Browns win 19-17
Published 10:50 am Sunday, August 12, 2012
DETROIT (AP) — Jeff Wolfert kicked a 45-yard field goal with 28 seconds left to lift the Cleveland Browns to a 19-17 win over the Detroit Lions on Friday night.
Detroit (No. 11 in the AP Pro 32) stopped Adonis Thomas on a 2-point conversion run with 6:05 left to keep the lead, but couldn’t run enough clock to keep the ball away from the Browns.
The Lions’ last shot ended when rookie Kellen Moore was intercepted by David Sims at the Cleveland 36 with 34 seconds left.
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The banged-up Browns (No. 30) took another hit when rookie Brandon Weeden threw to Mohamed Massaquoi and the wide receiver left the game with a head injury. Weeden was 3 of 9 for 62 yards with an interception and a fumble.
Detroit backup quarterback Shaun Hill led two touchdown drives in the first half to put the Lions (No. 11 in the AP Pro 32) ahead 14-3 in the first half.
When the reserves took over in the second half, Cleveland outscored the Lions 16-3.
Hill set up Keiland Williams 5-yard TD late in the first quarter with a 27-yard pass to Maurice Stovall. The backup quarterback connected with Stefan Logan on a 3-yard pass to put the Lions ahead by 11 points.
Third-string quarterback Seneca Wallace avoided a rush, stepped up and made a 12-yard pass to rookie fullback Brad Smelley to pull Cleveland within four points midway through the third quarter.
Backup kicker Derek Dimke’s 40-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter gave Detroit a 17-10 lead.
Thomas ran for a 3-yard score to pull the Browns within a point and their defense got the ball back for fourth-string quarterback Thaddeus Lewis to lead the game-winning drive.
The Browns were without rookie running back Trent Richardson, the No. 3 pick in the draft, as expected because he had surgery on his left knee earlier in the week.
On their first snap, they lost Massaquoi. He made a 12-yard catch and didn’t return after being tackled by defensive backs Chris Houston and Erik Coleman. Massaquoi was limited the past two seasons because of concussions, including one he had that knocked him out of a game last October.
The 22nd pick in the NFL draft ended his first possession as a pro by fumbling, a turnover forced and recovered by Willie Young.
Cleveland couldn’t get out of the first half unscathed as defensive tackle Scott Paxson (knee), defensive back Dimitri Patterson (ankle) and tight end Jordan Cameron (back) each were injured.
Detroit seemed to get out of its first of four games relatively healthy.
The Lions didn’t risk Stafford getting hurt for very long, allowing him to lead just three drives.
Stafford showed he still has work to do after a breakout season in which he threw for 5,000-plus yards and 41 touchdowns while ending the franchise’s 11-year playoff drought.
His first drive of the preseason ended when Haden broke up a pass. Stafford seemed to throw a pass early, sensing pressure that wasn’t there, and his pass was picked off by Sheldon Brown to stop Detroit’s second possession.
Stafford provided a flashback to last year, throwing a 27-yard pass to All-Pro receiver Calvin Johnson, on his third and final drive that ended quietly at midfield.
Hill, who won’t play much if Stafford stays healthy during the regular season, was 8 of 12 for 83 yards and a TD.
Kevin Smith got a shot to start at running back, gaining 28 yards on five carries, and might have to hold off Williams, who had 69 yards rushing and a TD on eight attempts to keep the job.
The Lions have been looking for a cornerback to replace their only starter missing on defense, Eric Wright, who signed with Tampa Bay, and the search will likely end with rookie Bill Bentley. The third-round pick got beat on Weeden’s perfectly thrown, 34-yard pass to Travis Benjamin on his third snap as a pro. But Bentley bounced back by intercepting a pass and breaking up another attempt.
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