The Cleveland Browns completed a perfect preseason with a 25-0 victory over the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field Thursday night.
The Browns (4-0) finished the preseason undefeated for the eighth time in team history (1946, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1962, 1982 and 1986), and first time since the 1986 season, where they later won the AFC Central Division title and advanced to the AFC Championship Game.
Quarterback Cody Kessler completed 11 of his 19 attempts for 144 yards with one touchdown in one half of action against the Bears. In relief of Kessler, Kevin Hogan completed 13 of his 17 throws for 180 yards and two touchdowns.
Mentor, Ohio native Mitchell Trubisky got the start for the Bears, but completed just two of his five throws for 10 yards and rushed once for a modest one-yard gain before getting a quick hook from the game in favor of Connor Shaw. However, Trubisky twice had to reenter the game because of injuries to Shaw late in the fourth quarter.
Defensively, the Browns allowed just one touchdown in the preseason.
Cleveland Browns battle Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in preseason finale
The Browns broke a scoreless tie with the Bears and took a 7-0 lead when Kessler completed a 27-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Rannell Hall with 2:34 to play in the first half of the preseason finale.
Facing a first and 10 from Chicago’s 27-yard line after passes of 11 and 16 yards to wide receiver Jordan Leslie and tight end David Njoku respectively, Kessler took the shotgun snap and threw a pass down the left side of the field for Hall.
After securing the catch, Hall shook loose from a Bears defender, hustled down the sideline and front-flipped over the goal line for the touchdown.
The Browns’ scoring drive covered 85 yards in seven plays and took just 2:34 off of the clock.
The Browns increased their advantage over the Bears to 10-0 on a 53-yard field goal from rookie kicker Zane Gonzalez with 8:34 to play in the third quarter of the preseason finale from Soldier Field.
Gonzalez capped off an 11-play, 40-yard drive with the field goal, his longest of the preseason.
The Browns twice converted third-down attempts on the drive.
On third and six from their own 29-yard line, Hogan completed a short pass to tight end David Njoku on the left side of the formation, and the rookie pass catcher turned it into a 12-yard gain.
Then, one play after offensive lineman Spencer Drango recovered a fumble on a strip sack, Hogan found wide receiver Rasheed Bailey for a nine-yard gain on a third and eight from the Browns’ 43-yard line.
Under the direction of new coordinator Gregg Williams, the Browns wanted to have an aggressive defense, and attack they did against the Bears in the early part of the third quarter of the preseason finale at Soldier Field.
With the Bears backed up by a punt, the Browns increased the pressure up front. On second and seven from the 10-yard line, Shaw took the snap and dropped back to pass, but the protection broke down up front and safety Calvin Pryor and defensive lineman Karter Schult combined on the sack in the end zone for the safety.
The safety gave the Browns a 12-0 lead over the Bears with less than five minutes to play in the third quarter.
Following a free kick return after a safety, the Browns had a first and 10 from their own 30-yard line, but with Hogan at the helm of the offense, they quickly moved the ball down the field and ended the drive in the end zone.
Hogan needed just four plays to move the ball 70 yards, the final 51 of which came on a touchdown pass to tight end Randall Telfer with 2:04 to play in the third quarter of the preseason finale against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.
On the touchdown pass, which gave the Browns a 19-0 lead, Hogan went through his progressions and found a wide open Telfer on the left side of the field after checking down from his first and second reads.
On their next possession, quarterback Kevin Hogan finished off a nine-play, 75-yard drive with a 21-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jordan Leslie, which gave the Browns a 25-0 lead over the Bears with 11:11 to play in the fourth quarter.
Earlier in the drive, Hogan and the Browns faced a third and 14 from their own 39-yard line, but the second-year quarterback calmly took the shotgun snap and found tight end Seth DeValve for a 35-yard gain down the left side of the field.
Four plays later, the Browns were in the end zone for the third time in the game.