The Cleveland Browns overcame the loss of quarterback Brian Hoyer to a knee injury in the first quarter to beat the Buffalo Bills 37-24.
Cleveland, which scored the last 20 points of the game, improved to 3-2 for its first winning record through five games of a National Football League season since 2001. The Bills dropped to 2-3 with their sixth straight loss on the road.
Buffalo took the lead at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland last night on its third play when Fred Jackson ran for a touchdown from one yard.
Hoyer left the game after scrambling on Cleveland’s second drive. Hoyer, who was replaced by Brandon Weeden, was taken to a hospital for a scan to determine whether he damaged a ligament, the NFL Network said during its game broadcast. Hoyer was seeking to become the first Browns quarterback to win his first three starts for the team since Otto Graham in 1946.
After Dan Carpenter kicked a 52-yard field goal for Buffalo and Billy Cundiff responded with a 30-yard field goal for Cleveland 32 seconds into the second quarter, the Bills twice stopped Willis McGahee on their 1-yard line before he breached the defensive line on the third attempt to tie the game at 10-10.
Cleveland led 17-10 a minute later after Travis Benjamin returned a punt 79 yards for a touchdown. Benjamin finished with a franchise-record 179 yards on seven punt returns.
It was tied again three plays into the third quarter as C.J. Spiller sprinted 54 yards for a touchdown and Jackson scored on another one-yard touchdown run on the Bills’ next possession to make it 24-17.
A minute later Weeden found Josh Gordon, who was suspended the first two games of the season for violating the NFL’s drug policy, with a 37-yard touchdown pass to tie it again at 24-24.
Cundiff kicked field goals of 24 and 44 yards in the fourth quarter to give the Browns the lead for good, and Cleveland made certain of the win when T.J. Ward returned an interception 44 yards for a touchdown with 1:54 remaining.