CHICAGO -- As expected, the Chicago Bears huddled up for their first possession of the preseason finale Thursday against the Browns without a good portion of their top starters.
Still, the club didn’t miss a beat in storming to take a 10-0 lead.
Starting in place of Roy Williams, recently-demoted backup Johnny Knox provided the first-quarter fireworks by catching two passes for 33 yards, including a 19-yard touchdown reception with 1:47 left in the quarter. Knox beat two Browns defenders to the corner of the end zone to haul in a perfectly-thrown ball by backup quarterback Caleb Hanie.
With Chris Spencer filling in for starting center Roberto Garza, the Bears started the game with virtually the entire first-team offensive line, which included Gabe Carimi, Chris Williams, Lance Louis and J’Marcus Webb. The team started Hanie, and running back Chester Taylor, with Dane Sanzenbacher and Knox at the receiver spots.
Led by Hanie, the club still marched 76 yards in 16 plays on their opening drive, which lasted 7 minutes and 36 seconds. Robbie Gould put the finishing touches on the drive with a 22-yard field goal that gave the Bears the early lead.
Sanzenbacher contributed significantly in the drive by hauling in two passes for 28 yards, with Knox pulling in a grab good for 14 yards.
With Hanie at the controls, Chicago’s offense converted 3 of 4 on third downs and generated 119 total yards. Hanie left the game in favor of rookie Nathan Enderle after engineering the team’s second scoring drive.
The Bears finished the quarter leading time of possession 12:16 to 2:44.