With Arizona fifth-round rookie Clayton Tune making his first career start, Cleveland’s defense has led the way and the Browns lead 13-0 at halftime.
The Cardinals had just 31 total yards in the half, gaining only three first downs. The club was 0-of-5 on third down, holding Tune to just 5-of-8 passing for 22 yards with an interception.
Cleveland’s defense recorded two sacks and had four tackles for loss.
Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has looked rusty at times in his return from a shoulder injury, but his best play of the first half was a throw to Amari Cooper deep down the left sideline for a 59-yard gain. Cooper gained 22 yards after the catch to put Cleveland in scoring territory.
But a sack on second-and-7 put the Browns behind the chains and the team settled for a 30-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead.
Cleveland went for it on fourth-and-1 with two extra offensive linemen reporting as eligible and Kareem Hunt took the handoff for a 2-yard gain. Then Hunt gained 3 yards on third-and-2 with two extra offensive linemen again.
A few plays later, Watson’s pass to Amari Cooper went off a defender’s helmet at the line of scrimmage but Cooper nevertheless caught it in the end zone for a touchdown. Cooper’s second TD of the season gave Cleveland a 10-0 lead.
Dustin Hopkins also nailed a 45-yard field goal at the end of the half to extend Cleveland’s lead to 13-0.
Watson was 11-of-20 for 136 yards with a touchdown in the first half. Cooper has three catches on three targets for 73 yards.
The Browns will receive the second-half kickoff.