October 25, 2014

Medina
Partly cloudy
47°F

Browns notes: Cribbs races past Brown

CLEVELAND — Jim Brown is still known as the greatest Browns player of all-time, but he no longer holds one of the franchise’s oldest records.

Joshua Cribbs gained 192 all-purpose yards Sunday in Cleveland’s 20-7 win over San Francisco, allowing him to break Brown’s single-season team mark set 44 years ago.

Cribbs finished the campaign with 2,312 yards, while Brown had 2,131 en route to earning All-NFL honors in 1963. The Pro Bowl return specialist broke Brown’s record with a 53-yard runback on the 49ers’ first punt, then ran back their second boot 76 yards for a touchdown.

“I played a heck of a game today, and I was feeling it,” Cribbs said. “It felt great to score because that means I finally arrived as a good punt returner, not just an average returner.

“We love to step up to big challenges, and we knew they had the No. 1 special teams in the league until today. We love the challenge, and we were laughing in its face.”

Cribbs wound up with 135 yards on four punt returns, the second-highest total in team history, while his 76-yard TD was the seventh-longest individual runback. He averaged 13.5 yards on the year.

The former Kent State quarterback also had 57 yards on two kickoff returns, extending his team season marks for kick return yards (1,809) and average (30.7). He entered the day leading the NFL in KO return average, 2.0 yards ahead of Minnesota’s Aundrae Allison.

As if that wasn’t enough, Cribbs also made a game-high four special teams tackles against San Francisco.

“I can’t say enough about the guy, he’s a returning machine and a tackling machine,” Cleveland coach Romeo Crennel said. “I’m glad he’s on my team.”

Several other Browns made runs into the team record book in their season finale. Among them:

* Braylon Edwards added to his record for TD receptions with his 16th of the year and broke Webster Slaughter’s mark of 1,236 receiving yards from 1989. Edwards surpassed Slaughter on a 45-yard TD in the second quarter, winding up with 1,289 yards on 80 catches in his third season.

* Derek Anderson threw one touchdown, falling one short of Brian Sipe’s 30 in his NFL MVP year of 1980. “D.A.” had 3,787 yards on the campaign, finishing fifth on the team list behind Sipe (four times) and Bernie Kosar. Anderson also set an expansion-era record with an 82.5 passer rating.

* Phil Dawson scored eight points, giving him 120 and breaking Lou Groza’s team mark for kickers of 115 set in 1964. Dawson’s total tied running back Leroy Kelly (120 in 1968) for second place, trailing only Brown (126 in 1965).

* Jamal Lewis rushed for 128 yards, giving him 1,304 on the year and the seventh-best season in Browns history. Brown holds the top six spots on the list, topping 1,300 for the final time in 1965.

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BROWNIE BITS: Cleveland won its seventh straight home game to finish 7-1 at Cleveland Browns Stadium — its best-ever record on the lakefront. The Browns’ 10-6 overall mark represented their high-water mark since 1994. … Lewis recorded his fifth 100-yard rushing game of the season and surpassed the 9,000-yard plateau for his eight-year career. “We wanted to come in and finish off the season right, if that’s what happens and we don’t make the playoffs,” he said. … Kellen Winslow Jr. had three dropped passes but made a game-high four receptions, finishing with a team-leading 82. Edwards had 80 catches on the campaign, while Joe Jurevicius caught 50. … Willie McGinest and Leon Williams each had two sacks and D’Qwell Jackson had his first NFL putdown as 49ers quarterback Chris Weinke was dropped six times. Jackson also led the squad with nine tackles. … Leigh Bodden had an interception wiped out by a replay review. … Crennel’s career record improved to 20-28.

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SAN FRANCISCO TREATS: The 49ers finished 5-11, making them 16-32 in three years under coach Mike Nolan. “We are disappointed,” he said. “We thought we would be a better team, recordwise, at this point.” … Weinke made his first NFL start since Dec. 24, 2006, completing 13-of-22 passes for 104 yards and a TD pass to Darrell Jackson. … Running back Frank Gore was a workhorse, toting the ball 23 times for 94 yards. The rest of San Francisco’s team amassed 122 yards on 23 plays from scrimmage. … Ohio State product Nate Clements blocked a 22-yard field goal attempt by Dawson, and returned two punts for 1 yard. … Cornerback Tarell Brown left with a right knee injury and did not return. … Defensive tackle Bryant Young played his final NFL game, ending a fine 14-year career. He was the last player to leave the field, saying a prayer at the 50-yard line before taking a slow walk to the locker room.

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OUT OF ACTION: The Browns did not dress defensive end Orpheus Roye (foot), linebacker Antwan Peek (ankle), cornerback Ricardo Colclough, offensive linemen Isaac Sowells and Marvin Philip, wide receiver Travis Wilson, and defensive end Melila Purcell. Ken Dorsey was their third quarterback. Bobby Hamilton, who joined the team at mid-week, started in place of Roye. … San Francisco’s inactives were quarterbacks Trent Dilfer (concussion) and Shaun Hill (back), cornerbacks Marcus Hudson and Shawntae Spencer (quadriceps), linebacker Derek Smith, tackle Damane Duckett, wide receiver Jason Hill (groin) and defensive lineman Atiyyah Ellison. The 49ers added quarterback Drew Olson to their 45-man gameday roster to back up Weinke.

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HISTORY LESSON: The Browns are 11-6 against the 49ers in NFL games, as well as 7-2 in All-America Football Conference contests. Cleveland and San Francisco are the sole survivors from the AAFC, which ran from 1946-1949 before having three teams absorbed by the NFL. The third franchise to make the move, the Baltimore Colts, are not related to the current Colts team in Indianapolis. … With the 49ers having made their Cleveland Browns Stadium debut Sunday, the only teams that haven’t visited the nine-year-old facility are Dallas, Green Bay and Minnesota. Each will come to town in the next two seasons.

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EXTRA POINTS: The Browns extended their home sellout streak to 72 straight games with 73,041 fans in attendance. …The kickoff conditions were 35 degrees with light winds from the west. … Cleveland wore brown tops and white pants, while San Francisco sported white shirts and gold pants. … The Browns’ 2008 regular-season opponents have been finalized. They will host Indianapolis, Houston, Dallas, the New York Giants, Denver, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Baltimore. Cleveland also travels to Tennessee, Jacksonville, Philadelphia, Washington, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Baltimore.