The Packers’ preseason record fell to 0-2 on Thursday, with a 35-10 loss to the visiting Cleveland Browns that left Packers fans scratching their heads.
Cleveland scored 32 unanswered points, after the Packers opened the game with a fumble recovery and a 20-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers to Jordy Nelson. As quickly and as easily as they made it look all last season, the Packers held a 7-0 lead against a Browns team quarterbacked by rookie Brandon Weeden, and playing without its star draft choice, third-pick-of-the-draft running back Trent Richardson.
One of the key plays in the game occurred on fourth-and-two, with the Packers near midfield late in the first quarter. Coach Mike McCarthy ordered his offense to go for the first down, but Rodgers threw incomplete. That’s when the game shifted decidedly into the Browns’ favor.
Phil Dawson booted field goals of 47 and 53 yards, then the Browns took a 13-7 lead on a six-play, 45-yard touchdown drive. A 52-yard field goal by Dawson sent Cleveland to the locker room with a 16-7 lead at halftime.
Graham Harrell struggled in relief of Rodgers. David Sims intercepted a Harrell pass and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown, and Harrell would later be called for intentional grounding as he was being sacked in the end zone, which resulted in a safety.
Rodgers completed six of 11 passes for 59 yards and a touchdown. Harrell was 12 of 24 for 100 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions.
The Browns outgained the Packers 338 yards to 228. The Packers committed four turnovers. A fumble by Randall Cobb in the first half was one of the big plays in the game for the Browns. Rookie quarterback B.J. Coleman also threw an interception late in the game.
Green Bay will play in Cincinnati in game three of the preseason, considered to be the most competitive game of the preseason.
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