Opportunistic Browns Don't Let Win Slip Away

An opportune Browns defense swarmed and made a statement Sunday against the Lions. Feeling they gave a game away in the season opener, the Browns were not to be denied against the Detroit Lions at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Cleveland Browns know Ty Detmer, what Detmer didn't know was just how well his former team knew him.

A Browns defense, new and improved intercepted a team record seven passes off of Detmer as the Browns defeated a sloppy Lions team 24-14 on Sunday in front of 73,168 ecstatic fans in Cleveland.

Assisting an opportune defense, quarterback Tim Couch threw three touchdown passes and rookie running back James Jackson rumbled for 124 yards on 31 carries for the Browns.

The 124 rushing yards from Jackson was the first 100+ yard rushing game since the return of the team in 1999.

Rookie cornerback Anthony Henry chimed in with three interceptions on the afternoon, the first interceptions in his young, promising career.

Detmer, a good friend and mentor of Couch during his two-seasons in Cleveland had his worst game of his professional career. Detmer completed 22-of-42 passes for 212 yards with a touchdown to go along with the seven interceptions.

In his showdown against Detmer and the Lions, Couch completed 12-of-20 passes for 138 yards, with three touchdowns and two interceptions.

Both quarterbacks were sacked three times besides throwing numerous ill-advised passes.

Following an exchange of punts the Browns set the tempo of the day.

Tim Couch found wide receiver Kevin Johnson open in the back of the end-zone giving the Browns an early 7-0 lead on a seven-play 35-yard scoring drive. Johnson was instrumental on the series, drawing a pass interference penalty and personal foul flag.

Winning the battle of field position, the Browns would take command of the game following a Detroit punt.

Starting at mid-field, the Browns marched 50-yards in six plays as Couch tossed a six-yard touchdown pass to reserve offensive lineman Shaun O'Hara.

Leading 14-0 at the half, the Browns would capitalize quickly on a Detroit turnover.

With the Lions driving into scoring territory, Anthony Henry stepped in front of a pass intended for Germane Crowell at the Cleveland 30 yard line, returning it 53-yards down the far sideline to the Detroit 17.

The Browns couldn't move the ball and settled for a Phil Dawson 33-yard field goal, giving the Browns a 17-0 lead early in the third quarter.

After a Lions punt, a misguided Couch pass could have changed the complexion of the game. Lions' defensive back Terry Fair intercepted a pass intended for Jamel White at the Cleveland 26-yard line and returned the ball for a touchdown.

Looking to get Detroit back into the game, a Detmer pass intended for tight end Davis Sloan was tipped into the air by linebacker Wali Rainer and intercepted by Jamir Miller at the Detroit 34-yard line

On the first play from scrimmage following the interception, Couch found a streaking Quincy Morgan in the end-zone for a 34-yard scoring strike.

The Morgan touchdown reception was the first for the rookie and all but ended the hopes of victory for the Lions.

Detmer threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to a diving Johnnie Morton late in the game to end the scoring and giving the Browns a 24-14 victory.

The Browns (1-1) travel to Jacksonville to play the Jaguars (2-0) next Sunday in Alltel Stadium.

Notes:

Rookie James Jackson's 124 yards rushing was the first 100-yard rushing game for the Browns since the return of the team.

The 31-carries by Jackson were the most by a Browns player since the return of the team in 1999.

The seven interceptions today is a team record.

The three interceptions by Anthony Henry were his first in the NFL.

Ty Detmer came within one interception of tying Jim Hardy's NFL record of eight in game against Philadelphia in 1950.

Cornerback Corey Fuller and safety Earl Little emerged from the tunnel and ran down the center of the field carrying a large American flag.

Safety Percy Ellsworth and cornerback Daylon McCutcheon ran down the field waving miniature flags.


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