Browns Vs. 49ers: Cleveland Loses 20-10 As Offense Sputters

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Browns can't come back against 49ers, lose 20-10

The 49ers threw everything at the Browns Sunday, beating them 20-10.

Along with a steady dose of running back Frank Gore, the 49ers mixed in passes to defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga and offensive tackle Joe Staley.

It was too many points for an inept Browns offense to keep up with. Without starter Peyton Hillis and backup Montario Hardesty for all but a quarter, the Browns managed only 66 yards rushing.

Browns quarterback Colt McCoy had probably his best game of the season, completing 22 of 34 passes for 241 yards, a touchdown and an interception. It was the interception in the first half that really hurt the Browns. McCoy also had three fumbles he recovered himself that didn’t help. But form much of the game he was placing the ball nicely, spreading the ball out to seven different receivers.

For the second week in a row new pickup Chris Ogbonnaya paced the team in receptions with five, tying him with Jordan Norwood for the most on the team. Norwood was filling in for the injured Mohamed Massaquoi.

The lack of a running game, though, made the Browns an easy team to defend. The 49ers could bring more pressure without worrying about being beat up the middle by the run. The 49ers had four sacks on the game but were in Cleveland’s back field for much of the contest.

The Browns finally put together a good drive on offense early in the fourth quarter. Driving down the field, McCoy connected with wide receiver Josh Cribbs on a 45-yard touchdown pass with about six minutes remaining in the game. The Browns ran the no huddle for much of the drive with McCoy in the shotgun. Given the success of this drive, the Browns may want to consider doing that more in the future.

The drive brought the game to 17-10, but the Browns defense looked vulnerable for the first time in the second half on the ensuing 49ers drive. San Francisco marched down the field eating the clock and scoring on a David Akers field goal.

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Browns look better in third quarter, still down 17-3 to 49ers

At half time, it’s clear the Browns defense made adjustments to stop the 49ers. The Browns offense is another story.

Without second-year running back Montario Hardesty, who is out due to a leg injury, the running game hasn’t been able to get going. Chris Ogbonnaya has carried the ball 10 times thus far for 30 yards.

The Browns controlled the ball for much of the quarter with their passing game, but don’t have anything to show for it. After impressive throws of more than 20 yards to tight ends Alex Smith and Ben Watson, Colt McCoy was intercepted in the end zone. The pass was intended for rookie wide receiver Greg Little but McCoy threw into double coverage, getting picked off by Dashon Goldson.

The Browns defense, namely tackle Phil Taylor and linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, have keep the Browns in the game, though San Francisco has the ball to start the fourth quarter.

Gore passed Roger Craig for second all-time in rushing yards with the 49ers, behind only Joe Perry’s 7,344 yards.

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49ers dominating Browns, lead 17-3 at half

In the first half, it’s either been a display of dominance by the San Francisco 49ers or futility by the Cleveland Browns. Whichever it is, the 49ers lead the Browns 17-3 at the half.

The Browns have only 93 yards on offense in the first half, with many of them coming in the last drive of the second quarter. That drive finished in a 51-yard field goal by Phil Dawson.

Conversely, the 49ers have 253 yards of offense, with 103 by running back Frank Gore. If not for a goal-line stand by the Browns to start the second quarter, San Francisco’s lead would be much greater than two scores.

Browns quarterback Colt McCoy is placing the ball nicely, completing eight of 14 first half passes for 69 yards. The team just refuses to work deep routes to Josh Cribbs and rookie Greg Little. That has allowed the 49ers to play closer to the line of scrimmage, where they’ve dominated the Browns running game. Chris Ogbonnaya leads the Browns with 11 rushing yards on five carries.

The Browns lost running back Montario Hardesty to a leg injury. His return is being classified as “possible.” Without Hardesty, Ogbonnaya is the only healthy running back on the Browns roster today. San Francisco defensive end Ray McDonald is questionable to return with a hamstring injury.

San Francisco gets the ball to start the second half.

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Peyton Hillis Injury Makes Him Questionable For Sunday; Mohamed Massaquoi Is Out

The Cleveland Browns held their final practice of the week on Friday as the get set to face the San Francisco 49ers this weekend. The final injury report came out shortly thereafter, revealing some disappointing news for Peyton Hillis and Mohamed Massaquoi.

Hillis practiced on Wednesday with his hamstring injury before shutting it down on Thursday with hopes that it get better with a day of rest. It apparently did not, however, as the running back missed all of Friday’s practice and has been listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.

Massaquoi’s news is a bit worse, however, as the wide receiver has been ruled out for the match-up with the 49ers. Concussions are nothing to mess around with so it’s good that he’s waiting until he’s 100 percent to return. The only other player definitively ruled out is defensive lineman Auston English, who first showed up on the injury report Friday with a knee injury.

The list of players joining Hillis in the questionable column is troubling. A "questionable" status means the chances are 50-50 to play and key players Joe Haden, Benjamin Watson and Tony Pashos all fall under that column. Ray Ventrone, Kaluka Maiava and Shaun Lauvao are also questionable.

As far as good news is concerned, kicker Phil Dawson practiced in full on Friday and is probable this weekend along with linebacker Scott Fujita. Artis Hicks and Buster Skrine fall in the same boat.

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Week 8 NFL Lines And Odds: Browns Vs. 49ers

The oddsmakers once again have the Cleveland Browns as heavy underdogs heading into Week 8 in San Francisco.

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VIDEO: Peyton Hillis Done Talking Contract

Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis is sick and tired of talking about his contract.  So much so that Madden coverman is refusing to answer questions about his contract for the rest of the year.  Don't believe me?  See for yourself:


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Browns Vs. 49ers: Peyton Hillis Returns To Practice, Will Start Sunday If He Plays

Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur is doing his best to stifle any controversy regarding much-maligned running back Peyton Hillis.  During his weekly meet-up with the press, Shurmur made it clear that Hillis, if healthy, will be his starting running back when the team takes the field in San Francisco on Sunday.

"He's our starting halfback,'' said Shurmur.

Hillis has had a tough follow-up season to his break-out 2010 season.  Battling injury and illness, Hillis has just 211 yards rushing on 60 carries and 2 touchdowns.  Hillis has not shied away from the fact that he wants a new contract - he is in the final year of his original rookie contract - and the Browns have publicly stated they will let the year play out before decidiing on what - if anything - to offer Hillis as a free agent.

Hillis missed Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Montario Hardesty.  Hardesty led the Browns with 95 yards on 33 carries in Cleveland's 6-3 and was a big part of the 40+ minutes of possession the Browns enjoyed.

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