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Browns shut out Bills in snow

Dec 17, 2007 - 12:06 AM By Jeff Brewer PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- Special teams were indeed special for the Cleveland Browns.

Playing their most meaningful regular-season home game in five years, the Browns defeated Buffalo, 8-0, in blizzard conditions on Sunday.

Phil Dawson punched through a 35-yard field goal and an improbable 49-yarder, while Jamal Lewis rushed for 163 yards on 33 carries to lead Cleveland.

"When this organization set out nine years ago, it kind of envisioned this is what Cleveland Browns football is all about," Dawson said. "A game late in the year, at home, with a chance to go to the playoffs in just horrible weather and the Browns coming out on top."

Cleveland was seeking to clinch a playoff berth for the first time since 2002 but were denied when Tennessee defeated Kansas City.

The Browns had to survive a late drive by the Bills, who moved 60 yards to the 10-yard line and faced a fourth down with 16 seconds to play.

The Bills attempted a screen pass, but safety Sean Jones broke through to take down Fred Jones and end it with three seconds to play as Cleveland recorded its first shutout since November 20, 2005.

"It worked earlier in that drive," Buffalo quarterback Trent Edwards said. "Obviously, the Browns thought we were going to put it into the end zone. It was there, but it was just a matter of blocking the guys up front and making others miss."

Two inches of snow blowing in gusting winds of up to 43 miles per hour seemed to bother the Bills (7-7) much more so than the Browns.

The weather conditions also played a factor in another score for the Browns.

With Cleveland leading. 3-0, a snap sailed over the head of Bills punter Brian Moorman. As the ball rolled into the snow-covered end zone, Moorman kick it out of bounds for the safety to give the Browns a 5-0 lead with 13:48 to play in the first half.

After Buffalo punted, Cleveland started on its own 7 and marched 62 yards in 10 plays to the Bills 31.

Dawson's 49-yard field goal attempt was a low line drive which skipped off the extension and fell through the uprights with 1:22 left in the half.

"We knew we were going to need every point we could muster up," Cleveland quarterback Derek Anderson said.

The kick brought back memories of Dawson's bank-shot field goal which put the game against Baltimore on November 18 into overtime - which the Browns won, 33-30.

"In my nine years here, this was by far the most difficult day to kick a football," Dawson said.

"When I saw it go through I was elated," Cleveland coach Romeo Crennel said. "The importance of being up eight points in a game like this is huge."

The second half for Cleveland was all about field position and not making a critical mistake.

"I think it shows we're maturing as a football team," Browns wide receiver Joe Jurevicius.

At 7:52 of the third quarter, Browns punter Dave Zastudil dropped a 56-yard punt on the Buffalo 1-yard line.

The Browns were able to burn considerable clock behind Lewis, who racked up his fourth 100-yard rushing game of the season and the 34th of his career. In the process, Lewis became the eighth Cleveland Brown player to crack 1,000 rushing yards.

"Jamal is just the type of back for this kind of weather," Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas said. "He carried the pile and that's what he was doing the whole fourth quarter."

Cleveland had to survive one final bit of adversity when Moorman dropped a 50-yard punt on the Browns 3 with 6:08 to play. But the sure-handed Lewis came to the rescue with runs of 13 and nine yards to give his team some breathing room.

"I was so excited when I woke up this morning," Lewis said. "I told the running backs to get ready because we're going to run the football."

The loss essentially eliminated the Bills from the playoff chase. Buffalo hasn't been to the playoffs since the 1999 season.

"They made more plays than we did," Bills coach Dick Jauron said. "I thought our young guys performed pretty well in these conditions and a lot of them have never been in it before. This is the worst (weather conditions) I can recall ever being involved in."

"I didn't know football could be played (in weather) like this," Buffalo defensive tackle Larry Tripplett said.

The last NFL game to end with an 8-0 score came on November 10, 1929, when the Chicago Cardinals defeated the Minneapolis Red Jackets.






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  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 0 0 0 0
    CLEVELAND 3 5 0 0 8 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CLE - FG, PHIL DAWSON 35 YD, 8:09. Drive: 9
    plays, 41 yards in 4:15. Key plays:
    Anderson 25-yard pass to Jurevicius
    on 3rd-and-7 to Buffalo 30;
    Anderson 11-yard pass to Lewis to
    Buffalo 18. C

    Dec 16 4:00 PM
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  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 0 0 0
    CLEVELAND 3 5 0 8 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CLE - FG, PHIL DAWSON 35 YD, 8:09. Drive: 9
    plays, 41 yards in 4:15. Key plays:
    Anderson 25-yard pass to Jurevicius
    on 3rd-and-7 to Buffalo 30;
    Anderson 11-yard pass to Lewis to
    Buffal

    Dec 16 3:13 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 0 0
    CLEVELAND 3 5 8 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CLE - FG, PHIL DAWSON 35 YD, 8:09. Drive: 9
    plays, 41 yards in 4:15. Key plays:
    Anderson 25-yard pass to Jurevicius
    on 3rd-and-7 to Buffalo 30;
    Anderson 11-yard pass to Lewis to
    Buffalo 18

    Dec 16 2:24 PM


  • NFL
    FG CLE
    PHIL DAWSON 49 YD
    BUFFALO 0
    CLEVELAND 8 1:22 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Bills vs. BrownsDec 16 2:21 PM
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  • CORRECTION
    NFL SAFETY CLE
    BALL THROUGH END ZONE
    BUFFALO 0
    CLEVELAND 5 13:48 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Bills vs. BrownsDec 16 1:47 PM


  • NFL
    SAFETY BUF
    BALL THROUGH END ZONE
    BUFFALO 2
    CLEVELAND 3 13:48 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Bills vs. BrownsDec 16 1:46 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 0
    CLEVELAND 3 3 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CLE - FG, PHIL DAWSON 35 YD, 8:09. Drive: 9
    plays, 41 yards in 4:15. Key plays:
    Anderson 25-yard pass to Jurevicius
    on 3rd-and-7 to Buffalo 30;
    Anderson 11-yard pass to Lewis to
    Buffal

    Dec 16 1:41 PM


  • NFL
    FG CLE
    PHIL DAWSON 35 YD
    BUFFALO 0
    CLEVELAND 3 6:51 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Bills vs. BrownsDec 16 1:22 PM
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