CLEVELAND -- A Browns offense that was the league's worst at rushing before today’s game ran all over the 49ers in the opening quarter.
Cleveland has 112 yards on the ground and leads 10-3. The 49ers, meanwhile, started the contest as listless as they've been on the season but appeared to pick up the pace in the second quarter. A 32-yard punt return by Bruce Ellington set up a 44-yard field goal by Phil Dawson, who spent his first 14 seasons in Cleveland.
The 49ers turned the ball over on downs on their best drive of the first quarter. Facing fourth and 1 from Cleveland's 30-yard line, Blaine Gabbert rolled to his right out of the pocket while tight end Blake Bell took off from the line of scrimmage.
Bell was open but the Browns defender he was blocking on the play, Nate Orchard, ran in to sack Gabbert. The 49ers had been averaging two sacks allowed a game since Gabbert took over five weeks ago; they've given up five already. Gabbert is 5-11 for 45 yards and the 49ers have just two first downs.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Sacramento Bee
The score could have been more lopsided in favor of the home team.
An early Browns field goal attempt was blocked by Quinton Dial while Browns running back Glenn Winston fumbled late in the first quarter.
Winston was in the game for starter Isaiah Crowell, who has 69 rushing yards. Crowell has since re-entered the contest while Winston is being checked for a concussion.
Corey Lemonier started the game at outside linebacker in place of Aaron Lynch, who suffered a concussion last week. Lemonier nearly had his first sack -- and a probable safety -- late in the second quarter. But he was called for a facemask instead, and the Browns used the momentum of that 15-yard penalty to
Arik Armstead and Dial recorded sacks while rookie safety Jaquiski Tartt had a 25-yard interception, the first of his career.
Daniel Kilgore played two series at center, his first snaps at his former position this season.