Cleveland finally notches a victory over Baltimore

Monday, October 22, 2001

CLEVELAND -- Tim Couch threw two quick touchdown passes in the third quarter as Cleveland beat Baltimore 24-14 Sunday. It was the Browns' first win over the Ravens since returning to the league.

Cleveland's defense forced three turnovers, had seven sacks and dominated the Super Bowl champion Ravens (3-3), who are a shell of the team whose defense dominated the NFL last season.

The Browns (4-2) were 0-4 and outscored 116-26 since '99 against the Ravens and owner Art Modell, who broke Cleveland's collective heart when he moved his franchise to Baltimore following the 1995 season.

Couch was 11-of-18 for 149 yards and rookie James Jackson rushed for 77 yards and one TD for the Browns, whose biggest win in three years will be followed by an off week.

Baltimore's Matt Stover set an NFL record by making a field goal for the 32nd straight game but that was the lone bright spot for the Ravens, whose defense has given up 55 points the past two weeks after allowing 165 all last season.

FALCONS 20, SAINTS 13

NEW ORLEANS -- Chris Chandler threw touchdown passes of 57 and 39 yards to lead Atlanta.

The Saints (3-2), who had the NFL's fourth-ranked defense coming into the game, allowed 297 yards, 124 on the ground.

Atlanta (3-3), loser of two straight after Jamal Anderson was lost for the season, seems to have found a replacement in Maurice Smith, who gained 83 yards on 22 carries against New Orleans.

Chandler completed 14 of 20 passes for 187 yards. He was sacked twice and threw one interception.

Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks completed 23 of 39 passes for 249 yards and one touchdown. He was sacked five times and intercepted once.

Running back Ricky Williams, who was averaging 4.5 yards a carry, gained just 51 yards on 21 carries, a 2.4-yard average.

BEARS 24, BENGALS 0

CINCINNATI -- Anthony Thomas ran for a team rookie-record 188 yards and a touchdown as Chicago won its fourth straight game.

The Bears (4-1) are on their longest winning streak since 1995, the last time they made the playoffs. They're off to their best start since 1991, when they finished 11-5.

Thomas, a second-round draft pick who had not run for more than 58 yards in a game, darted through big holes on his 22 carries and wound up with the eighth-best rushing game in Bears history.

The crowd of 63,408 left early as the Bengals (3-3) were shut out at home for the first time in three years.

The Bears dominated every aspect and could have scored even more points. They missed a field goal, had another wiped out by a penalty and fumbled at the Bengals' 2-yard line, leaving them ahead only 10-0 at the half.

Chicago's defense, the NFL's stingiest, also was at the top of its game. Bengals running back Corey Dillon got only 30 yards on 16 carries.

STEELERS 17, BUCCANEERS 10

TAMPA, Fla. -- Jerome Bettis threw a 32-yard touchdown pass on a halfback option and ran for 143 yards and a TD as Pittsburgh (4-1) dominated Tampa Bay for its fourth win in a row.

The Steelers' top-ranked defense sacked Brad Johnson 10 times and intercepted one of his passes in the end zone.

The Bucs (2-3) scored on Johnson's 5-yard pass to Frank Murphy with 28 seconds remaining, then appeared to recover an onside kick at their 43 to give themselves another chance to come back.

The officials ruled that Tampa Bay's Brian Kelly leaped into the air and came down with the ball before it squirted loose when he landed on the ground.

The ruling was reversed after it was reviewed on instant replay and the Steelers ran out the clock to stay atop the AFC Central standings with their best start since 1996.

PATROITS 38, COLTS 17

INDIANAPOLIS -- David Patten became the first NFL player in exactly 22 years to run, catch and pass for touchdowns in the same game, to lead New England (3-3).

Patten caught four passes for 117 yards and two touchdowns, scored on a 29-yard run, and completed a pass to Troy Brown for a 60-yard TD.

Walter Payton was the last player with such a trifecta, doing it against Minnesota on Oct. 21, 1979.

Tom Brady, filling in for Drew Bledsoe again, was 16-for-20 for 202 yards and three touchdowns, with no interceptions.

Entering the game, Patten had touched the ball 19 times this season and hadn't scored once. The first time the wide receiver touched the ball Sunday, on an end-around on the Patriots' first play on offense, Patten ran 29 yards untouched into the end zone.

The Patriots easily defeated the Colts (2-3) -- widely considered a potential Super Bowl team -- for the second time in four weeks. New England beat Indianapolis 44-13 on Sept. 30.

The Colts lost their third consecutive game and their second straight at home for the first time since November 1998.

VIKINGS 35, PACKERS 13

MINNEAPOLIS -- Brett Favre threw for only 169 yards against Minnesota's poor pass defense a week after shredding one of the NFL's top Ds, while counterpart Daunte Culpepper threw for one score and ran for another to lead the Vikings.

Minnesota (3-3), which entered the game ranked 29th in the league against the pass, won for the eighth time in its last 10 home games against Green Bay (4-2).

Favre completed 21 of 35 passes with two touchdowns and an interception. Most of the yards, though, came in the fourth quarter with Green Bay far behind. It was strikingly different from his performance last week in a 31-23 victory over visiting Baltimore, when Favre went 27-of-34 for 337 yards with three TDs.

Culpepper was 18-for-27 for 184 yards through the air and ran nine times for 70 yards.

REDSKINS 17, PANTHERS 14

LANDOVER, Md. -- Brett Conway kicked a 23-yard field goal 1:52 into overtime to give coach Marty Schottenheimer his first victory with Washington. Both teams are 1-5.

With Washington trailing 14-0, LaVar Arrington's 67-yard interception return with 10:10 to play got the Redskins going, and Rod Gardner caught an 85-yard touchdown pass on Washington's next offensive play to tie the score with 7:25 left. Suddenly, in a three-minute span, the Redskins had more points than they had scored in any game all season.

Carolina running back Tshimanga Biakabutuka broke his foot in the fourth quarter after rushing for 121 yards and a touchdown. He is to have surgery today and most likely is out for the season.

The Panthers were undone by rookie Chris Weinke's four interceptions, including two inside the Redskins' 10-yard line in the first half. Weinke finished 28-of-35 for 226 yards.

Tony Banks completed 17 of 30 passes for 346 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Gardner had six catches for 208 yards.

TITANS 27, LIONS 24

PONTIAC, Mich. -- Joe Nedney kicked four field goals, including from 46 yards with five seconds left, for Tennessee.

Titans quarterback Steve McNair's 22-yard run set up the game-winning kick after Detroit (0-5) tied the game 24-all with 1:18 left. Tennessee has won two straight after starting the season 0-3.

Detroit, meanwhile, is off to its worst start since 1989, and a loss to Cincinnati at home next week would drop the Lions to 0-6 for the first time since 1955.

CHARGERS 27, BRONCOS 10

SAN DIEGO -- San Diego (4-2) forced two turnovers in Denver (3-3) territory in the second half, both setting up touchdown passes from Doug Flutie to Jeff Graham.

Flutie completed 21 of 32 passes for 280 yards and two TDs, with one interception. Rookie LaDainian Tomlinson, the NFL's second-leading rusher, was held to a season-low 58 yards on 25 carries.

Denver's Brian Griese, who came in with a sore right shoulder, threw two interceptions and was sacked four times. He was 26-of-41 for 212 yards and one touchdown.

CARDINALS 24, CHIEFS 16

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona's Corey Chavous intercepted Trent Green's pass in the end zone with one second to play after Kansas City had driven 97 yards from its own 1.

Michael Pittman rushed for 95 yards in 26 carries and caught four passes for 42 yards. His 24-yard touchdown run put Arizona (2-3) up for good 10-9 with 9:17 left in the third quarter. The Chiefs are 1-5.

Green completed 21 of 43 passes for 352 yards and a touchdown, but was intercepted twice.

-- From wire reports

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