In their second game of the preseason, the Cleveland Browns lost to the Atlanta Falcons by a final score of 24-13.
The Browns got off to a rough start in their first possession on both sides of the ball, going three-and-out on offense and then being picked apart by Matt Ryan and Devonta Freeman as they marched the Falcons’ offense down the field. Freeman finished the drive with a 19-yard touchdown run on third-and-short after cornerback Justin Gilbert missed a tackle on the edge.
With Atlanta having a 7-0 advantage, Robert Griffin III responded in a major way for Cleveland. After a nice run by him and a couple of nice runs by Isaiah Crowell, the Browns were at midfield. That’s when Griffin launched a perfect 50-yard touchdown pass to Terrelle Pryor, who beat one of the league’s better corners in Desmond Trufant.
That tied the game at 7-7 in the first quarter. In the second quarter, Griffin was at it again. This time, he connected with tight end Gary Barnidge on a 29-yard fingertip touchdown pass to give Cleveland a 13-7 advantage:
The Falcons put together a seven-minute drive to close out the first half, led by backup Matt Schaub. A penalty nullified a touchdown run, and then pressure from Danny Shelton and Carl Nassib forced Atlanta to settle for a 30-yard field goal to make it a 13-10 game.
To start the second half, Atlanta quickly marched down the field against the Browns’ second unit. The drive ended with a 32-yard rushing touchdown by rookie running back Brandon Wilds, which saw Raheem Moore be victimized for a very poor missed tackle. That put Atlanta up 17-13.
On Atlanta’s next drive, Nassib had another big play, coming off the edge to log a sack, forced fumble, and a recovery all by himself. McCown got the Browns inside the 10 yard line, and then Cleveland faced a 4th-and-goal from the 2 yard line. Cleveland went for it but could not convert, turning the ball over on downs.
The Falcons then put together a touchdown-scoring drive to start the fourth quarter, with third-string quarterback Chris Simms finding receiver Devin Fuller for the 11-yard score to go up 24-13 mid-way through the fourth. Rookie quarterback Cody Kessler entered the game for the Browns. He couldn’t materialize a scoring drive, and Atlanta’s offense closed the game out on the ground.
- QB Robert Griffin III finished the game 6-of-8 for 96 yards and 2 TD. He also had 2 rushes for 36 yards.
- RB Isaiah Crowell had 7 carries for 28 yards (4.0 avg).
- WR Terrelle Pryor had 1 catch for 50 yards and 1 TD.
- TE Gary Barnidge had 2 catches for 26 yards and 1 TD.
- S Derrick Kindred led the Browns with 6 tackles.
- DL Carl Nassib had 1 sack, while OLB Cam Johnson and DL Kenton Adeyemi each split a sack.
- The Falcons dominated time of possession 39:59 to 20:01. Cleveland ran just 40 offensive plays, compared to 79 plays for the Falcons.
- Atlanta out-gained Cleveland, 498 yards to 243 yards.
- The Falcons converted 11-of-17 third downs (65%). The Browns were just 1-of-8 (13%) on third downs.
What did you think, Browns fans? We’ll have plenty of analysis up over the weekend, so stay tuned to DBN.