NFL throwback: Revisiting the Browns’ last victory over the Patriots in New England

A lot has modified because the Cleveland Browns‘ final win in New England. America has had 5 totally different presidents throughout that span. Cassette gamers have been in vogue. The web’s first webpage was nonetheless a yr away from creation. Tom Brady was a sophomore in highschool. 

One factor can be comparatively the identical when the Browns journey to New England for Sunday’s recreation between two 5-4 groups. The sport will once more contain Invoice Belichick, who was the Browns’ coach when Cleveland defeated winless New England halfway via the ’92 season. Since then, the Patriots have received the final six video games in opposition to the Browns in Foxborough. Belichick was the Browns’ coach for the primary loss and was the Patriots’ coach for the Browns’ final 5 losses in New England. 

Belichick was a 40-year-old, second-year head coach within the fall of 1992. A two-time Super Bowl successful defensive coordinator with the New York Giants, Belichick’s Browns went 6-10 in his first season and have been 3-3 in his second season heading into their Week 8 matchup with the Patriots. Belichick had managed to maintain the Browns at bay regardless of shedding beginning quarterback Bernie Kosar to a significant ankle harm that might in the end sideline him for eight video games. Kosar’s substitute was Mike Tomzcak, a 30-year-old veteran who had gone 21-10 in 31 begins because the Bears‘ quarterback from 1986-90. 

The Browns have been combating mediocrity, whereas the Patriots have been simply making an attempt to win a recreation. The franchise had fallen on onerous instances within the years following their shocking Tremendous Bowl run in 1985. 4 years after main the Patriots on their inconceivable Tremendous Bowl run, Raymond Berry was fired following a 5-11 season. His substitute, Rod Rust, was rapidly ousted after a 1-15 season in 1990. 

Dick MacPherson was lured away from Syracuse to teach the Patriots in 1991. However after an encouraging 6-10 season in 1991, MacPhearson’s crew misplaced their first six video games of the 1992 season. A turnover-happy offense was one of many largest contributors to the Patriots’ horrid begin. Quarterback play was additionally an ongoing problem, as New England began 4 totally different quarterbacks that season. 

At 4 p.m. on October 25, the 2 groups took the sector in entrance of simply 32,219 followers inside Foxboro Stadium. The Browns’ offense moved the ball within the recreation’s early levels however needed to accept three Matt Stover subject targets. Cleveland’s protection, which had gone 13 quarters with out giving up a landing, noticed that streak finish when Kevin Turner caught Hugh Millen’s slant cross and fought via a number of defenders earlier than reaching the tip zone. Ben Coates’ 22-yard landing reception within the third quarter gave the Patriots a 14-9 lead. 

Trailing 17-12, the Browns had one final likelihood to keep away from changing into the ’92 Patriots’ first sufferer. Tomczak ensured that Cleveland would keep away from that distinction after he discovered Scott Galbraith for a six-yard landing on a fourth-and-two play with 31 seconds left. Whereas Tomczak accomplished lower than half of his 29 makes an attempt, the Browns acquired a strong recreation from working again Tommy Vardell, who ran for 80 yards on 17 carries whereas serving to Cleveland management the ball for almost 35 minutes. 

Much like their first six losses, the Patriots coughed the ball up 4 instances whereas matching the worst begin in franchise historical past. The fourth turnover, a fumble by Millen with 3:54 left, arrange the Browns’ game-winning drive. 

“That is our hardest loss,” Millen said after the sport. 

Issues wouldn’t get a lot better for the 1992 Patriots. They’d lose their first 9 video games and would end with a 2-14 document. However issues would start to alter in 1993 with the hiring of Invoice Parcells, who led the Giants to Tremendous Bowl wins in 1986 and 1990. Robert Kraft, a former Patriots season ticket holder, bought the crew in 1994. Two years later, the Patriots have been within the Tremendous Bowl, with Belichick on workers as Parcells’ prime assistant coach. 

The ’92 Browns continued to dwell on the sting after their nail-biting win in New England. With Kosar again within the lineup, Cleveland received consecutive video games to maneuver to 7-6 and in place to seize its first playoff berth since 1989. However the Browns suffered three consecutive losses after Belichick’s offense mustered simply 41 factors over that span. Cleveland’s protection, led by defensive coordinator Nick Saban, set then-franchise information for sacks (48) and fewest touchdowns allowed. 

Cleveland’s 1993 crew began 5-2 earlier than stumbling to a 7-9 end. With strain to win mounting, Belichick’s crew lastly broke via in 1994, beginning 6-1 and ending with an 11-5 document. Going through his mentor within the wild card spherical, Belichick and the Browns acquired the higher of Parcells and the Patriots, 20-13. 

“In some respects, I believed I used to be enjoying myself defensively,” Parcells stated afterwords. 

The win can be Belichick’s excessive level in Cleveland. The Browns’ promising begin in 1995 was derailed by the announcement that the crew can be shifting to Baltimore on the finish of the season. Belichick was not retained and located a gentle touchdown spot with Parcells in New England. He turned the Patriots’ head coach 4 years later. The remaining, as they are saying, is historical past. 



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