Browns beat Lions 19-17 with Wolfert’s late FG
The Detroit Lions won every preseason game last year and went on
to make the playoffs for the first time since the 1999 season.
Detroit dropped its first exhibition this year, blowing an
11-point lead in a 19-17 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Friday
night, but coach Jim Schwartz tried to put his disappointment into
”Let’s be clear: preseason games, we don’t use them as a
barometer,” Schwartz said. ”But you want to play well and I don’t
think we played well on offense, defense or special teams from the
beginning to the very end.”
Backup quarterback Shaun Hill led two touchdown drives in the
first half to put the Lions (No. 11 in the AP Pro 32) ahead
When all of the reserves for both teams took over in the second
half, the Browns outscored Detroit 16-3.
Jeff Wolfert’s 45-yard field goal with 28 seconds left won it
for Cleveland (No. 30) after the Lions stopped Adonis Thomas on a
2-point conversion with 6:05 left to keep the lead, but couldn’t
keep the ball to seal a win.
Detroit’s last shot ended when rookie Kellen Moore heaved a pass
that was intercepted by David Sims at the Cleveland 36 with 34
”Regardless of whether or not they count, it is always more fun
to win,” Cleveland coach Pat Shurmur said. ”I told our guys that,
and they made some plays to put us in position to do that.”
The banged-up Browns won, but might have another loss on their
Wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi left the game with a concussion
after catching rookie Brandon Weeden’s first pass and didn’t
”We followed league protocols,” Shurmur said. ”When he’s
healthy he will play again. Not before that.”
Massaquoi was limited the past two seasons because of
concussions, including one that knocked him out of a game last
The Lions didn’t risk Matthew Stafford getting hurt for very
long, allowing him to play less than a quarter.
Stafford is coming off a breakout season in which he threw for
5,000-plus yards and 41 TDs while ending the franchise’s 11-year
But he was far from spectacular against the Browns.
”We had rookies starting against a team that went 10-6 last
year, and we were able to make some plays against them,” Shurmur
said. ”That was good to see.”
Stafford’s first drive of the preseason ended when Joe Haden
broke up a pass. Stafford seemed to throw a pass early, sensing
pressure that didn’t appear to be there, and his pass intended for
Brandon Pettigrew was picked off by Sheldon Brown to stop Detroit’s
”I had to cut it loose earlier than I wanted to,” Stafford
said. ”Pettigrew and I weren’t on the same page.”
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 was 8 of 12 for 83 yards and a TD.
He 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, because he had surgery on his left
knee earlier in the week.
Weeden was 3 of 9 for 62 yards with an interception and a
”I know my numbers didn’t look good, but I’m not a numbers
guy,” said Weeden, the 22nd pick in the draft. ”This was my first
time out, and there was some good and some bad.”
Weeden ended his first possession as a pro by fumbling, a
turnover forced and recovered by Willie Young.
Cleveland defensive tackle Scott Paxson (knee), defensive back
Dimitri Patterson (ankle) and tight end Jordan Cameron (back) each
were injured in the first half.
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Online: http://bigstory.ap.org/NFL-Pro32 and