Weeden Shines

Weeden led the Browns to scores on both of his drives. He was 5-of-8 for 52 yards on the first drive, including 2-of-3 on third down passing attempts.

CLEVELAND -- Brandon Weeden said one of his goals for the first preseason game was to put together some drives and to complete a high percentage of his passes.

Mission accomplished.

Weeden led the Browns to scores on both of his drives. He was 5-of-8 for 52 yards on the first drive, including 2-of-3 on third down passing attempts. On the first third down, Weeden went to Davone Bess for a 7-yard catch on third-and-2. On the final passing third down situation, Weeden threw to Jordan Cameron, but the ball was thrown hard and it went off Cameron's face mask high into the air and Greg Little went high into the air and pulled down the ball from two defenders for a 14-yard gain and a first down at the Rams' eight.

The Browns stalled from there as Dion Lewis ran for one yard and then two incomplete passes into the corner of the end zone went incomplete intended for Little. Brandon Bogotay kicked a 25-yard field goal to give the Browns a 3-0 lead.

On the next drive, Weeden led the Browns 74 yards down the field for a touchdown as he hit Lewis for a touchdown from two yards out on the only third down play of the drive. On the drive, Weeden was 5-of-5 for 60 yards and a touchdown.

Weeden finished the night 10-of-13 for 112 yards with one touchdown, no interceptions. He also had no sacks and no passes batted down. His rating was 127.7. Compare that to his first preseason game in 2012 when Weeden was 3-of-9 for 62 yards with one interception and a sack and no touchdowns in the first preseason game against the Lions. His rating was 19.0.

"I thought we looked pretty good," Weeden said. "We maneuvered well. We didn't have any penalties, we didn't do anything to move backwards.

"We were moving forward," he said. "We got some first downs and put together a nice scoring drive. For the first game without seeing tape, I think we did some good things. We played fast."

Rob Chudzinski agreed.

"I thought he did a good job," Chudzinski said. "He was efficient and led us to some drives. Ultimately, doing that is what his job is all about.

"He was in there for a number of scoring drives and moving the ball. Our offense was moving early in the game with him at the helm. He looked calm. Again, we will go back and look at the tape and evaluate that further. First impression was that we cam out and we had some good drives and he was a big part of that."

In Weeden's entire preseason in 2012, he was 24-of-49 for 297 yards and a 59.7 rating. He felt that he was able to get into a rhythm even though he just played two series.

"It's nice (getting into a rhythm)," Weeden said. "That comes with completions and nice runs from our backs and having those positive plays. When you're not going backwards and can get into a rhythm and it's easier to function.

"We were able to do that in the short time that we were out there," he said. "We moved well and we managed the offense pretty well."

After the second score, Jason Campbell came in and played the rest of the first half. Campbell was also efficient as he was 6-of-7 for 37 yards and a 88.7 rating.

On the first series, Campbell led a 12 play, 61 yards drive that resulted in a 41-yard field goal by Shayne Graham. Campbell was 5-of-6 for 35 yards on the drive and did scramble for a 12- yard first down on third-and-6. The Browns moved to the Rams' 18 before stalling on an incomplete pass to Chris Ogbonnaya on third-and-5.

On Campbell's second and final series, he completed a two-yard pass to Brandon Jackson and was sacked on third down forcing a punt.

Brian Hoyer finished the game 10-of-14 for 100 yards, with a touchdown as he played the entire second half. He was 7-of-10 for 44 yards and a 78.8 rating in the third quarter and 3-of-4 for 56 yards and a score in the fourth quarter. Hoyer threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Cordell Roberson with 3:01 to play to make the score 27-13 at the time. Hoyer finished with a 115.2 rating.

Extra Points

Lewis Flashes: RB Dion Lewis started in place of RB Trent Richardson and showed what he can do. He scored on a two-yard touchdown pass from QB Brandon Weeden in the second quarter.

"Dion had some good plays," Chudzinski said. "Obviously, he got an opportunity. He really did what he has been showing in practice. That is one of the things we have been stressing with our guys to transfer what they do on the practice field to the game. I think you saw what Dion has been doing in practice."

Weeden was impressed with Lewis.

"He's a stud," he said. "He brings some mismatches for us. He's got great feet and quickness."

Lewis carried the ball five times for 12 yards and caught three passes for 22 yards, including a touchdown.

RB Brandon Jackson had the most carries with 11 carries for 32 yards, including an 11-yard run. He also led the Browns with five receptions for 22 yards.

Wide Outs: WR Josh Gordon led the receiving corps with two receptions for 27 yards, while WR Greg Little had two for 20, including a nice 14-yard leaping catch on a tipped pass. WR Travis Benjamin caught one pass for 12 yards, while rookie WR Cordell Roberson caught one pass for a 26-yard touchdown. TE Jordan Cameron had one catch but it was the longest of the night for 30 yards.

Thieves: The Browns had two interceptions, one by LB Justin Staples and one on the last play of the game by LB Justin Cole.

Dueling Kickers: K Brandon Bogotay was first up on the Browns first drive and was good from 25 yards out to give the Browns an early 3-0 lead. Punter T.J. Conley was the holder. K Shayne Graham was next up and he hit from 41 yards out to make it 20-7. Graham's first attempt was from 36 yards, which was good, but a false start negated the kick and Graham had to try again from 41 yards. Bogotay had the lone miss as he was wide left on a 54-yard attempt. Graham hit both of his PATS, while Bogotay converted his lone attempt.

P Spencer Lanning had a 49-yard punt in the third quarter and finished with two punts for a 45 yard average with no kicks inside the 20. T.J. Conley had two punts for a 40 yard average, but placed a 37-yard punt at the one-yard line as WR Mike Edwards caught the ball near the goal line.

Sack Attack: LB Quentin Groves sacked QB Austin Davis for a four-yard loss in the second quarter. The Browns pressured the Rams, but Groves was the first player to get to the quarterback. LB Barkevious Mingo sacked QB Austin Davis to pick up his first sack, but it was nullified by a penalty. The second sack was picked up by DL Brian Sanford on Davis.

Chudzinski liked what he saw of Mingo.

"He was very active," he said. "I think he had a sack that was nullified with a penalty. He was real active in his pass rush on the field."

The Browns leading tacklers were DB Akeem Auguster, DB Trevin Wade and DB Johnson Bademosi with four each.

Inactives: The following players were held out of the preseason opener: RB Trent Richardson (shin), DB T.J. Ward (hamstring), WR David Nelson (knee), DB Chris Owens (foot), RB Montario Hardesty (hamstring), DB Leon McFadden (groin), DB Jamori Slaughter (hamstring), FB Brock Bolen (calf), TE Brad Smelley (hamstring), OL Ryan Miller (head), DL Dave Kruger (head), OL Chris Faulk (knee), OL Shawn Lauvao (ankle) and OL Oniel Cousins (ankle).

Johnson Bademosi started at strong safety for Ward. OL Jason Pinkston started at right guard for Lauvao and RB Dion Lewis started in place of Richardson. Buster Skrine started in place of Owens.

Benjamin Explodes: PR Travis Benjamin went 91 yards the first time he touched the ball for a touchdown to give the Browns a 17-0 lead with 13:49 to play in the first half. Benjamin returned a punt 93 yards last season for a touchdown against the Chiefs. WR Jordan Norwood was the next man up on punt returns. His first opportunity resulted in a one-yard loss.

"(He's) freaky fast," Weeden said. "That guy has a lot of ability. The guy can go. If he gets a crease then watch out, he's one of the fastest guys I've ever been around."

Chudzinski said he knew that Benjamin had that in him.

"He had a nice return last year," he said. "We felt good about him."

WR Jordan Norwood had one punt return for -1 yard. RB Dion Lewis (31), WR Naaman Roosevelt (29) and DB Johnson Bademosi (21) had the kickoff returns for the Browns.

Bad Big Plays: The Browns gave up two long plays in the secondary. WR Chris Givens caught a 59 yard pass from QB Sam Bradford as Givens was able to get behind Wade. Later on the drive, Givens caught a touchdown pass and he was wide open. S Johnson Bademosi was the nearest defender. In the fourth quarter, WR Raymond Radway caught a short pass and ran 53 yards for a touchdown to bring the Rams back to within eight at 27-19 with just over two minutes to play.

Local Heroes: Undrafted rookie free agent LB Justin Staples from Lakewood and Illinois intercepted a pass from QB Kellen Clemens on a pass in the fourth quarter that was tipped by DL Hall Davis. QB Brian Hoyer made his debut in front of his hometown fans. Hoyer played at St. Ignatius high school. He threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to WR Cordell Roberson in the fourth quarter and was 10-of-14 for 100 yards and had a rating of 115.2.

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