Anderson threw two touchdown passes to Steve Heiden in the final
8:55 of regulation and then scrambled 33 yards in overtime to set
up Phil Dawson's 33-yard field goal, giving the Browns a 31-28
victory over the stunned Kansas City Chiefs.
Before coming in for the injured Charlie Frye, Anderson had
never thrown an NFL pass and had taken only one snap. However, the
23-year-old calmly rallied the Browns (4-8), who capped another
dysfunctional week with only their second December win at home
"This was a big, big win for our team," Anderson said. "Last
week was such a mess for us."
Dawson kicked his game-winner with 7:25 remaining in OT after
the gangly, 6-foot-6 Anderson sprinted right, broke a tackle near
the sideline and lumbered his way down to the Chiefs 12.
"He looked like Forrest Gump," wide receiver Joe Jurevicius
The Browns then ran the ball twice to move it between the hash
marks for Dawson, who booted Cleveland to its first OT win since
2002 -- one that should silence speculation about coach
Romeo Crennel's job.
Anderson was growing so fast as a kid in Oregon that his parents
had to order his sneakers from the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers,
who sent the family ones belonging to center Arvydas Sabonis.
Not only did he fill those, but he stepped smoothly into Frye's,
"I knew he could play like that," Browns running back
Jason Wright said. "I believe in him. I wasn't surprised, but I'm sure a
lot of people are."
Especially the Chiefs.
Trent Green threw four TD passes -- two to Tony Gonzalez -- for
Kansas City, which had its AFC playoff hopes severely damaged. The
Chiefs (7-5) led 28-14 with 8:55 to play in regulation after Green
hooked up with Gonzalez on a 23-yard strike.
But Anderson, Cleveland's third-string QB a year ago, brought
the Browns back to cap a bizarre week.
"The season isn't over, but we just made it a lot tougher,"
said Gonzalez, who had nine catches for 105 yards. "We played
well, we just didn't finish. We let one slip away."
Green, making his third start after missing eight games with a
concussion, was 24-of-32 for 297 yards. The Chiefs fell three games
behind San Diego in the AFC West.
"Now we need other teams to help us out," Green said. "That's
why this one is so disappointing."
The win was totally unexpected from the Browns, who were
embarrassed 30-0 by Cincinnati last week. The ugly loss was
compounded by wide receiver Braylon Edwards arguing with his
teammates on the sideline, a disturbing scene that led to talk that
Crennel was down to his final days.
But there was no finger-pointing as Edwards caught a TD pass and
kept his mouth shut until after the game.
"This shows what kind of team we have," Edwards said. "When
we play on all cylinders and don't get caught up in everything
else, we can play."
However, things didn't look good for the Browns when Frye came
out after halftime wearing a brace and without his shoulder pads.
Anderson, though, rode in to the rescue.
Frye got hurt on Cleveland's first series. He went for X-rays
before returning to guide the Browns to a tying TD just before
halftime. Following the game, Frye was vague about the extent of
"I tried to fight it off for a while," said Frye, who also hurt his left ankle on the same play. "At halftime, the trainer pulled the plug on it. I should know tomorrow just how serious it is."
Tight end Kellen Winslow blurted out that Frye's wrist was broken, but later backtracked on his claim.
"I don't know," Frye said. "I'm heading to the [Cleveland]
That will change if his wrist is broken, and even if it's not, Frye will not likely be ready to play Thursday night when the Browns (4-8) visit the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Crennel said Frye will be evaluated Monday at the Cleveland Clinic and the club will have more information on his injury after more tests are completed.
With Cleveland down by 14 and appearing to be on its way to
another lopsided loss, Anderson hooked up with Heiden for a 6-yard
score to pull the Browns within 28-21. The pair connected again to
tie it with 35 seconds left.
In OT, Anderson completed a 26-yard pass to Winslow -- his only
reception. Then, following a sack, Anderson rolled out, and without
anyone to throw to, took off on his memorable jaunt.
As he neared the sideline, Anderson shook off Chiefs safety Greg
Wesley's tackle and kept his legs churning "on the longest run
I've had since high school. I just wanted to keep going until I got
When Dawson's kick sailed through, several Browns leaped into
the Dawg Pound to celebrate.
"It's everything," said Jurevicius, a Cleveland native who
signed as a free agent to play for his hometown team. "This is the
stuff I remember from the old Browns Stadium. This is what I came
Bobby Martin, a former Dayton high school football player
born without legs, joined the Browns during player introductions.
On Saturday, he visited the team's training facility and even
worked out with the team. "I taught them everything I could," he
said. ... Gonzalez's 61 career TDs are the second most for a tight
end, one behind Shannon Sharpe. ... The Browns are just 2-14 at
home in December since '99.
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