The Cleveland Browns lost to the Washington Redskins by a final score of 31-20, dropping to 0-4 on the year.
Things got off to a disastrous start for Cleveland in the first quarter. Washington dominated time of possession with two drives that resulted in 8- and 9-yard touchdown passes from QB Kirk Cousins to TE Jordan Reed to give the Redskins a 14-0 lead.
At the start of the second quarter, things started clicking for Cleveland as QB Cody Kessler showed great accuracy, connecting with the likes of WR Terrelle Pryor and WR Ricardo Louis as the offense marched down the field. The drive was capped off by a 2-yard touchdown run by RB Isaiah Crowell, cutting the lead to 14-7.
On the first play of Washington’s next drive, Cousins was picked off by CB Jamar Taylor, who had a good return to set Cleveland’s offense up in the red zone. On third down, Pryor then beat CB Josh Norman on a crossing route to the corner of the end zone. The 9-yard touchdown pass tied the game at 14-14. Washington added a 49-yard field goal to go up 17-14, and then in the two-minute drill, K Cody Parkey drilled a 51-yard field goal to tie it at 17-17.
The Browns put together another solid drive to begin the third quarter, this time setting up a 45-yard field by Parkey to take a 20-17 lead. On Washington’s next drive, OLB Cam Johnson drilled Cousins on a hit to force a fumble. Washington recovered, but it forced the drive to stall. The Browns were then in the process of putting together their most efficient-looking drive of the game, led by some awesome power running from Crowell. After he needed a blow, head coach Hue Jackson decided to give FB Malcolm Johnson his first carry of the season, and he fumbled.
Now in the fourth quarter, Washington marched down the field, finding their rhythm on offense again, and finishing the drive with a wide open 5-yard pass to RB Chris Thompson in the flat. That put the Redskins up 24-20.
Crowell came back with some more hard running on their next drive, but they took him out for a 2nd-and-2 and then RB Duke Johnson fumbled. Here is the question, though: how does Johnson emerge from the pile with the football, only for the officials to signal Washington possession?
Last week the bogus taunting penalty. This week the phantom fumble. Johnson never lost the ball. How does this happen?? pic.twitter.com/Uo8JZ39Wu0— Jay Crawford (@jaycrawfordespn) October 2, 2016
The Browns’ defense registered back-to-back sacks on their next drive, but the punt by Washington was downed at the 2 yard line. With about seven minutes to go, Kessler threw his first interception of the season, as CB Josh Norman nabbed the attempt to hit Pryor on a skinny post. RB Matt Jones sealed the deal with a 1-yard score with just over four minutes to go to make it a 31-20 game. Cleveland turned the ball over on downs in their attempt to salvage something.
The Browns are now 0-4 on the year, and for the third straight week, you got the feeling that they should’ve had this game won. Two weeks ago, it was a terrible taunting call by the officials. Last week, it was botched field goals. This week, it was a fullback fumble.
- QB Cody Kessler: 28-of-40 for 223 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT.
- RB Isaiah Crowell: 15 carries, 112 yards, 1 TD.
- WR Terrelle Pryor: 5 catches, 46 yards, 1 TD. He was mostly held silent in the second half, and only took one snap at QB during the game, where he was hit for a loss of six yards.
- FB Malcolm Johnson and RB Duke Johnson fumbled on back-to-back drives in the second half, and QB Cody Kessler was picked off on the following drive.
- OLB Cam Johnson had two sacks after just being signed off the Cardinals’ practice squad. He was with the Browns in camp.
- As predicted, TE Jordan Reed burned the Browns with 9 catches for 73 yards and 2 TDs.
- RB Matt Jones (for Washington) had his best game of the year with 22 carries for 117 yards and 1 TD.