CLEVELAND – The Browns retained their lead – barely.
After an ugly third quarter, Cleveland led Carolina 21-20 with 15 minutes left.
The solid first half by Jake Delhomme quickly became a distant memory when he threw two interceptions in the third quarter. One was returned 37 yards for a touchdown by Carolina’s Captain Munnerlyn, cutting the lead to a point.
Delhomme opened the second half with a pass over the middle for Brian Robiskie. Middle linebacker Jon Beason dropped into coverage and snatched the throw. John Kasay missed a 46-yard field goal wide right to let Delhomme off the hook.
He failed to take advantage of the break.
On the ensuing possession, Delhomme had extra time in the pocket and chose to throw late toward the sideline for Mohamed Massaquoi. Munnerlyn stepped in front and cruised down the sideline.
The Browns avoided further disaster when Clifton Smith replaced Joshua Cribbs for a kickoff return and fumbled. The Browns recovered.
Cribbs, who’s clearly affected by an injured foot, went back in to return the next punt.
The Browns opened the fourth quarter with the ball after Eric Norwood ran into Browns punter Reggie Hodges, giving them a first down.