The Browns made the most of their first taste of game action in the 2011 preseason tonight at Cleveland Browns Stadium, riding a 9-of-10 performance for 135 yards from Colt McCoy — including a TD strike to Josh Cribbs — a Peyton Hillis touchdown run, a 43-yard fumble return for a TD from Titus Brown, and two field goals — including the game-clinching 44-yarder from Jeff Wolfert with 1:52 left, as Cleveland beat the defending Super Bowl champs 27-17.
The Browns put up 364 yards of offense, and gave up 341. Each team had a turnover in a pretty clean first exhibition game.
For the Browns, Armond Smith led the way on the ground with 41 yards on 10 carries, while Hillis rushed for 16 yards on five carries, including his TD.
Seneca Wallace went 11-for-17 for 99 yards with an interception, while Jarrett Brown completed his only pass for 13 yards.
Three Browns had three catches apiece, while Benjamin Watson accumulated 56 yards on two catches, including a 37-yarder.
Cleveland struck first on McCoy’s 27-yarder to Cribbs, before the Packers tied the game on an Aaron Rodgers 21-yard scoring pass to Greg Jennings, making the score 7-7 after one quarter.
In the second quarter the Browns took the lead again at 14-7 when Hillis scored from three yards out, but Green Bay had the advantage at halftime after Mason Crosby kicked a 31-yard field goal and — just before the half — Matt Flynn hit Spencer Havner from three yards out, and it was 17-14 in favor of the visitors at intermission.
Cleveland did all the scoring in the second half.
After Wolfert kicked a 46-yarder to tie the game at 17 in the third quarter, Brown scored on his fumble recovery, and the third quarter ended with the Browns on top 24-17.
Wolfert’s second field goal was the only scoring of the fourth quarter.
There will be more coverage of tonight’s game tomorrow, but for now, it just feels good to get a win, whether it “counts” or not. Let’s savor it, and get ready to take on the rejuvenated Detroit Lions in downtown Cleveland next Friday night.