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Loss ruins good day for offense



Published: Mon, September 9, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Browns kicker Phil Dawson has made 19 straightfield goals.

VINDICATOR STAFF REPORT

CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Browns passers -- none of whom were named Tim Couch -- tossed four touchdowns to wide-open receivers in Sunday's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

"They did an excellent job of breaking down our defense with their play action," Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil said.

Filling in for Couch, quarterback Kelly Holcomb threw scoring passes to Dennis Northcutt, Andre Davis and Quincy Morgan.

And on a trick play, wide receiver Kevin Johnson took the ball on an end-around then fired to an unguarded Morgan in the end zone.

Still, those scores plus four field goals by Phil Dawson weren't enough.

"I'm happy with the way Kelly played," Browns coach Butch Davis said. "The offense carried us and put us in position to win. We just didn't make the plays on defense.

"Games are won and lost on the number of bad plays you commit," Davis said. "We sure had our share of bad plays today."

Taking advantage

Chiefs' mistakes contributed to the Browns' offensive outburst that saw them open up a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter.

On the first possession, Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez stumbled, setting up an easy Daylon McCutcheon interception that led to Dawson's 20-yard field goal. Penalties assessed to Chiefs defensive backs Greg Wesley (unsportsmanlike conduct) and Taje Allen (pass interference) set up Dawson's second field goal, a 32-yarder.

The Kansas City secondary broke down twice in the second quarter. On the first play, Northcutt ran unnoticed through the secondary and hauled in Holcomb's 43-yard pass to put the Browns ahead 13-7.

Following a Kansas City touchdown, the Browns stunned the Chiefs as Johnson, who played quarterback in high school, took the ball from Holcomb on an end-around, then hit Morgan for the 20-14 lead.

The lead grew to 13 points halfway through the third quarter when Holcomb drove the Browns 80 yards, capping the drive with a 4-yard toss to wide receiver Andre Davis alone in the middle of the end zone. His final scoring toss was to Morgan who raced untouched for a 46-yard score after Chiefs cornerback William Bartee fell.

Not satisfied

Despite accumulating the second-highest yardage totals since the Browns returned to the NFL in 1999, Holcomb said he was far from satisfied.

"I feel terrible," said Holcomb after his second career start. "And I'm sure everyone in [this] lockerroom feels terrible. We played our guts out for 60 minutes -- we need to come out of here with a win from that. All that matters is that we lost the game."

Dawson's 4-for-4 day gives him 19 consecutive field goals, good for second place in franchise history. Dawson passed Don Cockroft (16) and trails only Matt Stover (23).

As well as Holcomb and his receivers played, the Browns' running game was once again non-existent. Starting running back Jamel White gained 42 yards on 12 carries. First-round pick William Green had 17 yards on eight tries.

"Our offense showed that we can put up some points," White said. "It is frustrating to lose any game, but this is even harder."




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