NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Cleveland coach Butch Davis joked with
kicker Phil Dawson that the game would come down to his foot. Davis
didn't know how right he was.
Dawson kicked a 44-yard field goal with 55 seconds left, and Tim
Couch threw for three touchdowns and a career-high 336 yards as the
Browns overcame a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat
the Tennessee Titans 41-38 Sunday.
"It is kind of scary," Dawson said of Davis' halftime
prediction. "He needs to go into the stock market. He actually
said it was going to come down to a 44-yard kick, and we are going
to have the wind at our back. That is why we kicked into the wind
in the third quarter."
The Browns (7-8), who ended a four-game losing slide, hadn't
beaten the Titans in six previous games dating to the 1995 season.
Tennessee's Eddie George topped 100 yards rushing for the first
time this season and his second touchdown of the game put the
Titans up 38-24 early in the fourth quarter.
Then Couch, the No. 1 pick in the 1999 draft, took control.
How big could a win like this be for Tim Couch and a young Browns team?
This was big for the Browns' offense and instilled some confidence that they can move the ball -- because all season, their offense has stunk.
In this game, finally, they showed some progress; they ran the ball, Couch threw the ball and some guys made plays.
If they can build on this next week and going into next season, it will be huge for the Browns. This is especially true for Couch, running back Jamel White and wide receiver Quincy Morgan.
ESPN.com's Vinny Cerrato was director of player personnel for the Redskins and 49ers.
He led the Browns to 17 unanswered points in the final 9:21, and
his 4-yard TD pass to Kevin Johnson with 5:37 left tied the game at
38. Couch threw for 137 yards in the final quarter, including a
78-yard slant to Quincy Morgan.
"Games like this are a step -- a huge step. These are big steps
for a quarterback to go out and orchestrate a win like Tim did
today," Davis said.
The Browns gave up 452 yards offense to the Titans, but they
stopped Tennessee when it mattered most with a pair of
The Titans admitted they relaxed. They had won an NFL-best 32
straight games when leading after three periods and had been 18-4
at Adelphia Coliseum.
"I thought we had it in hand," George said. "But you can
never count the other team out. They made the plays to get back in
it, and we didn't help our defense. We couldn't move the ball."
The Titans (7-8) hurt themselves repeatedly in the final
minutes. A personal foul by linebacker Keith Bulluck -- for putting
his hand in Couch's face mask on third-and-5 kept -- alive the
Browns' final drive. Dawson kicked his second field goal four plays
later for the winning margin.
Couch completed 20 of 27 passes, leading the Browns to a
season-high 409 yards offense. Jamel White scored two TDs.
"Tim Couch is a fine quarterback and is going to be a fine
quarterback in this league, and we made him a real good quarterback
today," Titans coach Jeff Fisher said. "Bottom line: You've got
to tackle in the National Football League, and we did not tackle
today. It's embarrassing."
It looked like an Arena League game early as the teams scored on
the first four possessions and went into halftime tied at 24.
Cleveland had its chance to take control in the second quarter with
the score tied at 14, when the Titans turned the ball over on two
straight drives. But the Browns only managed to get a field goal.
McNair completed his first nine passes and he had a career-high
228 yards through the first half. His 40-yard TD toss to Dyson late
in the first quarter put him over 3,000 yards passing for the
second time in his seven-year career.
George looked good on the opening drive of the third quarter. He
had struggled all year after offseason surgery on his right foot,
but he carried eight times for 58 yards on a drive he capped with a
7-yard TD run, his fourth of the year.
He also scored up the middle on a 20-yarder early in the fourth
quarter for a 38-24 lead after Andre Dyson's 35-yard interception
return. George finished with 26 carries for 130 yards.
Browns DE Courtney Brown missed his fourth straight game
with a sprained ankle. ... Johnson became the fourth Browns WR to
top 1,000 yards receiving in a season. He has 1,017 after six
catches for 70 yards. ... George's 30th 100-yard game of his career
came in his 94th NFL game. ... McNair's second TD toss gave him 20
for the season, making him the first quarterback to reach that mark
for the franchise since Warren Moon had 21 in 1993.
ESPN Browns reporter Pat McManamon explains that perennial Pro Bowl tackle knows the wear and tear on his body; if he needs a day off in OTAs and during the season, Cleveland Browns are wise to give it to him.
DeSean Jackson has missed too many voluntary workouts to collect his $500,000 bonus, but Washington isn't concerned about his absences.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck tried his hand at auto racing on Wednesday, doing a few laps with former Indy 500 champion Mario Andretti.
Broncos offensive lineman Ty Sambrailo will get a shot at guard this season, but the coaches know he also has the ability to play tackle.
New York Jets DT Sheldon Richardson is keeping a positive attitude regarding his offseason workouts and possible discipline from the NFL.
ESPN Jets reporter Rich Cimini says that with Ryan Fitzpatrick still unsigned, Geno Smith led the first-team offense and looked sharp on Wednesday and Smith said he sees this as an opportunity.