On a warm Sunday afternoon in Indianapolis, the Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts faced off indoors at Lucas Oil Stadium. Both teams had lost in Week 1 and were looking to right the ship and return to .500.
The game started off well enough for the Peyton Manning-less Colts, leading 6-0 into the second period of play. Anything was better than that blowout they had suffered in Houston the previous week. However, on the ensuing kickoff, Joshua Cribbs returned the ball out to about midfield and seemed to ignite the team. Colt McCoy drove down the field and finished off the drive with a TD pass to Evan Moore. The Colts and Adam Vinatieri responded with their third field goal. However, Peyton Hillis closed out the half with a short-yardage TD, making the score 14-9 in Cleveland's favor.
The second half scoring began when Indianapolis got their fourth field goal to bring them within two points of the Browns. The tide really began to change when, in the fourth quarter, Reggie Wayne slipped on a cut and Kerry Collins ended up throwing straight into the arms of Usama Young. The Browns could only get a field goal out of that great opportunity. It didn't matter though, because they were able to score a touchdown and make it 24-12 with about four minutes to go in the contest. The final score was 27-19.
The Browns broke their five-game losing streak, and in the process may have gotten over a psychological hurdle. They have always seemed to lack the ability to put away games in the final quarter, the money quarter (evident against Cincinnati), but they were able to against the Colts. Colt McCoy was, for the most part, accurate, and so were his receivers, Little and Massaquoi.
Peyton Hillis was fantastic, getting stronger as the game went on. He delivered two touchdowns, including the big run to put the game away. The Browns tight ends, Evan Moore and Benjamin Watson, continued to show why they are one of the best TE tandems in the National Football League.
All in all, this was a fantastic win for the boys from Lake Erie. The Browns are now tied for the lead in the AFC North. While we can't expect much with new personnel in only Mike Holmgren's second year running the show, it sure was nice to remember what it's like to see the Browns win again. And with a very feasible game against Miami in one week's time, who knows? Maybe they can improve to 2-1.
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