Suggs sparks Browns in first game of season

CLEVELAND (AP) -- The pain finally subsided in Lee Suggs' neck
long enough to take some hurt out of Cleveland's bruised season.

Suggs, who sat out Cleveland's first three games with a neck
stinger, rushed for 82 yards and scored a touchdown in the fourth
quarter, leading the Browns to a 17-13 win over the Washington
Redskins on Sunday.

From his first carry of the season, a 25-yard burst in the first
quarter, the speedy Suggs gave the Browns (2-2) the spark their
ground game had been missing.

"Man it's good to have him back," said tight end Aaron Shea,
who had a 15-yard TD catch in the third quarter.

The Browns, who lost starters Kellen Winslow Jr. and Courtney
Brown for the year with injuries, were in danger of digging a deep
early season hole and desperate for a win.

And although it certainly wasn't a thing of beauty, they got

"We just had to have this, we needed a win," said defensive
end Kenard Lang. "It's really big. Look at me, I'm smiling now.
I'm just happy that we won."

Jeff Garcia went 14-of-21 for 195 yards and a TD for the Browns,
who didn't secure the win until Washington's Laveranues Coles
fumbled with 2:08 left.

The Redskins (1-3) can pin their third straight loss on going
just 1-for-11 on third downs, mental mistakes and a costly fumble
by Clinton Portis on the first play after halftime that allowed
Cleveland to quickly tie it.

"My fumble changed the momentum," Portis said. "All of a
sudden, we lost control of the game."

Mark Brunell couldn't get it back as Washington's offense
sputtered again behind its new quarterback. Brunell finished
17-of-38 for 192 yards, but was unable to get into any rhythm
because Cleveland's defense shut down Portis and the Washington
coach's headsets and sideline phones were malfunctioning.

"It made it tough to communicate," Brunell said. "We had to
go to hand signals. But the headsets didn't cause the fumbles or
the overthrown passes. We made mistakes."

Clinging to their four-point lead, the Browns faked a field
goal, but holder Derrick Frost was stopped short of a first down.
Brunell then completed a 13-yard pass to Coles, who fumbled as he
was being taken down and Browns safety Earl Little recovered.

"I fumbled the game away for us," Coles said.

Garcia, who played poorly in Cleveland's two previous losses,
then only had to kneel down because the Redskins had used up their
timeouts, which also was a problem in last week's loss to Dallas.

Other than his 25-yarder the first time he touched it, Suggs
wasn't very flashy -- just efficient.

"He did a great job, finding creases, using his fullback and
creating positive runs," Garcia said. "It's nice to finally have
our backfield at full strength."

With the Browns down 13-10, Suggs ripped off a 14-yard run as
Cleveland drove for the go-ahead score and Garcia completed a huge
third-down pass to Quincy Morgan.

A few plays later, Garcia lofted a 26-yard pass to uncovered
Andre' Davis to the Washington 3. Suggs then pushed in to make it
17-13, the first rushing TD by a Cleveland back this season.

Suggs, who had his neck wrenched during practice last month,
spent the past three Sundays watching and waiting for his chance to
help. At last on the field, Suggs had to pick up a blitzing
linebacker on his first play, a moment that tested his strength and
convinced him he could take a hit.

"It was good to get that out of the way," he said. "After
that, I didn't even think about it."

Trailing 10-3, the Browns were booed as they left the field for
halftime. Garcia, yet to lead the club to a first-half TD, went
just 4-for-8 for 64 yards -- 37 on one play -- in the first 30

But Cleveland got a break when Portis fumbled on the first play
of the third quarter and Andra Davis recovered at the 31.

Garcia capitalized, using three short rollout passes, the last
to Shea, who ran untouched until he got to the goal line, where he
plowed through a pile.

"I turned, no one was on me and I saw the end zone. I was like,
'I'm getting in there," said Shea, scoring his first TD since
2000. "Nothing was going to stop me."

Game notes
Coles had seven catches for 122 yards. ... Winslow, out for
the season with a broken leg, attended the game on crutches.
Winslow had a second surgery this week and will need four to five
months to recover. ... Cleveland leads the all-time series 33-9-1.
... Washington's offensive line did not give up a sack after
yielding nine in the past two games.


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