CLEVELAND – Punts rained down in the second quarter at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
So did the rain.
After the Browns and Chargers traded punts for the first 13 minutes of the second quarter, San Diego put together a field-goal drive to end the half. Nick Novak’s 43-yarder on the last play cut the Browns’ lead to 7-3.
Cleveland Browns Stadium is waterlogged on a miserable day along the lakefront. The temperature was 44 at kickoff, the rain has been consistent and the sun has been a no-show – like many of the fans with tickets.
Reggie Hodges’ third punt of the second quarter was a touchback from the 38-yard line. The Chargers used the break to mount their lone scoring drive, which started with 1:48 left. Philip Rivers completed seven passes on the possession, including a 25-yard dumpoff to running back Ronnie Brown on the first play.
The Browns moved into San Diego territory twice in the quarter but didn’t come away with points.
Rookie Trent Richardson looked like a different runner than the one limited to 8 yards on eight carries last week in a loss to the Colts.
He absorbed a number of hits to his injured rib cartilage and kept going. He had a 26-yard touchdown in the first quarter and had 86 yards on 15 carries, a 5.7 average, at halftime.
He didn’t shy away from contact, including a carry when he took a shot from safety Atari Bigby downfield, stayed on his feet and picked up another 2 yards.