The Browns pulled celebration out of disaster.
The Browns pulled celebration out of disaster.
Ten minutes into Sunday’s game, they trailed the winless Rams,14-0.
“They had some passing yards on us today,” safety Sean Jones said.
Did they ever -- 118 in the first quarter and 322 overall.
The first snap of the game resulted in a 39-yard sideline completion to
future Hall of Famer Torry Holt. Cornerback Leigh Bodden had decent
coverage, but not good enough.
“(Holt) ran a double move and I just stumbled a little bit,” Bodden said. “I got my balance and he just made a good catch. I was trying to rake the ball out.”
It was the beginning of a fitful day for Bodden. “A couple of other times,” he acknowledged, “they got some catches on me.”
The Browns offense kicked in gear and took over the game. Bodden got a chance to make sure it was a win.
Trailing 27-20, the Rams had the ball at the Cleveland 46 when Bulger went deep on the left side, taking another shot at Holt, who was working on a 110-yard game.
“I just wanted to make a play,” Bodden said. “I just played my technique the best that I knew how. The ball came and I made a play on it.”
Bulger’s take on the pick: “They were getting really, really deep. With 33 seconds left, I had to get the ball down the field. He made a nice play.”
Joe J earns an 'A'
Five catches for 76 yards is a nice day for a No. 2 wideout. In this case, Joe Jurevicius had as much to do with the Browns setting the tempo as anything.
On third-and-17, with the game tied at 17-all in the third quarter, Jurevicius found a soft spot in zone coverage and made a 24-yard catch and run. Moments later, on third-and-11, Derek Anderson went to the 6-foot-5 wideout for an even bigger gain, 29 yards.
Afterward, Braylon Edwards put an interesting spin on Jurevicius’ value, mixing in some Kellen Winslow Jr. commentary.
“We’re a heckuva one-two-three punch, especially in terms of one and two in Kellen and I,” Edwards said. “Most of the time, when you think of a one-two punch, you think of (wide) receivers ... by having Kellen inside and me on the outside it creates more mismatches.
“When you throw Joe in the mix, now you’re talking about the middle of the field being wide open.
“Let’s not get crazy. Without Joe making the plays he made today, a lot of those situations and setups wouldn’t have been there.”
Edwards had eight catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns.
Jackson in, Jackson out
After looking frisky in two series, Rams running back Steven Jackson went to the trainer’s room with back spasms.
Jackson had piled up 50 yards in helping the Rams to a 14-0 lead.
“He changes the way a defense tries to play us,” receiver Torry Holt said.
“You have to play an eight-man box. That gives us some one-on-ones on the outside.”
Jackson did not return. Rookie Round 2 pick Brian Leonard looked nothing like the big, swift Jackson. He rushed 15 times for 33 yards.
The Browns did not give up a 100-yard rusher for the first time in 2007.
Jackson was disappointed.
“It was overcompensation for my groin injury,” said Jackson, who had missed the last four games. “The body is funny like that.
“We brought the chiropractor down and he tried to crack me up and stretch me.”
Rams tight end Randy McMichael said Jackson was “running like a wild beast ... we matched his intensity. Then he’s out and we took a step back.”
Romeo Crennel gave Jackson his due:
“If he had been able to stay in there, it could have been a different
Browns linebacker D’Qwell Jackson left in the first quarter with a left
Crennel said Jackson, the Browns’ leading tackler will be evaluated
Monday. His absence increased the work load for inside linebackers Andra Davis and Leon Williams.
Browns special teams stalwart Kris Griffin suffered a sprained Achilles. He said he will undergo an MRI.
Rams guard Richie Incognito left an already depleted line with a knee
- The Browns opened the second half with an embarrassing sequence of four penalties, against wideout Joe Jurevicius, right tackle Ryan Tucker, left tackle Joe Thomas and tight end Kellen Winslow Jr.
Somehow, the Browns turned the series into a touchdown. The next series opened with a holding call against center Hank Fraley. Again, the Browns drove anyway.
- Key players who didn’t dress included nose tackle Ted Washington and cornerback Kenny Washington of the Browns and center Brett Romberg, defensive end Leonard Little and return ace Dante Hall of the Rams. Derek Anderson said crowd noise was a factor.
- Teams will think twice about single covering Braylon Edwards after he burned the Rams Sunday. “They single-covered T.O., they single-covered Steve Smith,” Edwards said. “We knew what they were going to do and took advantage.”
- The Browns are above .500 this late in the season for the first time since 2002. They can reach the halfway point of the season with five wins by beating Seattle. They have won five or fewer games in five of the previous eight expansion-era seasons.
Reach Repository sports writer Steve Doerschuk at (330) 580-8347 or e-mail email@example.com.