Griffin III throws 2 TD passes; Browns fall 24-13 to Falcons


Associated Press



Cleveland Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) reacts after tight end Gary Barnidge scored a touchdown during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)


Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Schaub throws during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Cleveland Browns, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)


Cleveland Browns free safety Derrick Kindred (30) breaks up a pass to Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper (81) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)


CLEVELAND — Robert Griffin III threw two touchdown passes in the first half in his home debut for Cleveland in the Browns’ 24-13 exhibition loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night.

Griffin found wide receiver Terrelle Pryor streaking down the right sideline on Cleveland’s second drive of the game for a 50-yard scoring strike. Griffin connected with tight end Gary Barnridge for a 22-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.

Griffin, who signed with the Browns (0-2) after being released by Washington, was 6 of 8 for 96 yards in four series. The 2011 Heisman Trophy winner also gained 36 yards on three carries, including a 22-yarder.

Devonta Freeman scored on a 19-yard run to cap Atlanta’s first drive. Matt Ryan played three series and completed 6 of 11 passes for 78 yards.

Atlanta (2-0) trailed 13-10 at halftime, but went ahead on Brandon Wilds’ 32-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

Rookie watch

Falcons: LBs Deion Jones and De’Vondre Campbell were in the starting lineup. Jones, a second-round draft pick, played in the middle while Campbell, taken in the fourth round, played on the weak side.

Position battles

Falcons: QB Matt Simms, who is competing with Sean Renfree for the No. 3 spot, directed a 15-play, 98-yard drive for a fourth-quarter touchdown.

Browns: K Patrick Murray, who is competing with Travis Coon, made an extra point after Cleveland’s first touchdown.

Injury update

Falcons: PK Nick Rose handled all of the team’s kicking duties because of injuries. PK Matt Bryant didn’t play beacuse of tightness, according to the team. P Matt Bosher left the game with a chest injury after taking a big hit from LB Tank Carder covering a kick. DE/LB Vic Beasley (shoulder), RB Terron Ward (ankle) and S Kemal Ishmael (shoulder) were also out.

Browns: WR Corey Coleman, the team’s No. 1 draft pick, has yet to play in the preseason because of a left hamstring injury. RT Joe Thomas (back), CB Joe Haden (ankle) and WR Andrew Hawkins (hamstring) were also out. S Rahim Moore was taken to the locker room to be evaluated for a concussion.

Not ready yet

WR Josh Gordon (quad) returned to practice Tuesday but didn’t play. He is suspended for the first four games of the regular season after missing the entire 2015 season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) reacts after tight end Gary Barnidge scored a touchdown during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)
http://limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_111990705-6509e4ff7e3949d4ae16fdea7db7b28a.jpgCleveland Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) reacts after tight end Gary Barnidge scored a touchdown during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Schaub throws during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Cleveland Browns, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)
http://limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_111990705-437528063e8a47f5abc8c5acb8b4150d.jpgAtlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Schaub throws during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Cleveland Browns, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)
Cleveland Browns free safety Derrick Kindred (30) breaks up a pass to Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper (81) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)
http://limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_111990705-ba7abbf605b2413b8359124a8e4cb490.jpgCleveland Browns free safety Derrick Kindred (30) breaks up a pass to Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper (81) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)

Associated Press

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