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Browns Browns Archive BROWNIE BITS: Week 13
Written by Jonathan Knight

Jonathan Knight

brownie_bitsUseless nuggets of information from Sunday’s Browns game that you can certainly live without…

LIKE THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN: After winning the first game they ever played in Miami in October of 1970, the Browns went 40 years before winning their second on Sunday. Over that stretch, they lost five straight, including a pair of playoff games (1972, 1985). Until Sunday they had never won a game in four tries in Sun Life Stadium (formerly Pro Player Stadium, Joe Robbie Stadium, Dolphin Stadium, Caste Grayskull, etc.). Yet their average margin of defeat over the losing streak was just 4.4 points per game.

COFFIN CORNERS: Reggie Hodges continued his quietly superb season, compiling a net average of 43.3 yards on nine punts on Sunday, including placing two inside the Miami 20. For the season, he now has put 23 punts inside the 20, tied for fifth-most in the NFL, and his net average for the season (39.4) also puts him in fifth place in the league.

THE STREAK CONTINUES: By once again grabbing a lead, the Browns extended their string to 17 consecutive games in which they’ve led at some point, tying the fourth-best streak in Browns history that lasted from December 1959 to October of 1961. They’ll now shoot for No. 3 – a string of 22 consecutive games from October of 1964 to December of 1965.

DAWSON’S TARGET: Sunday further underlined that Phil Dawson’s magic number is 45 yards. This season he’s made 17 of 18 field goal attempts from 45 yards or shorter (including 17 straight), but just one of five kicks beyond 45 yards.

By the way, Dawson’s last kick was the 14th game-winner he’s kicked in his career.

MIAMI MISERIES: When you add in the Browns’ two losses in the meaningless “Playoff Bowl” following the 1960 and 1963 seasons to their lousy overall record in Miami, combined with the the Indians’ and Cavaliers’ usual miseries in South Florida, Cleveland teams have an all-time record of 19-40 in the city of Miami, a winning percentage of .322.

PEYTON’S PACE: It was no day at the beach for Peyton Hillis. With the Miami defense keying on him all day, Hillis fought his way for 57 tough yards on 18 carries, a 3.2 average, along with seven receptions for a tame 22 yards. Now with 962 rushing yards on the season, Hillis still has a good shot at topping 1,200 and an outside chance at hitting 1,300.          

He stands at 10th in the league in rushing yardage and remains tied for second in rushing touchdowns.

HANGING ON: For the ninth time this season, the Browns held a lead in the fourth quarter. They improved their record in these games to 5-4.

TRIPLE DIGITS THROUGH THE AIR: Ben Watson became the first Browns’ receiver to pick up 100 yards in a game since Mohamed Massaquoi collected 115 in Detroit in November of 2009.

COMING ATTRACTIONS?: Since the alarm clock appeared to go off for the Browns under Eric Mangini in Week 14 last year, they’ve now played the equivalent of a 16-game season. Over the course of this “season,” the Browns look far more impressive than their overall numbers from either 2009 or 2010 alone would attest:

Record: 9-7

Average points scored per game: 20.6

Average points allowed per game: 19.1

Average total yards gained per game: 323

Average total yards allowed per game: 369

Sacks collected: 41

Sacks allowed: 32

Turnover ratio: Plus-10

THIRD-DOWN TROUBLES: A bugaboo all season, the Browns hit rock bottom on third-down conversions on Sunday, coming through just twice on 14 attempts (14.3%). Over the past two games, their tally on third/fourth down is a troubling six for 26 (23.1%).

 While it was far from a stellar offensive performance, the Browns’ ability to improve in the second half was a welcome development after a season-long trend of watching the reverse. After a woeful first two periods that saw them pick up just 79 total yards and only four first downs, in the second half, the Browns tallied 173 yards and eight first downs. Conversely, after Miami picked up 160 yards in the first half, the Dolphins were held to a modest 121 in the second.

WHAT HE WAS BROUGHT HERE TO DO: For as much as the Browns’ offense struggled with him at the controls much of the day, statistically Jake Delhomme had the best day of any Cleveland quarterback all season. His quarterback rating of 97.3 was the best single-game score of the year and raised his overall season rating to 65.6.  While his passes were generally short (averaging just nine yards per completion), he completed more than 70% and, most importantly, didn’t throw an interception.

ENDING A DROUGHT: Delhomme’s third-quarter touchdown pass to Ben Watson was his first scoring toss since Week One against Tampa Bay – his first in 113 attempts.

STILL TAKING MORE THAN GIVING: With the trio of picks – and no turnovers by their own offense – the Browns’ turnover ratio for the year improved to plus-10.

THE MEAT-GRINDER: Of the Browns’ 12 games, only two have been against teams that currently possess a losing record.

WHERE WE RANK: Offensively the Browns come in at 25th in the NFL this week (5.1 yards per play) while holding steady at No. 16 defensively (5.3 yards per play). In terms of points per game, offensively we’re 26th (19.1) while defensively we’re 12th (19.9).

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