Browns put together strong first half in Green Bay

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Thursday night got off to a bad start for the Browns when Montario Hardesty fumbled the ball away on the first play of the game.

Green Bay cashed in with a quick touchdown, but the Browns bounced back and put together a strong half on both sides of the ball. Hardesty ran for 41 yards on 11 carries after that fumble and showed enough to make the team feel okay about going with him until Trent Richardson is healthy enough to take over the lead tailback duties.

Quarterback Brandon Weeden wasn’t perfect, but he led four scoring drives and hit a handful of impressive passes to Josh Gordon, Greg Little and Jordan Norwood over the course of the half. They were the kinds of throws that the Browns didn’t see from Colt McCoy last season and they overshadow the mistakes that Weeden made in the big picture of the evening. The offense needs some work finishing drives as Phil Dawson kicked three field goals, but there’s no question that they looked better than both last season and last week.

Even more impressive than the offense was the Browns defense, though. Outside of the first touchdown, they kept the Packers off the scoreboard and did an especially good job in the secondary. Some of the performances are skewed by the fact that the Browns kept a lot of their starters in the game well past the point that the Packers had closed up shop, but the Browns were missing several regulars because of injury so it was still a good showing for the unit.

They also might have created a trade market for McCoy in the process. Graham Harrell was 1-of-9 with an interception in the second quarter, casting some doubt on his ability to step in should disaster strike for the Packers this season. If McCoy plays well in the second half for Cleveland, it wouldn’t be surprising to see trade chatter about him moving to the Packers pick up again.

35 responses to “Browns put together strong first half in Green Bay

  1. I think that would be good for McCoy. They obviously have a pretty good role model over there. McCoy is not great, but I can’t honestly believe that he’s that bad either.

  2. Breaking news! (in my mind) Packers trade James Jones to the Browns tonight for Colt McCoy and a 3rd round draft choice. Unless Miami has a better offer, like a 2nd round choice.

  3. Weeden only looked good against the Packers 2nd team. The Browns O-line looked MUCH better this week. Our receivers need a lot of coaching though. Go Browns.

  4. “Some of the performances are skewed by the fact that the Browns kept a lot of their starters in the game well past the point that the Packers had closed up shop, but the Browns were missing several regulars because of injury so it was still a good showing for the unit.”

    Um…The Browns are missing all 3 starting linebackers and 3 of 4 starters on the DL. 6 of front 7 not playing.

  5. Oh , by the way, is Mike Pierera by far the WORST possible commentator over put on TV? He is so biased it is actually hilarious when he admits a replacement ref got a call right.

  6. If rodgers gets hurt the packers will be in serious trouble. From a preseason perspective, this guy is MVP material because what the packers do without him? Their defense doesn’t look to be all that improved, and neither does the running game. It’s on rodgers.

  7. No ones giving up a 3rd (definitely not a 2nd) for McCoy. The Browns would be best served by keeping the kid.

  8. @hrmlss

    Maybe I’m alone in this but who in their right mind would give a 3rd rd pick, let along a 2nd rounder for a guy who was drafted in the 3rd round and is considered a bust at that far down!?

  9. I know it’s only preseason, but Cleveland has played well without 5 starters on defense. I also think Weeden will get more time and opportunities to connect with the receivers more, when Richardson plays. Opponents will be crowding the box more when Richardson is in, and allow more lanes to pass for Weeden.

    The Receivers need to help him out and catch the ball better, as well!

  10. With Greg Jennings still out with a concussion – James Jones ain’t going anywhere. Even if Jennings returns soon.

  11. This preseason game will probably make the Browns 2012 highlight DVD.

    Unfortunately the Browns are still looking up at three solid playoff teams in the AFC North.

  12. The Browns didn’t embarrass themselves against a good football team. Weeden didn’t look like a joke. The Browns backups bested Green Bay backups, when the thought is that a lot of GB’s backups would likely start for the Browns. I think it’s safe to say the Browns had a good night in a game that’s meaningless for the Packers but very important for the Browns.

  13. Getting excited over two preseason games just goes to show how bad things have become in the city of Cleveland.

    Especially with The Summer of LeBron

  14. When the rest of the team shows up Weedon will be as effective as Colt. Sorry, it’s not going to happen. One player doesn’t make a team. 4-5 wins just doesn’t cut it.

  15. Ask green bay if 1 player doesn’t make a team?
    Much like Indy with Manning, if The best QB in the game goes down, packers are toast! @ least we have Joe Webb hehe

  16. I hope for McCoys sake that they trade him to the packers or something. A ton of people really underestimate this kid. If u take a look at last years stats they are fairly similar to Andy Dalton’s. I think given the right opportunity and place to play McCoy could become an excellent QB for somebody.

  17. Never has a game underlined the importance of the QB position in today’s NFL like this one. Graham Harrell played 7/8 of the game and that team is drafting in the Top 10 if Rodgers goes down.

  18. Can we just be honest here and admit that it came against the Packers’ 2nd team defense? 2nd Team. Not even good enough for 1st Team on the worst defense in the NFL.

  19. Its genuinely great that the Browns have brought smiles to their fans faces so far in the PRESEASON,its too bad for them that all games are not preseason games as reality will set in soon and the wins will suddenly stop coming and the smiles will become frowns. the Browns are one of the oldest teams in the NFL and it would be super to see them win regularly again,maybe with new ownership that will once again be the case.if the Lions can win after years of futility there is hope for the lowly Browns.

  20. Thought I read somewhere on here earlier that all the Packers do is groom QB’s? Overrated team with one guy. Better hope he stays healthy.

  21. Why trade McCoy? Keep him as a backup. He’s cheap, he’s better than Wallace (who, by the way is expensive to keep, especially as a 3rd stringer), he has started, and over a 16 game season will be needed. He’s not going to start anywhere in the league right now, and, as long as he understands that, he should be OK with being one play away from starting. The Browns are better with him that without.

  22. Remember when Mike Leach blasted everyone in the NFL because Graham Harrell went undrafted? Talk about a blowhard.

  23. ruahornh8r: The problem in Indianapolis was that the Colts placed zereo importance on a backup to Manning. They went out and got Kerry Collins, who had zereo interest in playing pro football…
    The Packers backed up Rodgers with Flynn, who played well enough in spots to garner lots of interest around the NFL…
    In 2008, the Patriots lost Brady to injury in Week 1, yet finished 11-5 with Matt Cassell at quarterback.
    In Pittsburgh, the Steelers are 4-1 the past two seasons without Roethlisberger. The Steelers are 5-2 when backup Charley Batch starts games in place of Godsend Ben.
    One guy doesn’t make a difference on real TEAMS.

  24. The Browns need to talk up McCoy like Philly talked up Kolb. Who knows? Maybe Arizona would take the bait again.

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