Browns get second win of season amid controversyOct 30, 2006 - 1:06 AM CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- Safety Brodney Pool preserved a much-needed win for the Cleveland Browns, although it came with some controversy.
On a fourth-down play, Pool knocked tight end Chris Baker out of bounds in the end zone, preventing what appeared to be a completion by Chad Pennington as the Cleveland Browns escaped with a 20-13 victory over the New York Jets.
Reuben Droughns ran for 125 yards and a touchdown and Charlie Frye threw a scoring pass for Cleveland (2-5), which won for just the second time this season.
The Browns nearly squandered a 17-point second-half lead. Justin Miller returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown with 3:35 left in the third quarter to pull the Jets (4-4) within 20-10.
Mike Nugent kicked a 47-yard field goal 2:06 into the fourth quarter for New York.
The Jets reached the Cleveland 24 with 1:06 left and appeared to be on the verge of tying the game when Pennington avoided a sack and threw to the right of the end zone to Baker, who made a leaping one-handed catch before Pool's tackle knocked him out of bounds before he could get both feet in.
"It looked like a forceout from my vantage point," Pennington said. "(Chris Baker) made a great, I think it was a one-handed grab, and then it looked like he was inbounds, and then got forced out by the safety coming over the top."
"It was a great call (the blitz) and we executed it well," Browns safety Sean Jones said. "Brodney made a big hit at the goal line and it gave us the game."
The officials ruled Baker out of bounds even though it appeared he would have landed inbounds. The play was not reviewed in the booth.
"They (the officials) said that the ruling was going to stand," New York coach Eric Mangini said. "Of course, I couldn't challenge it because it was under two minutes (left in the game). They told me that it was not a reviewable play in the booth. We took the timeout to provide a little more time for everyone to take a look at it. I'll have to take a look at it more closely."
"I heard one referee saying it was a forceout, and the other referee, coming from the side, saying it was not a forceout," Baker said. "They commented back and forth and said that it was not. That's part of the game."
Referee Mike Carey explained the ruling.
"The forceout part of that is not reviewable," Carey said. "Whether he (Baker) caught the ball inbounds or out, but there was clearly no body part that landed inbounds. There was nothing to review."
Pennington completed just 11-of-28 passes for 108 yards with two interceptions.
"When you're on the road you can't let the referees decide the game," Pennington said. "We left a lot of plays out on the field that we didn't execute. I didn't make enough plays as a quarterback to put us in a position to win."
With 10 minutes left in the second quarter, Droughns snapped a 3-3 tie when he scored on a two-yard run.
Frye increased the lead to 17-3, throwing a 30-yard strike to tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. just 3:44 into the third quarter.
After rookie linebacker Kamerion Wimbley recovered a fumble by Jets rookie running back Leon Washington on the New York 9, the Browns settled for a 21-yard field goal by Phil Dawson with 3:48 left in the third quarter.
"The coach was talking about hitting the reset button earlier in the week," Frye said. "We got a new offensive coordinator (Jeff Davidson), we went out there and got him his first win."
Davidson was promoted from offensive line coach to replace Maurice Carthon, who resigned as offensive coordinator last Tuesday.
Cleveland finished with 267 yards, including 147 on the ground.
"We put it all on the field and we had a little more offensive consistency overall," Browns coach Romeo Crennel said. "The defense got turnovers and put us in good field position and that made it easier. We let the Jets back in the game with that kickoff return. Our guys kept fighting and we're proud they were able to do that."
Crennel and Mangini were both assistants under Bill Belichick on the New England Patriots' three Super Bowl-winning teams from 2001-04. Crennel was the defensive coordinator and Mangini the secondary coach. After the 2004 season, Crennel left to take the Browns' job and Mangini was promoted to defensive coordinator.
Following the 2005 season, Mangini was hired to replace Herman Edwards as coach of the Jets.
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