Check out Sports Mole's commentary of all the action from the NFL clash between the Cleveland Browns and the Buffalo Bills.
By Simon Sinclair, Reporter Filed: Friday, October 4, 2013 at 01:02 UK
Last Updated: Friday, October 4, 2013 at 20:07 UK
The Cleveland Browns and the Buffalo Bills met at FirstEnergy Stadium in a battle of two teams with 2-2 records after week four of the NFL season.
A win for either side would give their playoff hopes a major boost ahead the next round of fixtures on Sunday.
In a game where both starting quarterbacks were knocked out of the match with injuries the Browns managed to secure the victory, winning late on thanks to an interception from safety TJ Ward as he picked off Bills' backup Jeff Tuel.
See how all the action unfolded in our commentary below.
1.08amBoth teams are entering the game with identical 2-2 records after four games this season but whereas the Browns are joint top of the AFC North, the Bills find themselves bottom of the AFC East.
1.10amThe Browns have come alive in the last two weeks with wins over the Minnesota Vikings and the Cincinnati Bengals, following the shock trade of 2012 first-round pick Trent Richardson and in injury to starting quarterback Brandon Weeden.
1.13amBackup quarterback Brian Hoyer has guided the Browns to two wins in his two starts as the former New England Patriots man has thrown five touchdown passes in those victories.
1.14amThe return from suspension of wide receiver Josh Gordon has also helped revitalise the offense as he has caught 14 passes including one for a touchdown in the last two weeks and has become Hoyer's favourite target.
1.16amThe Browns also have a stellar defense, led by middle linebacker D'Qwell Jackson. He along with defensive tackle Phil Taylor make it very hard to run on Rob Chudzinksi's side. Meanwhile, pass rushers Barkevious Mingo, Paul Kruger and Jabaal Sheard make dropping back to pass a dangerous option for any quarterback. If that's not enough they've also got a top tier cornerback in Joe Haden and a pretty good safety in TJ Ward.
1.18amThe inactives list has been released and we'll start with the home side.
1.20amA blow for the Browns as they are without pass rusher Jabaal Sheard for this game due to injury. So Barkevious Mingo may see some starting time at outside linebacker rather than just in pass rushing situations.
1.22amThe Bills are suffering with several injuries in their secondary as cornerback Stepon Gilmore and safety Jairus Byrd are still missing, along with Ron Brooks. Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin is also a notable absentee.
1.23amQuick note on the Bills' start to the season. Rookie quarterback EJ Manuel has surprised everyone with his performances this season. Although he has shown inconsistency at times he has helped guide his team to two victories over the Baltimore Ravens and the Carolina Panthers with not a lot of support from his running game, which includes CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson.
1.25amThe Bills defense has also stepped up with rookie linebacker Kiki Alonso leading the way with four interceptions, which ties the league lead. They've been good against the run with monster defensive tackle Marcel Dareus being an absolute brute on the line, while Mario Williams has flashed rushing the passer this season.
1.28amCOIN TOSS RESULT: The Bills have won the toss and have deferred meaning the Browns will get us started on offense tonight.
Q1 15:00Hoyer will begin at the 10 after Little is brought down by Easley.
Q1 14:00The Browns are forced to punt as they go three and out as Gordon drops a sure first down pass from Hoyer on a slant route and the next play Little stops on the route leading to an incompletion.
Q1 13:51Leonhard returns the ball 25 yards to get into the Browns territory where Manuel will start at the 30.
Q1 13:28The Bills get a huge break as the officials call for a pass interference penalty on Haden as he collides with Johnson in the endzone. The penalty will move them to the one-yard line.
Q1 13:16Jackson powers into the endzone from one-yard out as he runs straight through the middle of the defense to give his side the lead.
Q1 13:05Little takes the ball out again from Carpenter's kickoff and again he gets dropped at the 10 and the ball almost comes loose.
Q1 12:48Hoyer gets the Browns' first, first down of the night as he completes a pass to Bess on the right-hand sideline on a curl route for 15 yards.
Q1 12:10Hoyer goes straight back to Bess this time over the middle on a slant route after he fooled the Bills' defense with play-action. Promising signs again from the former Michigan State man.
Q1 11:33The Browns are rolling as Hoyer picks up 11 yards with his feet as he avoids the rush, but he looks to be hurt as goes down and appears to have caught his knee with his slide.
Q1 10:12Starting quarterback Weeden comes back into the lineup. What a break for him! Immediately the drive ends as he overthrows Bess and then can't find an open receiver on third down and throws it away. Lanning punts to 10 where Leonhard calls for the fair catch.
Q1 9:33Manuel gets the Bills rolling as he fires two completions to his tight end Chandler first one short for five yards, then he comes back to him with a bit of luck as his pass is tipped into Chandler's hands and he drives to the 40 for a pickup of 20 yards.
Q1 7:42The quarterback looks to be in rhythm early on here, as he does well to pick up another set of downs with a quick throw on a slant route for Johnson for seven yards with the blitz from the Browns' defense coming.
Q1 5:55The Bills drive will end with a 52-yard field goal attempt from Carpenter after Manuel took a huge sack on first down from Rubin and couldn't get the yardage back as Graham is on the receiving end of a huge hit himself from Mingo on third causing him to drop the ball.
Q1 5:49Carpenter nails his kick from 52 yards right between the middle of the posts to extend his side's lead to 10 points.
Q1 5:33Weeden gets his first completion of the game as he hits Gordon on a curl route down the left-hand sideline for a 15-yard pickup with Aaron Williams in coverage.
Q1 3:37The Browns' drive comes to a swift end as Weeden takes a huge sack on third down from Mario Williams, as the defense confused the quarterback bringing several defenders to the line, then blitzing from different angles meaning he couldn't get his protection set. Lanning's punt is collected by Leonhard who calls for the fair catch at the 25.
Q1 2:56Jackson powers through the middle again and picks another set of downs for his side with an 11-yard run. The Bills are rolling again, the Browns could do with a stop here.
Q1 2:10A stop is just what the Browns get as Manuel throws an incomplete pass on third down as he was pressured by Mingo after Choice and Jackson only got seven yards on their first two carries.
Q1 1:30Travis Benjamin collects the punt at the 30 and runs it ball the way back to the Bills' 30 with a run of 57 yards before he's brought down by Powell.
Q1 0:50The Browns get a big break as Aaron Williams commits a big penalty on third down as he goes in with a late hit on Bess on third down, which gives the home side another set of downs.
Q1 0:00The first quarter ends with boos from the home crowd as Weeden takes a huge sack in the redzone from Kyle Williams, while in the next play Ben Rainey can only pick up one-yard.
Q1 0:00END OF FIRST QUARTER: Buffalo Bills 10-0 Cleveland Browns
Q2 14:40The Browns are forced into a field goal as on third and 13 Weeden can only find a short completion to tight end Cameron, who fumbles the ball out of bounds. It will be a 30-yard field goal for Cundiff.
Q2 14:24Cundiff nails the kick between the posts to reduce the deficit to seven points.
Q2 14:19Cundiff kicks out of the endzone and the Bills will start at the 20.
Q2 12:43Manuel delivers yet again on third down and long as he fires a completion over the middle to Woods, who makes a good catch after taking a hit. Manuel has looked in excellent rhythm so far.
Q2 11:16Just when you say a quarterback looks in rhythm the Bills' drive comes to a grinding halt as they can only pick up six yards which forces them to punt. Powell's punt is collected by Benjamin but this time he's dropped at the Cleveland 26.
Q2 10:13Weeden gets good protection on third and eight and fires a strike to Cameron on an our route to pick up the first down and move his side to their own 47.
Q2 9:07The former first-round pick does it again as he fires to Little this time on a slant route on third down and picks up another set of downs, with an eight-yard completion. Better play from Weeden.
Q2 8:38Weeden is really rolling now as he finds Gordon deep down the left-hand sideline on a curl route for 16-yards and moves his side to the Buffalo 23.
Q2 8:06It's McGahee's turn to move the ball now as he finds a gap in the middle of the Buffalo defense and drives through it to pick up 11 yards on the ground and secure another first down, moving his side into the redzone in the process.
Q2 6:50The Browns get a huge break as Kyle Williams leaps too early and hands them five yards for encroachment.
Q2 5:09The Browns pick up the first down as McGahee carries the ball to the one-yard line and on the next play Weeden tries to find Searcy in the endzone but he's dragged down by Searcy leading to another penalty. It's still first down for the Browns.
Q2 3:52The Browns level things up as McGahee runs the ball in from one-yard out on the third attempt as he powers over the right-hand side of the line to get into the endzone. A solid run.
Q2 2:45Now it's the Bills turn to feel the heat of the offensive side of the ball as they go three and out as Manuel gets pressured on third down and can't complete his pass. Powell will punt away to Benjamin again.
Q2 2:20The Browns take the lead on a special punt return from Benjamin as he catches the ball and reverses the field beating tacklers on the angle and drives past Powell as he attempts to bring him down, he gets one more block before he strides into the endzone to complete a 79-yard return.
Q2 1:46Jackson picks up the first down on the ground as he powers over the right-hand side of the line for nine yards before he is hauled out of bounds by Ward, however, he flicks the ball at Taylor on the sideline and that is deemed to be unsportsmanlike by the officials, who move the Bills back 15 yards.
Q2 0:42Jackson gets the yardage back on the next play and and Manuel keeps his side moving with a completion to Woods.
Q2 0:28The Bills' drive ends as Taylor gets his big body into the backfield and he brings down Spiller forcing Marrone's side into punting the ball away, which hasn't gone well for the visitors tonight.
Q2 0:22There's no return from Benjamin this time as he's brought down for just 13 yards at the Cleveland 24.
Q2 0:00Weeden kneels down with the ball to end the half.
3amSo the Browns take the lead going into the break, who would have thought that after the first quarter after Hoyer went out with an injury. However, Weeden managed to put it together for one drive while he was helped out by two special punt returns by Benjamin one of which went all the way for six points. He has been the difference maker in this game.
3.03amThe Bills threw away their good start with some shocking coverage on those returns from Benjamin. Punter Shawn Powell maybe getting an earful at half-time for out kicking his coverage team. Manuel has been inconsistent but the running game hasn't quite been there for the Bills in the first half, that will need to improve after the break.
Q3 15:00Cundiff kicks out of the endzone and the Bills will start at the 20.
Q3 14:30Manuel gets his side moving with a short completion to Woods, which he turns into 24 yards with a good move to beats Haden to pick up the first down and more for his side.
Q3 13:51The Bill drag themselves level with an excellent run by Spiller as he runs round the left-hand side and uses a block by Chandler to spring himself free for a 54-yard run for the touchdown. A great run by Spiller.
Q3 12:04SACK! The Browns first drive of the half comes to a brisk end as Weeden is brought down for a monster sack by Mario Williams, who drives him back five yards to the ground. Before that Weeden struggled to find any open receivers on first and second down, leading to a third and long situation. Lanning's punt is collected by and taken back to his own 46.
Q3 10:58Manuel is rolling again as he finds Woods on a curl route, this time from the slot and he picks up 12 yards and a first down. The wide receiver has been very impressive for the Bills in this game.
Q3 9:53Manuel does well to recognise a safety blitz from Ward and he audibles out of a pass to a sweep which enables Choice to run the ball round the left to pick up the first down.
Q3 8:24Another first down for the Bills as the Browns' defense brings a blitz and Manuel narrowly avoids taking a sack from Mingo and runs the ball 15 yards to pick up the yardage for another set of down. However, it comes at a cost as Manuel takes a hit on the play and is knocked of the game, with an apparent knee injury. Jeff Tuel comes into the game to replace him.
Q3 7:19The Bills get a break in the endzone as Ward is flagged for a pass interference penalty on Chandler as he tried to catch a pass from Tuel.
Q3 5:35The Browns level the scores as Weeden throws a beauty of ball down the left-hand sideline on a go route for Gordon, who brings the ball in for the 37-yard touchdown over Searcy, he tips the ball up and then on the second attempt catches the ball and plants his feet. A great score by the Browns.
Q3 5:20Cundiff's kick hits off the crossbar and bounces at the five but the Bills will begin at the 20. Tuel is still in the game for Manuel at the moment.
Q3 4:52The Bills' go three and out as the Browns stop Jackson on first down then Tuel throws two incompletions, first he underthrows Woods and then Chandler drops what would have been a first down pickup. Powell kicks the ball out at the 40 from the resulting punt.
Q3 3:25Weeden gets away with one as he fumbles the ball as Hughes gets to him after getting around left tackle Thomas, he knocks the ball loose but luckily for the Browns, Thomas jumps on the ball. Lanning punts the ball inside the 10, where Tuel will begin.
Q3 2:03SACK! The Bills' drive ends with a sack as Armanty Bryant gets the better of his man and brings down Tuel for a five-yard loss. On second Tuel was almost picked off by Jipson after the visitors tried an ambitious flea flicker play.
Q3 1:11McGahee proves his worth to the Browns yet again as he receives the ball on a draw play and gets 16 yards on the ground to set his side up inside the redzone.
Q3 0:00END OF THIRD QUARTER: Buffalo Bills 24-24 Cleveland Browns
Q4 14:50McGahee powers through the left-hand side of his line again on a draw play and comes up just short of the first down marker. It will be third and inches on the Bills' 2.
Q4 14:36Weeden goes himself on third down and picks up another set of downs on a quarterback sneak. A nice play.
Q4 12:34The Browns are kept out of the endzone by some stout defending by the Bills. First Alonso does well to stuff McGahee in the hole, while Lawson drops the running back for a loss on the outside on second. On third, Weeden goes through the air and tries to find Cameron but his pass falls incomplete forcing Cundiff into action from 24 yards.
Q4 12:31Cundiff nails his kick from 24 yards through the posts to give his side the lead.
Q4 11:31The Bills go three and out on their next drive as Tuel gets the ball out to Graham on an out route but he is brought down agonsingly short of the first down marker. Powell punts and Benjamin takes the ball back to the Cleveland 33.
Q4 8:56The Browns respond by picking up a first down as Weeden finds Cameron on a crossing route for 17 yards but their drive comes to an end in the next series as the quarterback is sacked by Westermann and Hughes. Lanning's punt lands at the five-yard line to back the visitors right up against their own endzone.
Q4 8:22Tuel completes just his second throw as he finds Woods on a curl route down the left-hand sideline for nine yards and Jackson picks up the first down with a run through the middle for a yard.
Q4 7:12Tuel's struggles continue as he fails to find Woods on back-to-back plays which forces his side to punt yet again. Powell kicks deep for Benjamin, who gets the angle but can only take it as far as the 43.
Q4 5:02Weeden produces a great throw on third and 18 to find a first down as he hits Gordon on an out route and the receiver makes a great catch on the sideline to keep his feet in bounds and put the ball over the marker.
Q4 4:40Weeden moves his side further downfield as he hits Little on a comeback route for 16 yards for another first down. The Browns can end the game with a touchdown here.
Q4 2:26The Buffalo defense give their side chance as they force the Browns into kicking a field goal as Weeden throws an incompletion on third down after McGahee found nothing on first and second.
Q4 1:44TJ Ward all but ends the game as he intercepts a pass from Tuel and runs it all the way back to the endzone for the touchdown. The quarterback was staring down his receiver and Ward read him and came up with the play.
Q4 1:14The Bills will begin on the 20 as Cundiff's kick goes through the endzone.
Q1 1:01Tuel picks up a first down as he finds Chandler over the middle. It's too little too late for the Bills now though.
Q4 0:09On fourth down Mingo gets pressure on Tuel and forces the incompletion and Weeden will just be able to kneel down and secure the win.
4.44amThe Browns move to the top of the AFC North with the win over the Bills. The injury to Manuel changed the game and allowed Chudzinki's side's defense to step up and secure the victory with a solid performance.
4.46amThe game was even until Manuel left the game and the Browns took full advantage of his replacement's naivety as he stared down Graham all the way on his route allowing Ward to intercept the ball and score the game-winning touchdown.
4.47amWho would have thought the Browns would be 3-2 after trading running back Trent Richardson two weeks ago. They've rallied together and have now won three games on the bounce.
4.48amThe Bills will have to hope that the injury picked up by Manuel isn't too serious as Tuel did not look an NFL quarterback in his time on the field. If Manuel is fit to go, they look a decent outfit but will have to bide their time to challenge in the AFC East.
4.50amThanks for joining our commentary this morning. We'll be back with all of the action from the NFL on Sunday. Until then, goodbye.