CHICAGO (AP) — Brian Hoyer started by connecting with Josh Gordon on a 45-yard pass on the first play from scrimmage and ended the game with a comeback.
In between, things were a bit choppy.
Hoyer threw for 307 yards and came on down the stretch for the Browns after Jordan Palmer dominated the first half for the Bears, leading Cleveland to an 18-16 victory over Chicago in the preseason finale on Thursday night.
Hoyer was intercepted twice. But he also led the Browns (3-1) on a 76-yard touchdown drive that made it a one-point game in the fourth quarter.
"I don't care if it is the fourth preseason game of the year or the last game of the year," he said.
"When you're out there, you're out there to win, it doesn't matter who is out there, you play the game to win, you don't just play to play."
Punter Spencer Lanning kicked a 40-yard field goal with just over three minutes left following a fumble by Harvey Unga to make it 18-16.
Robbie Gould then missed a 57-yarder wide right with just over a minute left, and the Bears (2-2) lost after leading most of the way.
Signed two weeks ago after third-stringer Matt Blanchard broke a knuckle on his left, non-throwing hand, Palmer made the most of his opportunity with Jay Cutler and Josh McCown sitting out.
Palmer, the brother of Arizona QB Carson Palmer, helped the Bears build a 10-3 halftime lead, completing 11 of 17 passes for 111 yards before giving way to Trent Edwards.
Palmer led the Bears to a field goal on their first possession after Demontre Hurst intercepted Hoyer and connected with Joe Anderson on a 5-yard touchdown early in the second quarter.
Not bad, considering he thought his playing days were over. That changed when he got the call from the Bears, and now, he might have to cancel a trip to Europe next week with his wife.
"We've been putting it off for the past couple years. And I would love to cancel that trip," he said.
But it was the Browns who finished the preseason on a winning note, with both teams resting their top players.
The Bears had said they would do just that, and wide receiver Brandon Marshall wasn't even at the stadium. He had an excused absence.
Marshall also voiced frustration on Tuesday about his recovery from offseason hip surgery and missed practice on Wednesday.
He is expected to be ready for the opener against Cincinnati, which is the first game of the Marc Trestman era.
The Browns didn't play Brandon Weeden, Trent Richardson or Joe Thomas, among others.
With backup quarterback Jason Campbell out with flu-like symptoms, Hoyer got the call for the Browns and completed 24 of 35 passes.