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Danielson Injured as Jets Rout Browns, 23-3

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<i> From Times Wire Services </i>

Even though the Cleveland Browns were virtually without a quarterback, the New York Jets felt they earned what they got.

Ken O’Brien passed for 256 yards Sunday and the Jets scored a 23-3 victory over the decimated Browns, picked to win the American Football Conference but in deep trouble after only two weeks.

Cleveland (1-1), already missing quarterback Bernie Kosar and top receiver Webster Slaughter, lost backup quarterback Gary Danielson to a broken ankle late in the third quarter.

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Those injuries, plus others to cornerbacks Frank Minnifield and Hanford Dixon, demoralized the Browns’ defense, which yielded two fourth-quarter touchdown runs to New York’s Roger Vick.

“We still had to come out and make our plays,” O’Brien said. “That’s just a part of football. The Browns are a good football team. One or two guys don’t make their team. It’s very unfortunate Danielson got hurt. But Bernie will be back in a few weeks for them.”

Kosar, out with a sprained elbow suffered in a 6-3 victory over Kansas City last week, was placed on injured reserve Sunday and will miss at least three more games.

Danielson, 37, limped off the field after he was buried under a pile of Jets following an incomplete pass late in the third quarter. Neither he nor third-string quarterback Mike Pagel was able to generate much offense for Cleveland, which has not scored a touchdown.

The Jets got three field goals from Pat Leahy to help them end a five-game losing streak dating to last November. Vick’s two touchdowns were the first of the season for New York (1-1).

The Jets led, 6-3, at halftime behind two Leahy field goals, after they had two second-quarter touchdowns nullified by penalties.

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One of the apparent touchdowns came on Leahy’s 12-yard run on a fake field goal. Leahy followed with a 29-yard field goal.

Cleveland’s Matt Bahr kicked a 47-yard field goal.

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