CLEVELAND (AP) -- Brian Hoyer can take a deep breath. His pressure-packed preseason ended positively.
Hoyer drove Cleveland's starting offense to a rare preseason
touchdown before turning things over to rookie Johnny Manziel in the
Browns' 33-13 exhibition win over the Chicago Bears on Thursday night.
Hoyer and Cleveland's offensive starters needed a boost after
struggling in the preseason as they learn a new system. Hoyer went 6 of 8
for 69 yards on the opening drive against Chicago's backups before Ben
Tate scored on a 1-yard run.
For Cleveland's first-team offense, it was just the second TD this
summer, and even if it came against some players who won't make
Chicago's roster, Hoyer will take it.
"It was great to get out there and just move right down the field,"
said Hoyer, who barely beat out Manziel for the starting job. "We said
tonight wasn't about them. It was about us. Regardless of who's playing
for them -- they were nameless and faceless opponents -- we just wanted
to go out and make everything about us. It's good to go down and get in
the end zone."
Manziel threw a TD pass, finished 6 of 17 for 83 yards, ran for 55 and did some typical Johnny Football improvising.
Manziel scrambled around, skipped some passes, fumbled twice and provided some entertaining moments.
"Falls into the category of Johnny being Johnny," Pettine said. "A
couple of those plays were no, no, no, yes - but that's what he does.
He's certainly shown why he has the reputation that he does."
Bears wide receiver Santonio Holmes caught a 32-yard TD pass from
rookie David Fales and returned a punt 30. Holmes only signed with the
Bears on Aug. 16.
Browns undrafted rookie running back Isaiah Crowell had a 48-yard TD
and finished with 102. Billy Cundiff made four field goals for the
Pettine had little choice but to play his starters in the fourth
preseason game following a horrific performance in a loss to St. Louis.
Hoyer and Cleveland's offense were desperate for a positive of any
kind with the season opener against Pittsburgh just 10 days away. And
the first unit's 13-play, 85-yard march was something to build upon.
"It just shows us what we're capable of, and that's what's been the
frustrating part this preseason," Hoyer said. "To go out there and just
do it against a different team is important. It's a good feeling heading
out of the preseason."
On Wednesday, the Browns learned they'll be without Pro Bowl wide
receiver Josh Gordon, suspended for the season for another violation of
the NFL's substance-abuse policy. Cleveland loses its best player and
only deep threat.
The Browns could be forced to trade for a wide receiver. But Nate
Burleson should help. He played for the first time in the preseason and
caught a 27-yarder from Manziel, who danced around in the backfield and
dodged several Bears before throwing a strike to Burleson. That play set
up Manziel's 1-yard toss to tight end Jim Dray.
Bears coach Marc Trestman rested starting quarterback Jay Cutler and
backup Jimmy Clausen, giving Fales, a sixth-round pick from San Jose
State, a chance to convince the Bears they should carry three QBs.
Fales made a good case for himself, finishing 13 of 24 for 146 yards.
Holmes is trying to catch on with the Bears after four turbulent
seasons with the Jets. He was released in March following two sub-par,
injury-plagued seasons. The 2009 Super Bowl MVP with Pittsburgh hasn't
played a complete season since 2011, and made just 43 receptions in the
past two seasons.
Holmes, 30, showed he's still got some breakaway speed on his TD
grab. He hauled in a short pass from Fales, spun away from rookie
cornerback Justin Gilbert and scampered into the end zone untouched for a
"You see the explosion in him," Trestman said. "He caught a short
throw, turned and ran, separated from the defense. That's a good sign."
Bears rookie running back Jordan Lynch, a star quarterback at
Northern Illinois, had 18 yards on six carries. He's a long shot to make
Chicago's 53-man roster.
NOTES: QB Rex Grossman made his debut for Cleveland and completed 4
of 8 passes for 80 yards. Grossman has experience in coordinator Kyle
Shanahan's offense and it showed. ... Browns LB Barkevious Mingo had a
sack and should have had two.