The battle between two of the NFL's worst offenses lived up to its advance billing as the St. Louis Rams held on to a 13-12 lead to defeat the Cleveland Browns this Sunday.
On a blustery afternoon, Cleveland Browns kicker Phil Dawson carried his team with field goals of 27, 32, 43 and 44 yards, but he was frustrated on his shortest kick attempt of the day late in the fourth quarter. With 2:09 left in the game, Browns long snapper Ryan Pontbriand snapped the ball into the leg of center Alex Mack, causing it to skip back to holder Brad Maynard. Although Maynard pulled the ball down for an attempt, Dawson's timing was off and the kick fluttered wide left.
The Rams survived the loss of five players to injury, two turnovers and a crucial out-of-bounds penalty on their final kickoff. A 7-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Brandon Lloyd to start the second quarter and 128 rushing yards by running back Steven Jackson proved to be the only offense the Rams needed to win the game.
The only team in the NFL to not score a touchdown in the first or third quarters so far this season, the Browns tried a few creative plays to spark their sputtering offense--like a reverse to quarterback Colt McCoy in the second quarter. But they weren't enough to get the Browns into the end zone for a second straight home game. The loss dropped the Browns to 3-6 on the season, while the Rams improved to 2-7.
Photo: Plain Dealer