1. Locked in a 3-3 tie in the second quarter, the New Orleans offense finally appeared to have some mojo. The Browns defense needed just one big play to take it back and create a six-point swing.
With the Saints on Cleveland's 15-yard line, defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi burst through the line on third down to drop veteran quarterback Drew Brees for an 11-yard loss. That turned a chip-shot field goal attempt into a more challenging one, and Saints kicker Will Lutz shanked his attempt to the left.
Cleveland took possession and promptly embarked on its best drive of the first half. Back-to-back receptions by Jarvis Landry netted a combined 36 yards to get the Browns inside Saints territory. The drive stalled but the Browns came away with points, as Zane Gonzalez netted his second, 39-yard field goal of the half to give Cleveland a 6-3 lead heading into halftime.
2. For the second straight week, the Browns offense came out of the locker room and got a touchdown to start the second half.
This drive was similar to the one it had the previous week against Pittsburgh but far more methodical. Cleveland relied on a steady running game and timely plays on third down to continuously move the chains.
A Tyrod Taylor third-down scramble got the Browns into Saints territory, and an 18-yard completion to Antonio Callaway put Cleveland in field-goal range. A Saints pass interference call in the end zone set up the Browns with first-and-goal at the 1, and they got the yard they needed on the third try, as Carlos Hyde peeled around the edge and dove for the pylon for his second score of the season.
Gonzalez missed the extra point, but Cleveland took a 12-3 lead thanks to its 12-play, 79-yard, 6:27 drive.
See the best photos as the Cleveland Browns play the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in Week 2.
3. Another miss by Gonzalez jump-started the Saints' offense and led to New Orleans' first touchdown.
Gonzalez's miss from 44 yards put an unfortunate end to a promising Cleveland drive, and the Saints quickly pounced on the opportunity. Brees found Michael Thomas over and over again on the nine-play, 66-yard drive. A costly, third-down penalty on Derrick Kindred nullified what would have been Ogunjobi's third sack of the game, and New Orleans eventually punched it in when Brees found Thomas on a short bubble screen.
Lutz's extra point made sliced Cleveland's lead, 12-10, with 8:45 to play.
4. Taylor's second interception of the season was a costly one.
On second-and-4 from the Browns' 30-yard line, Taylor dropped back and looked for tight end David Njoku. Safety Marcus Williams swooped in and plucked the pass out of the air and returned it to the Cleveland 18.
After a key, third-and-2 conversion, Brees found Thomas in the corner of the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown. Alvin Kamara followed with the two-point conversion on a sweep to put the Saints ahead, 18-12, with 2:40 to play.
5. Taylor got the redemption he was looking for on an unbelievable fourth-down throw to tie the game.
Faced with a fourth-and-5 with the game on the line, Taylor went deep to Callaway for a 47-yard touchdown strike. The rookie, making his first career start, beat the Saints' coverage and held on when he needed to in order to get both of his feet in bounds in the center of the end zone.
With a chance to take the lead, Gonzalez missed his second extra point, leaving the game tied, 18-18, with a little more than a minute to play.
6. After Gonzalez's miss, the Saints took quick advantage of the stress-free opportunity. Instead of driving to prevent a loss, New Orleans was simply going for the win or overtime.
The big play happened on the second play of the possession. Brees found Cleveland native Ted Ginn Jr. for a 42-yard completion to put the Saints in field-goal range. The Browns toughened up from there, but the Saints still came away with points, as Lutz nailed his attempt from 44 yards to put New Orleans back on top.
With just seconds to play, the Browns got down the field in a hurry with long completions to Landry and Callaway. With a chance to tie it, Gonzalez missed his final field goal attempt of the game from 52 yards.