After a nice kickoff return and excellent field position at their 45, the Browns immediately went to work — or, rather, to Peyton Hillis. Seven Hillis runs for 49 yards and a Mike Bell run for five yards got the Browns to the Buffalo one-yard line before the Bills’ defense stiffened, and Cleveland had to settle for a demoralizing field goal after a 54-yard opening drive that took almost five minutes off the clock.
I don’t know about you, but I am thinking I would have gone for it there. Just saying that if you settle for a field goal you give the Buffalo defense a big boost.
We will see how that turns out later.
After a Buffalo first down, Ryan Fitzpatrick was sacked and fumbled at the Buffalo 36. Eric Wright recovered for the Browns and returned the fumble to the 25, setting the Browns up deep in Bills’ territory. On the first play — Peyton Hillis fumbled right back to Buffalo, whose return set the Bills up at the Buffalo 31.
Buffalo quickly pushed to the Cleveland 38, but fell short on a third-down pass to the 35, and eschewed a field goal try. A fourth-down Fitzpatrick pass was incomplete, giving the Browns the ball back after having dodged a bullet.
The Browns then went three-and-out, with their first two pass attempts of the day, one of which was completed by Jake Delhomme. Cleveland was forced to punt, and the Bills set up shop again at their own 11-yard line with 2:42 left in the quarter.
The quarter ended with the Bills on the move and with a first down at their 40.