CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Browns completed a winless preseason with a 21-7 loss to the Chicago Bears in the fourth and final exhibition game at FirstEnergy Stadium Thursday night.
Unlike previous coaching regimes, new Browns bench boss Hue Jackson elected to play his first-team athletes in the fourth preseason game, and they responded by engineering a six-play, 18-yard drive that running back Isaiah Crowell punctuated with a four-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Crowell carried the ball six times for 11 yards, in addition to a 12-yard reception out of the backfield. Starting quarterback Robert Griffin III completed four of his eight throws for 31 yards and wide receiver Josh Gordon, who will begin a league-mandated four-game suspension Monday, hauled in three passes for 29 yards.
The Bears took a 3-0 lead over the Browns when kicker Robbie Gould booted a 30-yard field with 6:25 to play in the first quarter, but Cleveland answered by turning a mishandled punt into the go-ahead touchdown and their only score of the game.
Facing a fourth-and-six from Chicago’s 47-yard line, punter Kasey Redfern kicked the ball to the 12. However, Bears kick returner/wide receiver B.J. Daniels fumbled and it was recovered by Browns linebacker Tank Carder at the 18-yard line. A replay review of the turnover upheld the call of a fumble recovery for the Browns.
Six plays later, Crowell followed left guard Joel Bitonio into the end zone for the touchdown.
The Bears took the lead for good when running back Ka’Deem Carey rushed for a one-yard touchdown on the last snap of a seven-play, 80-yard drive with 11:50 left in the second quarter. Gould added a 43-yard field goal with 3:39 to play before halftime.
The Bears got another field goal from Gould in the third quarter, and rookie running back Jordan Howard closed the book on the scoring when he rushed for a 16-yard score with 12:55 remaining in regulation.
After completing the preseason, the Browns must trim the roster from 75 to 53 players by Saturday night, and then, turn their attention to the regular-season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, September 11.