Sunday, September 23, 2012
Wrap-up: Bills 24, Browns 14
By Jamison Hensley
Thoughts on the Cleveland Browns' 24-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns Stadium:
What it means: The Browns lost for the ninth straight time, the longest current streak in the league. It's the fourth time in the past five seasons that Cleveland has started 0-3. The Browns fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter, and Brandon Weeden's two interceptions in the fourth quarter prevented a late comeback. Weeden was 27-of-43 for 237 yards.
Secondary slips: A reshuffled Browns secondary limited Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to 208 yards passing, but it couldn't stop him in the red zone. A wide-open T.J. Graham caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Fitzpatrick to open the scoring. Browns cornerback Buster Skrine was the closest defender to Graham, who ran free in the middle of the field. After the Browns closed to 17-14, Fitzpatrick threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Stevie Johnson, who beat Dimitri Patterson. Cleveland played without suspended cornerback Joe Haden and benched Eric Hagg in favor of Usama Young at free safety.
Roller coaster for Richardson: The up-and-down season for Trent Richardson continues. After totaling 145 total yards and two touchdowns a week ago, Richardson managed 51 total yards against the Bills. He was held to 27 yards on 12 carries, a 2.3 yard average. His longest run was a 6-yard touchdown run in the second quarter that pulled Cleveland to within a score at 14-7.
Late on the knockout: C.J. Spiller, the NFL's leading rusher, left the game in the first quarter with a shoulder injury after Young landed on top of him. But Spiller didn't leave without making an impact. Spiller scored on a screen pass, going 32 yards to the end zone untouched. That put the Bills up 14-0.
First-quarter flop: The Browns were slow starters last season, and that was the case Sunday. Cleveland was outgained 150-13, and failed to record a first down. The Browns didn't convert a first down until three minutes into the second quarter.
What's next: It's a quick turnaround for the Browns, who play at Baltimore on Thursday night. Cleveland hasn't beaten the Ravens since November 2007.