Browns Offense Explodes over Dolphins

The Cleveland Browns racked up 41 points and held off the Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns Stadium today. Fred Greetham was there and offers up this recap of the action...

CLEVELAND - The Browns built up a 21 point first half lead—saw their lead shrink to three-- and then held on to a 41-31 win over the Dolphins to even their record at 3-3 heading into the bye week. 

Derek Anderson hooked up with Braylon Edwards for three touchdowns and ran for one himself in pacing the offensive attack. Edwards had five receptions for 67 yards, including the three scores.

Anderson was 18-of-25 for 245 yards with three touchdowns and a rushing touchdown. He was sacked just once and had no interceptions. His QB rating was 142.5.

Jason Wright and Jerome Harrison combined for 170 all-purpose yards in filling in for the injured Jamal Lewis. The duo had 116 yards rushing and 54 receiving. In addition, Wright caught three passes for 39 yards and Harrison had one for 15 yards.

The Browns wasted no time in getting off to a quick 7-0 lead on the Dolphins as Jason Wright capped a short field touchdown drive with a one-yard score only 2:14 into the game. Joshua Cribbs took the opening kickoff back to the Browns' 40, but a personal foul on the Dolphins' kicker Jay Feely moved the ball to the Dolphins' 45. The big plays on the drive were a crossing pattern over the middle to  Edwards on third-and-seven for 17 yards. On the next play, former Browns defensive back Michael Lehan pulled down on Joe Jurevicius' arm for pass interference in the endzone and the Browns had a first down on the one. The Browns went 45 yards in just five plays.

The Dolphins got on the board as Feely kicked a 43-yard field goal with 6:17 to play in the first quarter to make it 7-3. The Dolphins moved the ball 43 yards, most of it courtesy of Ronnie Brown.

The Browns answered Miami's score with a 67-yard drive. Derek Anderson bootlegged around the right end for a one-yard score to make it 14-3 with nine seconds to play in the first quarter. The Browns used 10 plays and took 6:08 off the clock. Jerome Harrison accounted for 43 yards on the drive, while Wright picked up a 13-yard run that set up Anderson's score.

The Browns extended their lead to 17-3 as Dawson kicked a 40-yard field goal with 8:50 to play in the first half. The Browns took 5:10 from the clock, but couldn't get any closer than the Dolphins' 23 before stalling.  

The Browns continued their onslaught as Leigh Bodden intercepted a Cleo Lemon pass and returned it 26 yards to the Dolphins' 24. Anderson threw a strike to Braylon Edwards on a post pattern on the first play and the Browns had a 24-3 lead with 6:13 to play in the first half. The interception was set up by Willie McGinest breaking through and chasing Lemon across the field and forcing an ill-advised pass.

The Dolphins mounted a drive before the first half and cut the deficit to 24-10 with 1:03 to play in the first half as Lemon hit tight end David Martin from 14 yards out. Martin was behind safety Sean Jones for   score. The Dolphins went 80 yards in 5:10 with the key play being Ronnie Brown converting the first down on fourth-and-one on a good second effort after being stopped short of the first down, initially.

Dawson hit a 20-yard field goal as time expired to give the Browns a 27-10 halftime lead. The Browns went 70 yards in just 1:03 before stopping at the Dolphins' three. Kellen Winslow caught two passes on the drive, including a 33-yarder which took the ball to the three. The Browns tried one play and Anderson threw incomplete into the end zone prior to the field goal.

Ted Ginn took the second half kickoff and returned it for a touchdown, but it was called back on a holding penalty. However, the Dolphins did it the long way as they marched 75 yards on 14 plays, consuming 7:03 to cut the Browns lead to 27-17 with 7:57 to play in the third quarter. Lemon scrambled in from five yards out.

With 2:44 left in the third quarter, Lemon went over from the one and the Dolphins were now within three at 27-24. This time the Dolphins went 62 yards on nine plays.

With the defense seemingly having no answer for the Dolphins, the Browns put together a drive themselves and took a 34-24 lead with 10:51 to play in the game. The Browns went 12 plays and 66 yards in 6:53. Anderson hit Edwards for a five-yard score, which was his second touchdown of the game. Anderson hit Jurevicius on one key third down conversion and Anderson scrambled for another.

 The Browns put the game away with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Anderson to Edwards to make it 41-24 with 4:34 to play. It was Edwards' first three touchdown game of his career. The Browns took 4:27 off the clock and covered 67 yards in nine plays.

The Browns turned the ball over at their own 26 on a fumble by Wright, which was recovered by Jason Taylor.  Lemon hit Martin from four-yards out with 1:34 to play for a touchdown to make it 41-31.

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