- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
Hometown hero: Quarterback Brian Hoyer, a Cleveland native, made a historic first impression for his hometown team. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Hoyer became the first quarterback in Browns history to throw for at least 300 yards in his debut with the team. He completed 30 of 54 passes for 321 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions, exploiting the 25th-ranked pass defense in the league. In his five-year career, Hoyer had one previous start and threw two touchdown passes. He passed for 330 yards all of last season.
Busy day: Spencer Lanning is typically the Browns' punter and holder on kicks. He had a few more responsibilities Sunday. He threw a touchdown pass to tight end Jordan Cameron on a fake field goal attempt in the second quarter and later kicked the extra point because Billy Cundiff injured his quadriceps. According to the NFL, Lanning is the first player since Philadelphia's Sam Baker in 1968 to have a punt, an extra point and a touchdown pass in the same game.
Can't run them over: The Browns made a commitment to upgrade their pass rush. Not many expected such an improvement out of their run defense. The Browns made their biggest stand of the season against Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. Cleveland limited the All-Pro running back to 88 yards on 25 carries, a 3.5 average. His longest run was 9 yards. The Browns ranked 19th in the NFL last season in run defense. They're No. 8 in the league after three games this season.
Who needs to run the ball? In their first game since trading running back Trent Richardson, the Browns didn't even attempt to establish the run. Of the Browns' 75 plays, they handed the ball off to a running back 14 times. That's 18 percent of the time. The biggest runs were gained by safety Josh Aubrey off a fake punt (34 yards), wide receiver Josh Gordon (22 yards) and fullback Chris Ogbonnaya (22 yards). Cleveland's tailbacks -- Willis McGahee and Bobby Rainey -- combined for 26 yards on 12 carries.