With one bad snap, the momentum shifted back to the Philadelphia Eagles.
C Cameron Erving snapped the ball over the head of QB Robert Griffin III in the third quarter, leading to a safety and later a Carson Wentz touchdown pass to flip a 13-10 game into a 22-10 one within moments. That ended up being the turning point in the Cleveland Browns’ opening game of the season, which they lost by a final score of 29-10.
Let’s get to the start of the game, which was not good for Cleveland. Wentz did not look like much of a rookie as he got the ball first and led Philadelphia down the field, capping his first drive as a pro with a perfect 19-yard touchdown pass to WR Jordan Matthews.
Cleveland went three-and-out on their first three drives, the third of which ended with a fake punt attempt which RB Duke Johnson had no chance of converting on, thanks to a high snap by LS Charley Hughlett. Philadelphia tacked on a field goal near the beginning of the second quarter to go up 10-0.
The only excitement for Cleveland’s offense was cooked up after that when Griffin connected with WR Terrelle Pryor for a 44-yard catch that saw him leap over the defender to haul it in.
A few plays later, RB Isaiah Crowell punched it in from two yards out to make it a 10-7 game. The Browns’ defense started to generate pressure on Wentz, with some nice plays by the likes of DL Carl Nassib, OLB Emmanuel Ogbah, and OLB Nate Orchard.
When Cleveland got the ball back, they were moving the ball again, assisted by a nice catch-and-run pass to RB Duke Johnson and then a scramble by Griffin to put Cleveland in long field goal range. Griffin then looked for WR Corey Coleman over the middle and had him open, but the pass was tipped by a linebacker and then intercepted. Philadelphia added a field goal before the end of the half to go up 13-7.
Griffin started the third quarter with a bang, completing a 58-yard pass to Coleman amidst triple coverage. It only led to a 35-yard field goal by K Patrick Murray, but the Browns were well in the game at 13-10. The next time the Browns got the ball back, that is when the aforementioned disastrous sequence with the errant snap, followed by a Wentz touchdown, but the Eagles up 22-10.
Griffin couldn’t rally the Browns offense, as he had some poor throws, bad blocking from the offensive line, and other errors take the air out of the team. Wentz and the Eagles tacked on a 1-yard touchdown by RB Ryan Mathews in the final two minutes to go up 29-10.
- QB Robert Griffin III was 12-of-26 for 190 yards and 1 interception. Overall, it was not a very good game for him. He was victimized by three early drops, but also missed a lot of touch throws in the end zone that his counterpart, QB Carson Wentz, was making.
- QB Carson Wentz was 22-of-37 for 278 yards and 2 touchdowns. He looked well in-sync with Philadelphia’s offense, and I would’ve never guessed he missed as much time as he did this camp.
- RB Isaiah Crowell had 12 carries for 62 yards and 1 touchdown. Unfortunately, 3 of those carries that went for 40 yards came on the final three snaps of the game. So, other than that, he had 9 carries for 22 yards. The lack of commitment and pulling guard situations with the running game was very disappointing.
- TE Gary Barnidge dropped 2 passes early and wasn’t targeted the rest of the game.
- WR Terrelle Pryor caught 3 passes for 68 yards.
- DL Carl Nassib flashed a lot today. He finished with 3 tackles and 1 sack.
Up next, the Browns host the Ravens at home.