The Browns gained six yards in the third quarter against the Lions.
Six. Total. Yards.
With no first downs.
This might seem uncommon, a rarity, a piece of space jetsam landing in the backyard.
But it’s not, and ESPN Stats & Info has the facts to show it isn’t.
Since the Browns returned from a three-year hiatus in 1999, the Browns have gained six or fewer yards in 26 quarters -- more than once per season. And once it happened three times in a game.
It even happened last season, when the Browns lost in overtime to the Dallas Cowboys.
The Browns worst quarter since 1999 happened in 2005, when they lost 11 yards in 15 minutes in a loss to Jacksonville. That was back when Charlie Frye played quarterback and Braylon Edwards receiver and Reuben Droughns running back. Almost half the six-yards-or-fewer quarters came in the Browns first three years after expansion, which is somewhat understandable -- except averaging two yards on four carries would give a team eight yards.
Losing yards in one complete quarter is not even that uncommon for the Browns ... it’s happened nine times since 1999.
One of the negative yardage quarters came in the 10th week of the 1999 expansion season -- and the Browns won that game on a last-play Phil Dawson field goal.
That was payback of sorts for the season opener, when the Steelers held the Browns to 4, 1 and minus-8 yards in the second, third and fourth quarters of the ... ahem ... nationally televised game.
So while that third quarter against the Lions may have seemed pretty bad for the Browns, it can get a whole lot worse.