Browns Put Stop to Patriots’ Momentum, 20-0
The game between the Cleveland Browns and the New England Patriots was a battle for the dubious distinction of being the best of the worst teams in the NFL.
And after Cleveland quarterback Bernie Kosar and the Browns’ defense controlled the second half Sunday, the Patriots found themselves in their familiar place--on the short end of a 20-0 score.
Cleveland, which lost 10 of its last 11 games in 1990, recorded its first shutout in 32 games.
“This is a nice win for us,” Bill Belichick said after his first NFL victory as a head coach. “I hope we have bigger ones in the future.”
Cleveland (1-1) was 3-13 last season. Only New England’s 1-15 record was worse. The Patriots allowed 446 points. Only the Browns, with 462 points against, did worse. Both teams replaced their coaches.
The Patriots (1-1) entered the game with an opening-day 16-7 victory at Indianapolis that ended a 14-game losing streak.
“I don’t think the loss is a step backward, but it was definitely something that stopped our momentum,” Dick MacPherson said after his first loss as an NFL head coach.
Cleveland’s Joe Morris had 70 yards in 20 carries. He is the leading rusher in New York Giants’ history but sat out the past two seasons.
Kosar completed 15 of 22 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns.
Cleveland scored on three of its first four possessions of the second half on field goals of 30 and 32 yards by Matt Stover and a 65-yard touchdown pass play from Kosar to rookie Michael Jackson with eight minutes left in the game.
Both teams had trouble moving the ball until the Browns went on a 45-yard drive that ended with Kosar’s seven-yard scoring pass to Leroy Hoard 36 seconds before halftime.
New England’s deepest penetration was to the Cleveland 26 with five minutes remaining. At one point, the Patriots went 29 plays without getting a first down.