Final

Texans 17

(1-5, 0-3 away)

Browns 34

(3-4, 2-2 home)

Coverage: CBS

4:05 PM ET, October 20, 2002

 

1 2 3 4 T
HOU 0 7 10 017
CLE 0 7 17 1034

Browns sack Carr nine times in victory

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Tim Couch's only big mistake was misjudging the height of the wall.

Allen's Analysis
Eric Allen
Question on the Texans: Other than wins, what goals does Houston set for the rest of the year?
Keep QB David Carr healthy, for one. Plus, they can build some character and keep a positive attitude. They need veterans who have been through tough losing stretches with other teams to let the younger guys know what it takes to break through and reach the mountaintop.

Question on the Browns: Could this be a momentum builder for them?
It was a win they had to have. To become a good team, you need to beat the teams you're supposed to beat. Time will tell if it gives them any lasting momentum.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.

Couch, booed by Cleveland fans in his previous home game, threw a 25-yard TD pass to Quincy Morgan and the Browns sacked David Carr nine times in a 34-17 win Sunday over the Houston Texans.

After hooking up with Morgan, Couch tried to jump into the crowd to celebrate with some of the same fans who drove him to tears by booing him two weeks ago.

But Couch didn't quite make his leap, as his teammates reminded him after the game.

"They said, 'We thought you were Mr. Kentucky in basketball, but you've got no hops,''' Couch said with a laugh. "It was great to win and get the fans back on our side.''

Cleveland rookie Andre Davis had a crucial 95-yard kickoff return for a TD, and William Green scored on a 1-yard run as the Browns (3-4) snapped a three-game losing streak.

Phil Dawson kicked two field goals for Cleveland, which broke out new, orange jerseys.

"We needed a win,'' coach Butch Davis said. "We needed a win at home. We needed to stop the bleeding.''

The first-year Texans (1-5) had their chances. But quarterback David Carr twice overthrew a wide-open Corey Bradford, and Houston made too many mistakes to pull off the upset.

The Texans have lost five straight.

"We had too many sacks and negative plays,'' coach Dom Capers said. "We had some plays in our hands that we didn't make.''

Former Cleveland coach Chris Palmer, now the Texans' offensive coordinator, had a solid game plan but Houston's line didn't give Carr time to make it work.

Still, Palmer said his return to Cleveland was rewarding.

"It was great to see so many friends,'' he said. "Cleveland was a special place for me and I hold it dear to my heart.''

Two weeks ago, Couch tearfully reacted to fans for first booing and then cheering after he sustained a concussion in a loss to Baltimore.

Couch heard a few more boos when the Browns left the field tied 7-7 at halftime. But the former No. 1 overall draft pick won the fans over by completing 12 of 17 passes for 86 yards and the TD after halftime.

He went 9-for-10 in the third quarter, and helped spring Jamel White for a 36-yard run in the fourth. White reversed field and picked up a block from Couch, who was able to screen two Houston defenders.

"I owed it to him,'' said Couch, who overthrew White on two earlier plays. "I just tried to throw myself in the way.''

Couch finished 21-of-31 for 148 yards, and didn't throw an interception for the first time in 13 games.

"I needed it a lot,'' Couch said. "I'm just glad to win here at home. We wanted to take care of the ball and not make mistakes.''

Couch sensed that Browns fans wanted to put the ugliness of the Baltimore game behind them when he came out for warmups.

"It was all positive,'' he said. "It was a boost for all of us, not just me.''

Carr, the No. 1 pick this year, went 22-of-36 for 267 yards but constantly had to scramble out of trouble. He has been sacked 40 times this season.

"It's three things,'' Carr said. "I have to get the ball off, the line has to protect and receivers have to get open. On every sack, it's one, two or three of those things. I take the blame, too.''

The Browns went 13 quarters without a sack before exploiting an inexperienced Houston line.

Palmer, who rarely showed much imagination while doubling as offensive coordinator while in Cleveland, called a trick play that helped the Texans take a 14-10 lead in the third.

Wide receiver Jabar Gaffney lined up in the backfield, and after taking the pitch he threw it downfield to Bradford for a 39-yard TD.

The Texans had the lead for only 13 seconds.

Davis caught the ensuing kickoff at the 5 and worked his way to the left sideline. He used a head fake to get by kicker Kris Brown and leapt into Cleveland's Dawg Pound after putting the Browns ahead 17-14.

"Everything went right on that,'' Davis said. ``Everybody hit their blocks and I used my speed. It helped jump start the team.''

Game notes


Browns DE Courtney Brown hyperextended his right elbow in the third quarter. CB Corey Fuller strained a hamstring in the first half and didn't return. ... The Browns became the 11th team in NFL history to win 400 games. Cleveland's all-time mark is 400-325-20. ... The Browns honored their 1950 NFL title team during halftime ceremonies. Among those in attendance were Hall of Famers Otto Graham, Dante Lavelli and Bill Willis. ... Houston's most serious injury appears to be cornerback Pat Dennis, who sprained his left knee in the second quarter covering a punt.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Scoring Summary

THIRD QUARTERHOUCLE
cleTD8:44Touchdown
Drive info: 0 plays, 0 yds, 0:00
1416
cle8:31
Drive info: 0 plays, 0 yds, 0:00
1417
FOURTH QUARTERHOUCLE
cleTD2:00Jamel White, 2 yd run
Drive info: 2 plays, 4 yds, 0:35
1733
SECOND QUARTERHOUCLE
houTD12:41Touchdown
Drive info: 4 plays, 62 yds, 0:37
67
FOURTH QUARTERHOUCLE
cle2:00
Drive info: 2 plays, 4 yds, 0:35
1734
SECOND QUARTERHOUCLE
hou12:41
Drive info: 4 plays, 62 yds, 0:37
77
THIRD QUARTERHOUCLE
houTD9:03Touchdown
Drive info: 5 plays, 70 yds, 0:37
1310
SECOND QUARTERHOUCLE
cleTD14:23William Green, 1 yd run
Drive info: 5 plays, 13 yds, 13:28
06
THIRD QUARTERHOUCLE
hou9:03
Drive info: 5 plays, 70 yds, 0:37
1410
cleTD3:22Touchdown
Drive info: 6 plays, 60 yds, 2:14
1723
SECOND QUARTERHOUCLE
cle14:23
Drive info: 5 plays, 13 yds, 13:28
07
THIRD QUARTERHOUCLE
cle3:22
Drive info: 6 plays, 60 yds, 2:14
1724
cleFG10:30Phil Dawson 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 7 plays, 45 yds, 2:20
710
houFG5:48Kris Brown 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 8 plays, 35 yds, 1:59
1717
FOURTH QUARTERHOUCLE
cleFG5:46Phil Dawson 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 9 plays, 31 yds, 3:57
1727