For the second time this season, the Browns had a potential win in their hands, only to see it bounce to the turf.
Josh Gordon’s fourth quarter drop in the end zone proved to be the difference in Cleveland’s 17-13 loss to the Colts in Indianapolis. Gordon did flash big play ability again, catching two balls for 59 yards and a touchdown.
The Browns defense, pushed around all game, made a big play on a strip-sack by Sheldon Brown at midfield. But the drop by Gordon on 3rd and 1 led to a Browns punt, and the offense was unable to get that close again.
Cleveland fell to 1-6, while the Colts evened their record at 3-3.
Both rookie quarterbacks shined, as Andrew Luck rushed for two touchdowns and was effective most of the game for Indianapolis. Brandon Weeden threw for two touchdowns and 264 yards on 25/41 passing in a solid performance for the Browns.
The Colts put together long drives on the Browns and pounded them on the ground, rushing for 148 yards as a team, well above their season average.
Cleveland’s running game sputtered. Trent Richardson started the game but looked hesitant with his rib injury and was replaced by Montario Hardesty after struggling through 10 touches and 19 total yards.
The Browns struggled with penalties and were flagged nine times for 75 yards, including three on kickoff or punt returns. Special teams failed to convert an extra point when holder Reggie Hodges bobbled a snap on the Browns first touchdown. The gaffe haunted Cleveland when they were unable to go for a field goal late in the game.
New owner Jimmy Haslam was in a suite at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, and TV cameras showed Haslam’s frustration in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, an ESPN report before the game said new Browns CEO Joe Banner would have final say over whether the Browns make a move at the trade deadline.
Cleveland hosts the San Diego Chargers next Sunday. Get breaking news sent to your mobile phone.Text "news" to 21095.
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