Detroit, MI – Brandon Weeden's first appearance in the NFL was an inauspicious one but the Cleveland Browns did take a 19-17 win over the Detroit Lions in the preseason opener for both clubs.
Taken with the 22nd overall pick of the 2012 draft by Cleveland, Weeden started the game under center and over three drives he went just 3-for-9 with 62 yards and an interception.
Cleveland's other first-round draft pick sat out the game as running back Trent Richardson, taken third overall, is still nursing his surgically- repaired left knee and was held out of the game.
Seneca Wallace threw a touchdown pass while Adonis Thomas ran one in for the Browns, who finished last season 4-12 and lost the final six games of the season.
However, Cleveland lost wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi in the game as he left with a head injury. He mi missed parts of the past two seasons with concussion-related symptoms.
Thomas' touchdown came late in the fourth quarter and the Browns opted for the two-point conversion in an effort to take the lead, but Thomas fell short on a run and Detroit held a 17-16 advantage.
Cleveland, though, stopped Detroit and got the ball back right before the two- minute warning. The team had plenty of time to get into field goal range and Jeff Wolfert booted one through the uprights from 45 yards out with 28 seconds left for the win.
The Lions have high hopes coming into this season after going 10-6 last year and making it to the playoffs for the first time since 1999.
Starting quarterback Matthew Stafford, who threw for 5,038 yards last year, played the first three drives of the game and went 4-for-7 for 51 yards with an interception.
Backup quarterback Shaun Hill threw a touchdown while Keiland Williams ran one in for Detroit, which had won seven straight preseason games coming in.
Williams' five-yard score was the only points of the first quarter while Stefan Logan caught a three-yard touchdown pass from Hill in the second.
Prior to Logan's score, Phil Dawson hit a 37-yard field goal and Detroit eventually took a 14-3 lead into the locker room.
Wallace's 12-yard score to Brad Smelley in the third quarter got Cleveland within four, but Derek Dimke hit one from 40 yards out early in the fourth to make it a seven-point game.