So that’s what the run-and-shoot is all about.
Warren Moon’s third touchdown pass, a one-yarder to Drew Hill with nine seconds left, gave Houston a 28-24 victory over the Cleveland Browns Sunday night, clinching a tie for the AFC Central title for the Oilers.
The Oilers (9-2) went 84 yards in 11 plays. Moon connected on a 23-yard pass to Haywood Jeffires to the Cleveland 41, one of eight consecutive completions ending with the game-winning score. He continued picking apart the defense, finding Hill at the one just before the game-winner.
Moon and Hill proved to be a combination too big for the Browns (4-7) to overcome. Moon was 31 of 44 for 399 yards. Hill caught 11 for 144 yards and two touchdowns.
“I’m glad I got a second chance,” said Moon, whose pass was intercepted by Vince Newsome with 2:35 left. “I got a second chance and I was going to him (Hill) because he’s so reliable and easy to read. He makes my job easy.”
Hill, who has 510 career catches, relished his clutch role.
“Haywood (Jeffires) had been the go-to guy the past couple of weeks, but now he’s been going to me,” Hill said. “We just had to show patience. Our guys realized we had to have this game. We weren’t going to be denied.”
Bernie Kosar had thrown a 40-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Langhorne with 4:17 remaining to rally the Browns into a 24-21 lead. On fourth down, Kosar hit Langhorne down the middle after the receiver easily beat rookie safety Marcus Robertson.
“We came down here and people didn’t expect us to play well, much less win,” Kosar said. “As a team, I think we feel like we should have won. It’s disappointing to put yourself in a position to win and not do it.”
Moments later, Newsome intercepted a deflected pass and returned it 31 yards to Houston’s 49. The Browns wound up punting to the Houston 16 and Moon guided the Oilers the rest of the way.
“It’s my birthday (today) and I didn’t want to spoil it,” Moon said. “We got together on the sidelines and said to ourselves that we weren’t going to be denied.”
Moon had re-armed Houston’s run-and-shoot offense in the second half with touchdown pass plays of 40 yards to Hill and four to Pat Coleman for a 21-17 lead.
Moon had started the Oilers’ comeback with an 80-yard drive in seven plays that finished with his 40-yard strike to Hill with 13:45 elapsed in the third quarter.
Houston got another break when Cleveland’s fake field goal attempt from the Oilers’ 29-yard line failed, with holder Brian Hansen being chased out of bounds.
Moon hit four consecutive passes, including a 42-yarder to Curtis Duncan to the Cleveland one. After a three-yard loss by Lorenzo White, Moon zipped the go-ahead pass to Coleman, who caught his first NFL touchdown catch.
The Browns capitalized on a fumbled punt by Ernest Givins and Kosar’s pinpoint passing to take a 14-7 halftime lead. That lead could have been even bigger if Kosar hadn’t thrown his second interception of the season with 10 seconds left in the half.
Kosar, who was 21 of 34 for 279 yards, hit Leroy Hoard for a 14-yard touchdown in the first quarter. After Scott Galbraith recovered Givins’ fumbled punt at the Oilers’ 30, Cleveland scored on Joe Morris’ five-yard run.
Moon hit Givins for 27 yards to the Cleveland 20 to set up a five-yard touchdown run by Allen Pinkett in the second quarter.
The Browns got another break in the third quarter then Jeffires fumbled after a 29-yard reception at the Cleveland 13 and Eric Turner recovered. The turnover started a drive that led to a 55-yard field goal by Matt Stover.