Penalties and mistakes by the Cleveland Browns led to scoring opportunities for Philadelphia Thursday night, and the Eagles capitalized. Philadelphia defeated Cleveland 24-14 in each team’s third preseason game.
Shortly after a 33-yard field goal attempt by Cleveland’s Phil Dawson was blocked by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in the first quarter, the Browns botched a fair catch on a punt return. Jordan Norwood and James Dockery collided into each other and caused a scramble for the ball, which was recovered by the Eagles. Ronnie Brown scored on a 13-yard run into the end zone to take the lead.
The Eagles then extended their lead to 10-0 by converting a 37-yard field goal that followed a Colt McCoy interception. McCoy, under pressure all night without a lot of time to throw, was picked off by Asante Samuel on the first snap of the second quarter. Philadelphia took the 10-0 lead before they even gained a first-down. Michael Vick scored on an 8-yard run to give the Eagles a 17-0 advantage to close out the half.
Seneca Wallace replaced McCoy as quarterback to start the second half. Wallace led an 11-play drive before passing for his first touchdown of the preseason. Alex Smith snagged the bobbled 17-yard pass to make the score 24-7 with 14:16 remaining in the game.
Jarrett Brown then took over at quarterback for the final 7:40, going 4-for-4 for 35 yards and rushing for 16 yards on the 71-yard drive. He connected with Chris Matthews for a touchdown with 1:57 left in the game, bringing the score to 24-14.
Defensively for the Browns, D’Qwell Jackson and Phil Taylor led the attack and pressured Eagles quarterbacks Vick and Vince Young. In the second quarter, Jackson was called for roughing the passer on what appeared to be a clean hit. The penalty negated what would have been an interception by Mike Adams. First-round draft pick Taylor sacked Vick for a 14-yard loss and caused a fumble.
The Eagles scored 17 points off turnovers in the game.
The Browns will travel to Chicago on Sept. 1 to face the Bears in their final preseason game. The season opener is on Sept. 11 vs. the Bengals.
- Prior to tonight’s game, McCoy had completed 19 of 28 attempts for 231 yards with four touchdowns against no interceptions in two preseason games.
- Montario Hardesty played in his first game since tearing his ACL in a preseason game a year ago. Hardesty finished with 15 yards on five carries.
- Not playing for the Browns due to injury were receiver Josh Cribbs (hamstring), receiver Mohamed Massaquoi (foot), guard Eric Steinbach (back), running back Brandon Jackson (toe), safety T.J. Ward (hamstring), Usama Young (hamstring) and linebacker Chris Gocong (neck) and tight end Evan Moore (mild concussion).
- Browns Head Coach Pat Shurmur spent a decade as an assistant with the Eagles, first as the tight ends/offensive line coach (1999-2001) and then, as the quarterbacks coach (2002-2008). He then served as the offensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams (2009-10) before being hired by the Browns on Jan. 13, 2011.
- Vick, the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2010, was beaten out in the offseason by Peyton Hillis to become the featured cover star for Madden 2012.