Bears Down Browns 28-20, Finish Pre-Season 3-1
By Benjy Lipsman in News on Aug 31, 2012 3:20PM
The Bears wrapped up their pre-season Thursday night, leaving Cleveland with a 28-20 victory over the Browns. In their last tune-up before the regular season starts, the focus was on determine who remains with the Bears when their roster gets trimmed to 53 later today.
The Bears jumped out to an early lead when QB Josh McCown connected with Dane Sanzenbacher on a 30-yard TD set up by a Jeremy Jones interception. A short punt that gave the Bears the ball in Cleveland territory helped set up their second score, when McCown hit running back Armando Allen from 11 yards out. The Browns added a touchdown of their own after driving 80 yards, much of the work carried out by running back Brandon Jackson.
In the third quarter, Cleveland added a field goal before the Bears added a pair of exciting TD's to extend their lead. First, Greg McCoy picked off a ball that bounced off Josh Gordon's foot and ran it back 15 yards for a touchdown. Initially ruled an incomplete pass, Lovie Smith challenged the play and it was rules a score. On Cleveland's ensuing possession, Patrick Trahan blocked a punt that Brittan Golden scooped up and returned 22 yards for six points.
With a number of big plays and big performances by players fighting to make the team, Bears management has a number of tough calls to make. Perhaps the highest-profile battle was for third string running back behind Matt Forte and Michael Bush. After Kahlil Bell was cut, the battle came down to Armando Allen and Lorenzo Booker. Both made strong cases for making the team on Thursday night. Allen rushed for 83 yards on 16 carries, while Booker had 81 yards on 15 carries. Allen also led the team with 51 receiving yards on five catches and forcing a fumble on a Browns punt return. That could prove his biggest play of the night, as a third string back sees more time on special teams than offense.
McCown made his case for becoming the team's third QB after completing 20 of 29 passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns, for a 90.7 passer rating while playing the entire game. (Ed. Note: WSCR-AM midday hosts Dan McNeil and Matt Spiegel are reporting that McCown has been cut by the Bears. — CS)
On defense, Greg McCoy hopes his pick-six helps in his battle with Isaiah Frey. Jabara Williams, Patrick Trahan and Xavier Adibi remain in the mix both to help on special teams and to provide depth at linebacker given Brian Urlacher's status.
A number of guys will be disappointed when they're asked to turn in their iPads later today, while others will get to suit up in orange and navy blue come Opening Day. It's just nine more days until the Bears host the Indianapolis Colts at Soldier Field!