giving Cleveland a 7-6 lead. The Colts briefly went back up 9-6 after tacking on a field goal, but Cleveland responded just before the two-minute warning. McCoy hit Joshua Cribbs on a 25-yard screen pass, and then Mohamed Massaquoi made a great catch for 28 yards down to the one-yard line. Hillis punched it in from there, giving Cleveland a 14-9 lead at the half.
The third quarter was frustrating. The Colts drew closer with a field goal to make it 14-12, and Hillis' fumble gave the Colts some hope. But then, the defense and special teams units set up some big plays in the fourth quarter. Usama Young intercepted Kerry Collins, but Cleveland was only able to manage a field goal off of it, giving them a 17-12 lead. After another defensive stop, Joshua Cribbs had an awesome 43-yard punt return. Shortly after, Hillis punched it in from 24 yards out. The defense forced another quick fumble after that, allowing Cleveland to tack on an insurance field goal to go up 27-12.
After that, Collins added a garbage time touchdown with 0:24 left in the game to shrink the Browns' lead to 8 points. The Colts' onside kick after that failed, and Cleveland took a knee to run out the clock for their first win of the season.