TWICKENHAM, England -- Analyzing four key moments in Cleveland's 33-16 loss to the Vikings.
- The Browns have been waiting for weeks for a big first-quarter play to get them going. It took a flight overseas, but it happened Sunday at Twickenham Stadium.
On the sixth play of the game, defensive end Carl Nassib got his hand on a Case Keenum pass at the line of scrimmage, sending the ball straight up in the air. Linebacker Joe Schobert caught it, and the Browns took over in Minnesota territory.
DeShone Kizer's first pass went for a first down to tight end David Njoku. Isaiah Crowell followed with his first touchdown run of the season, bursting through the middle for 26 yards to give Cleveland its first first-half lead of the year.
The extra point was missed, but the touchdown allowed the Browns to play with the lead for most of the first half.
- After its early outburst, Cleveland's offense hit a wall. The Vikings were dominating time of possession and the Browns were barely able to get first downs.
A third-and-long throw from Kizer to Ricardo Louis gave Cleveland some juice, and a touchdown soon followed.
On third-and-12 from the 16 with less than 2 minutes to play in the half, Kizer connected with Louis for 38 yards to push Cleveland past midfield. Two plays later, Kizer showed perfect awareness and dumped a shovel pass to Crowell, who had nothing but green grass ahead of him. That play went for 38 yards, too.
And on third-and-goal from the 1, Kizer took it himself to put the Browns ahead, 13-9, shortly before the half. [
- The Vikings ultimately took their final lead late in the third, but an unfortunate sequence of events to start the quarter didn't help.
Crowell fumbled on the very first play to set up the Vikings with a short field. They couldn't punch it in the end zone but were able to get a go-ahead field goal.
The Browns responded with one of their biggest special teams plays of the season, as rookie Matthew Dayes took the kickoff 71 yards to promptly put the team in field goal range. The Browns got one first down but couldn't get another, sending Zane Gonzalez out for the go-ahead kick. Gonzalez, who missed an extra point in the first quarter, sailed his kick to the left, and the Browns came away with nothing.
They got the lead on their next offensive possession, but the earlier opportunity would have provided even more points in the back-and-forth game.
- A string of big penalties undid the Browns defense as the Vikings pulled away.
Minnesota rattled off back-to-back touchdowns to take the lead and gain a nice cushion thanks to defensive miscues. Inside the red zone near the end of a methodical Vikings drive, the Browns were called for defensive pass interference in the end zone. Jerrick McKinnon ran a jet sweep for the go-ahead touchdown.
After a Cleveland three-and-out, Minnesota got yards in chunks thanks to multiple Browns penalties. Jamie Collins Sr. was flagged for roughing the passer, Jamar Taylor was called for a long pass interference penalty and a holding call in the end zone set up another first down. Keenum found tight end Kyle Rudolph for the short touchdown to take a two-score lead.
The Browns play the Minnesota Vikings in London in Week 8.