49ers
Browns
7 - 20 Final
  for this game

Browns beat Niners, complete first 10-win season since 1994

Dec 31, 2007 - 5:18 AM CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- With their postseason fate essentially out of their hands, Joshua Cribbs and the Cleveland Browns ended their regular season on a positive note.

Cribbs returned a punt for a touchdown Sunday afternoon as the Browns grinded out a 20-7 triumph over the San Francisco 49ers.

It was a relatively meaningless victory for Cleveland (10-6), which missed out on the playoffs due to the Tennessee Titans' 16-10 triumph over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night.

The Titans (10-6) defeat of the Colts, clinches the AFC's second wild card courtesy of a common-opponent tiebreaker over the Browns.

The victory also completed Cleveland's first 10-win campaign since 1994, when Bill Belichick coached the Browns to an 11-5 regular-season record and an appearance in the divisional round of the playoffs.

"Those guys in there, they've come a long way," Crennel said. "We've changed the attitude. They play hard, they fight their hearts out."

With little at stake in terms of postseason positioning, the Browns still played most of their starters - including banged up quarterback Derek Anderson - throughout the contest.

But the key to Cleveland's success was the speedy Cribbs, who gave the Browns the lead for good when he scored off a 76-yard punt return to make it 7-0 late in the first quarter.

"It let's me know, I've finally arrived as a punt returner," Cribbs said. "I was just feeling it. I love to play this game. I'll probably buy a Colts hat."

A first-time Pro Bowler this season, Cribbs finished with 192 overall return yards. He also reeled off a 53-yard punt return in the first quarter and made a pair of special-teams tackles in the second half.

Cribbs appeared to score on the opening kickoff of the second half, but a holding penalty nullified an electric return in which he broke several tackles.

"Our coverage units have been among the very best in the league this year," San Francisco coach Mike Nolan said. "It was disappointing that (Cribbs) returned one for a touchdown and gave them some good field position on the others."

It was one of the only disappointing moments in the contest for the Browns, who constantly harassed Niners quarterback Chris Weinke, sacking him five times.

While the Browns' defense, which limited the Niners to just 185 yards of total offense, Jamal Lewis punished San Francisco throughout the game.

Lewis finished with 128 yards on 26 carries, recording his fifth 100-yard performance of the season.

"I love this team and I love the coaches," Lewis said. "It's not like coming to work. It's like being around family."

Kellen Winslow hauled in four catches for 62 yards for the Browns, who finished a season with a 7-1 home record for the first time in franchise history.

Making his first start of the season, Weinke became the fourth different quarterback this season for San Francisco (5-11), which was forced to sign the former Heisman Trophy winner earlier this month due to a rash of injuries at the position.

The 35-year-old Weinke certainly looked rusty, completing just 13-of-22 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown.

"It's never easy when you come into a new situation with new coaches and players," Weinke said. "I tried to do the best that I could in terms of operating this offense."

Anderson, who played the entire second half with an injured pinky finger on his throwing hand, finished 11-of-20 for 152 yards, a TD and an interception.

Cleveland took a 14-0 lead with 11:44 remaining in the first half when Anderson hooked up with Braylon Edwards for a 45-yard TD.

But Anderson injured his finger on the next offensive possession, forcing the Browns to play rookie Brady Quinn for the remainder of the first half.

"Obviously, that is something I have been waiting for all season," Quinn said. "It was nice to get in and get some reps with the guys. It is tough coming off the bench like that and to get loose."

The 22nd overall draft selection last April, Quinn looked shaky in his highly anticipated debut, completing 3-of-8 passes for 45 yards.

"You can throw all you want on the sidelines," Quinn said. "But in the heat of the game, it is different - not only your arm, but your legs.

"A couple of those passes, (I felt like) my feet are in cement right now because I couldn't pick them up and move them around to get in the direction I was trying to throw."






  • 30
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    Truwarrior12 Added 5 roots

    49ers vs. BrownsDec 30 6:39 PM


  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SAN FRANCISCO 0 7 0 0 7
    CLEVELAND 7 10 0 3 20 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CLE - TD, JOSH CRIBBS 76 YD PUNT RETURN (PHIL
    DAWSON KICK), 13:23. CLEVELAND 7-0
    2ND QUARTER: CLE - TD, BRAYLON EDWARDS 45 YD PASS FROM
    DEREK ANDERSON (PHIL DAWSON KICK),
    3:16. Drive: 6 plays,

    Dec 30 4:06 PM


  • NFL
    FG CLE
    PHIL DAWSON 49 YD
    SAN FRANCISCO 7
    CLEVELAND 20 10:16 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    49ers vs. BrownsDec 30 3:31 PM
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    49ers vs. BrownsDec 30 3:28 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SAN FRANCISCO 0 7 0 7
    CLEVELAND 7 10 0 17 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CLE - TD, JOSH CRIBBS 76 YD PUNT RETURN (PHIL
    DAWSON KICK), 13:23. CLEVELAND 7-0
    2ND QUARTER: CLE - TD, BRAYLON EDWARDS 45 YD PASS FROM
    DEREK ANDERSON (PHIL DAWSON KICK),
    3:16. Drive: 6

    Dec 30 3:19 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SAN FRANCISCO 0 7 7
    CLEVELAND 7 10 17 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CLE - TD, JOSH CRIBBS 76 YD PUNT RETURN (PHIL
    DAWSON KICK), 13:23. CLEVELAND 7-0
    2ND QUARTER: CLE - TD, BRAYLON EDWARDS 45 YD PASS FROM
    DEREK ANDERSON (PHIL DAWSON KICK),
    3:16. Drive: 6 pla

    Dec 30 2:32 PM


  • NFL
    FG CLE
    PHIL DAWSON 23 YD
    SAN FRANCISCO 7
    CLEVELAND 17 1:04 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    49ers vs. BrownsDec 30 2:27 PM


  • NFL
    TD SFO
    DARRELL JACKSON 7 YD PASS FROM CHRIS WEINKE
    (JOE NEDNEY KICK)
    SAN FRANCISCO 7
    CLEVELAND 14 3:20 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    49ers vs. BrownsDec 30 2:17 PM


  • NFL
    TD CLE
    BRAYLON EDWARDS 45 YD PASS FROM DEREK ANDERSON
    (PHIL DAWSON KICK)
    SAN FRANCISCO 0
    CLEVELAND 14 11:44 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    49ers vs. BrownsDec 30 1:49 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SAN FRANCISCO 0 0
    CLEVELAND 7 7 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CLE - TD, JOSH CRIBBS 76 YD PUNT RETURN (PHIL
    DAWSON KICK), 13:23. CLEVELAND 7-0

    Dec 30 1:41 PM


  • NFL
    TD CLE
    JOSH CRIBBS 76 YD PUNT RETURN
    (PHIL DAWSON KICK)
    SAN FRANCISCO 0
    CLEVELAND 7 1:37 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    49ers vs. BrownsDec 30 1:32 PM
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    49ers vs. BrownsDec 29 2:21 PM
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    49ers vs. BrownsDec 29 3:57 AM
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    49ers vs. BrownsDec 27 3:31 PM
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    49ers vs. BrownsJun 1 11:41 PM