Browns avoid 0-16, beat Chargers on missed field goal

Browns avoid 0-16, beat Chargers on missed field goal


CLEVELAND -- On the verge of infamy and more embarrassment, the Browns triumphed.

Forget 0-16.

Two losses from an imperfect season, the Browns survived a last-second field goal attempt and got their first victory of the season after 14 losses on Saturday by beating the San Diego Chargers 20-17.

San Diego's Josh Lambo missed a 45-yard field goal as time expired, giving the Browns (1-14) their first win in 377 days.

When the kick sailed right, Cleveland's small crowd erupted in celebration and Browns players poured off their sideline as if they had just won the Super Bowl. Several players dropped to the turf in disbelief and relief.

The Browns avoided becoming the second team to go 0-15, and no longer have to worry about joining the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only teams to lose all 16 games.

Cleveland built 10-point lead in the third quarter and hung on - defensive tackle Jamie Meder blocked a potential tying field goal with 3:49 left - to give coach Hue Jackson his first win with the Browns.

The win also snapped Cleveland's 17-game losing streak dating to last season.

The Chargers (5-10) lost their fourth straight and one that could sting for a while.

It took everything the Browns had, and some help from the Chargers, for Cleveland to finally come away with a victory following weeks of injuries and losses.

Quarterback Robert Griffin III sustained a concussion in the fourth quarter, focing Jackson to bring in rookie Cody Kessler for the final 10 minutes.

Isaiah Crowell had two touchdown runs for the Browns, who couldn't come up with a clinching first down. They punted the ball back to San Diego and Philip Rivers with 1:46 left.

Without any timeouts, Rivers, who threw for two touchdowns and 322 yards, converted on fourth down by hitting Antonio Gates. He drove the Chargers to Cleveland's 28 with 28 seconds left.

But unable to stop the clock, the Chargers had to rush their field goal unit out. The normally reliable Lambo pushed his kick right.

The Chargers had nine sacks, but hurt themselves with nine penalties for 92 yards.

Not accustomed to having the lead at any point, the Browns extended theirs to 20-10 in the third quarter on Cody Parkey's 27-yard field goal. But the Chargers finally found some offensive rhythm and responded with an 11-play, 75-yard drive, Rivers connecting with Tyrell Williams from the 1.


Both teams sustained multiple injuries, with Griffin and Browns cornerback Joe Haden the most significant players to go down. A Pro Bowl alternate, Haden, who was already playing with two groin injuries, hurt his neck in the third quarter and did not return.

San Diego linebacker Denzel Perryman sustained a leg injury in the fourth quarter and was taken from the field on a cart.


There was a scary moment in the first quarter when Perryman and safety Jahleel Addae collided.

Perryman was attempting to tackle running back Duke Johnson but missed and instead walloped Addae with his helmet. The crowd gasped at the violent impact and both players were dazed and required medical attention.

Addae took the worst of the blow and spent several minutes on the field before being helped up and walking off under his own power. He returned in the second quarter.


Chargers: host Kansas City in what could be the final game at Qualcomm Stadium with San Diego owner Dean Spanos considering a move to Los Angeles.

Browns: visit Pittsburgh in the season finale.

Aldon Smith back in custody after police say he violated restraining order


Aldon Smith back in custody after police say he violated restraining order

SAN FRANCISCO — Former Oakland Raiders player Aldon Smith surrendered to police Friday on charges he violated a domestic violence restraining order.

San Francisco police said the 28-year-old Smith turned himself and was booked on three misdemeanor charges of violating a court order to stay away from a domestic violence victim.

Earlier this month, Smith pleaded not guilty to domestic violence and other charges and a judge issued a protective order prohibiting him from contacting the victim.

Police said Smith violated the restraining order earlier this week.

Smith’s attorney, Joshua Bentley, did not return a voicemail message from The Associated Press seeking comment.

The Raiders released the linebacker days after his arrest on the domestic violence charges.

He had been on the suspended list since late 2015 for violating the NFL’s policy on substance abuse.

Raiders retain E.J. Manuel, now have four QBs on the roster


Raiders retain E.J. Manuel, now have four QBs on the roster

The Raiders have a lot of quarterbacks under contract, certainly more than they’ll have come September.

That means the battle to be Derek Carr’s backup should be fierce. EJ Manuel had that title last year, with a shot to retain it after re-signing with the club on Thursday afternoon.

Veteran Josh Johnson signed up Monday, and those two will join third-year man Connor Cook behind Carr on the depth chart.

New head coach Jon Gruden loved Cook coming out of the draft, but the Michigan State alum failed to earn the backup job last season and must make a move up the depth chart to kickstart his career.

Manuel has a strong arm and starting experience, making him a steady and solid backup option. He completed 24-of-43 passes for 265 yards, a touchdown and an interception in two games when Carr was hurt.

Johnson might be a camp arm at this point, though he’ll be given a chance to compete this spring and summer.

Carr has been hurt for at least a small stretch in each of the last two seasons. Having Manuel in that spot might offer stability.

Gruden addressed last year’s backup quarterbacks last month at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Gruden on Manuel: “I think EJ is a young, talented guy,” Gruden said. “He’s been in the facility working out on his own every day. There is a bright upside to him, too, as a young quarterback to keep working with. He’s a free agent, but the Philadelphia Eagles proved that’s a pretty damn important position, isn’t it? Right? So we have to address that and see where we are.”

Gruden on Cook: “I am kind of surprised Connor hasn’t played in two years, other than the playoff game he got in as a rookie. After Derek got hurt last year, they turned the ball to EJ. I don’t know where Connor Cook is. I am frustrated right now that I can’t spend any time with him, but, April 9th (when the Raiders offeseason program starts) will be an exciting day for me and Connor Cook.”