Browns Beat Odds, Overwhelm 49ers : Pro football: Defense causes four turnovers and Cleveland dominates San Francisco in 23-13 victory.

From Associated Press

The Cleveland Browns were all too aware of the numbers that seemed to point to a very long night.

The San Francisco 49ers’ nine-game regular-season winning streak, their 11-1 record in their last 12 Monday night games.

It only made the Browns’ 23-13 victory that much sweeter.

“It’s a damn good win,” Coach Bill Belichick said. “There’s still a long time to go, (but) it’s a good start.”


The Browns (2-0) won with defense, intercepting Steve Young three times, causing him to fumble once and blocking a field-goal attempt. San Francisco also muffed a 40-yard field goal try when holder Klaus Wilmsmeyer juggled the snap with 4:32 to play.

The 49ers (1-1) did not score in the second half.

Cleveland’s James Jones, a defensive tackle lining up at fullback, turned the game around with a one-yard touchdown run in the second quarter that gave the Browns a 13-6 lead. Quarterback Bernie Kosar and Michael Jackson teamed for a 30-yard scoring pass that put Cleveland ahead, 20-13, just before halftime.

Kosar completed 17 of 32 passes for 186 yards without an interception. Jackson caught five passes for a career-high 105 yards.

“I got off to a bad start, trying to run with the ball before I had it,” Jackson said of a potential touchdown reception on the Browns’ first play from scrimmage. “But the first play of the game, even though it wasn’t a plus, was a confidence-builder, because we saw we could get behind them.”

Two of Young’s interceptions led to Cleveland scores.

“We would get down to scoring territory and then get nothing,” San Francisco Coach George Seifert said. “They were making the plays on us, and we didn’t (make many on them).”

Matt Stover kicked three field goals for Cleveland. Mike Cofer had two for the 49ers, and a third attempt--a 37-yarder on San Francisco’s best chance of the third quarter--was blocked by Rob Burnett.


Marc Logan, filling in for injured Tom Rathman, scored the 49ers’ only touchdown on a four-yard run in the second quarter. San Francisco also played without injured defensive lineman Kevin Fagan, and it lost receiver Odessa Turner in the third quarter when he suffered a concussion that resulted from a collision with Cleveland’s Eric Turner.