Browns-Cards: Post Game Notes

A big win featured some splasy plays today, like Dennis Northcutt's efforts, but other key contributions were also made by valuable Browns role players. Brant Boyer, for instance. Mike McLain brings us the latest notes from today's game.

BEREA - Brant Boyer's value was never appreciated more than it was in the Browns' 44-6 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

The linebacker started in place of Ben Taylor, who played sparingly because of back spasms. Boyer took advantage of the opportunity to register a team-leading nine tackles. He intercepted one pass and defensed a pair of throws. In addition, he had one solo tackle and one assist on special teams.

"There's no substitute for character, integrity and work ethic," had coach Butch Davis said. "You want to talk about the glue that holds an organization together, you talk about guys like that. He's one of the leading special teams players in the NFL. He's been the starting middle linebacker in our nickel packages.

"He made plays. That's what you appreciate from guys like him. I'm very pleased with the way Brant played."

As a team leader, Boyer felt it was important that each player knew the importance of keeping things in perspective after the controversial decision to cut receiver Kevin Johnson last week.

"If you're not on the boat, get off," Boyer said. "That's the whole thing with this team. If you're not with us, you're against us. Everybody has a hard time when things like that happen. But if you're in this league long enough, it's going to happen to you."

TOGETHER AGAIN: The five offensive linemen that started the season opener played together for the first time since the Oakland game Oct. 12. Injuries sidelined left tackle Barry Stokes, left guard Shaun O'Hara and center Jeff Faine two games each.

"Not taking anything away from the guys that played in their absence, but now that we have everybody back, there's a comfort there," right tackle Ryan Tucker said. "There's a confidence there now that everybody is back."

GAME NOTES: Receivers Quincy Morgan and Andre Davis both exceeded 100 yards in receptions. The last time the Browns had two receivers break the 100-yard barrier was Jan. 2, 1982, when Ozzie Newsome had 123 yards and Ricky Feacher 109.

Defensive end Kenard Lang wasn't able to play because of a back injury. Lang suffered the injury when he collided with teammate Mark Word when rushing Kansas City quarterback Trent Green the previous week.

Keith Heinrich started in place of R.J. Bowers at H-back and caught five passes for 45 yards. Bowers suffered a high ankle sprain against Kansas City.

Kicker Phil Dawson booted a 24-yard field goal in the second period, giving him a career percentage of 81 (81 of 100). Matt Stover is the Browns' career leader in percentage at 81.20 (108 of 133).

In scoring 44 points, the Browns set a single-game scoring record at Cleveland Browns Stadium. The previous mark of 43 was set by the Pittsburgh Steelers in first regular-season game ever at the stadium in 1999. The Browns scored more points Sunday than they did in the first three home games combined.

Cardinals linebacker Ray Thompson sprained his neck in the third quarter and was taken off on a stretcher. He was conscious and was able to move his legs.

Inactive for the Browns were defensive back Roosevelt Williams; Bowers; offensive linemen Chad Beasley and Enoch DeMar; receiver Frisman Jackson; Lang, and defensive lineman Felipe Claybrooks.

Out for the Cardinals were kicker Bill Gramatica; running back Emmitt Smith; linebacker Gerald Hayes; offensive lineman Raleigh Roudtree; receiver Jason McAddley, and defensive linemen Derrick Ransom and Russell Davis.

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