The Green Bay Packers came out quickly and put up 14 points on the board against the Cleveland Browns on their first two offensive possessions. The Browns defense was able to stem the tide and hold them a field goal the rest of the half and held them scoreless in the third quarter, but the offense did not do anything for them and the Packers were able to maintain and later extend their lead as they went on to win the game, 31-13.
Brandon Weeden will again be hit with a ton of blame and criticism, which he deserves, but the fact is that no one on the Browns played particularly well in this game on the offensive side of the ball. Weeden started an atrocious one for his first eight passes before settling down and playing better, albeit still mediocre football. The running game was mediocre and the Browns were unable to make plays when they had opportunities.
Despite missing a ton of players to injury, the Packers looked largely unaffected. Aaron Rodgers found regulars like Jordy Nelson and Jermichael Finley and Eddie Lacy was productive, but they got contributions out of players like Jarrett Boykin and Myles White.
Nothing about what the Packers were doing was terribly overwhelming until late in the fourth quarter, but once they went up 14, it felt like it may as well have been 50. Rodgers threw for 260 yards but 3 touchdowns and Lacy had 82 yards and a score. The Browns struggled to get anything going and when they got in position, they missed big plays and had to settle for field goals. There were a number of drops by players on the Browns including Davone Bess, Josh Gordon, and Chris Ogbannaya; the most frustrating of which came on a fourth-and-15 play in the fourth quarter. Down 17-6, the Browns went for it believing they could only stop the Packers so long. Despite the distance to gain, the Browns dialed up a play that Weeden was able to execute, putting a pass on Gordon. Gordon mistimed his jump and did not really put a great effort on the ball and the pass fell incomplete.
The Packers took over and drove down the field quickly. Sadly, Jermichael Finley suffered a head injury when he caught a pass going across the middle, put his head down and ran into Tashaun Gipson’s shoulder. Finley was ultimately carted off of the field on a stretcher and put in an ambulance. The Packers continued to drive down the field and scored a touchdown on a 1-yard slant to Nelson to put the Packers up 24-6.
The Browns were able to get a spark late as Travis Benjamin had a big kick return that set up the Browns in Packers territory. It was clunky, but they managed to get a touchdown when Weeden hit Jordan Cameron for a two yard score that made it 24-13. They followed that up with an onside kick that the Browns recovered, but were called back due to an offsides call on Tank Carder. On the rekick, the ball sat and rolled around for an eternity before a Browns player touched it, but not quite at 10 yards. The Browns were called for illegal touching, which gave the ball to the Packers. After a questionable pass interference call against Buster Skrine, the Packers scored on a touchdown pass to Boykin which put the Packers up 31-13, which put the game out of reach.