The Browns gave up a long 52 yard field goal that put the Colts up 9-7, but most Browns fans were feeling fortunate to be that close. The Browns then responded with a drive and a TD to go up 14-9 with 15 seconds to go in the second quarter. The drive was fueled by long passes to Mohamed Massaquoi, Josh Cribbs and ultimately a Peyton Hillis run over left tackle after his first “TD” was called back inside the one. That would be how the first half would end.
The Colts had seemed to dominate the entire first quarter and the first half of the second quarter. The Browns defense played pretty well to hold the Colts to only two field goals prior to the 52-yarder that gave the Colts the lead back 9-7. That’s right. The Browns had the lead against the Colts two different times in the first half.
The Browns defense held the Colts after a 10 play, 78-yard drive to a second field goal. The Browns went down 6-0, but the defense had been on the field an awful long time. I said on Twitter that the next Browns drive couldn’t have been more important from the standpoint of the amount of time the defense had been on the field and also the Colts failing to go up by more than a score. Surprisingly enough to the Browns faithful, the team responded.
Josh Cribbs returned the ball 45-ish yards. The Browns drove despite needing a fourth and inches conversion by a Colt McCoy sneak and needing to overcome a red zone holding penalty for the touchdown. Colt McCoy escaped the pocket and threaded the needly between two Colts defenders for a touchdown strike to Evan Moore. Beautiful play to end a not-so-beautiful drive. Then again, anytime your team puts seven on the board, how ugly can it be? The Browns gave the ball back to the Colts with just under eight minutes to go in the second quarter having taken the lead for the first time.
The Browns defense had some little problems and seemed to be bending, but not breaking. Joe Haden had a tough half with two penalties against him, one of which was somewhat questionable as a pass interference set up the Colts’ first score. Ahtyba Rubin and Phil Taylor were quite active in the middle including a sack of Kerry Collins and a batted down pass.
The Browns seem intent on using the passing game, but they did run Hillis 12 times in the first half when they weren’t hitting MoMass on slants or Josh Cribbs on screens. Time for adjustments.
The Browns will have a chance to extend their lead to more than a score as they are set to get the ball back first in the second half.