(Sunday, September 25th)
Final Score: Cleveland 17, Miami 16
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Colt McCoy's touchdown throw to Mohamed Massaquoi with 43 seconds left in the fourth quarter lifted the Cleveland Browns to a 17-16 victory over the still-winless Miami Dolphins.
A field goal by Dan Carpenter had the Dolphins leading 16-10 with 3:23 left in the game, but Cleveland took over and started driving. After reaching the Miami 14 and calling timeout with 48 seconds left, McCoy lofted a pass to the right side of the end zone, and Massaquoi leaped to make the catch.
The extra point put the Browns ahead, and Mike Adams intercepted Chad Henne on the ensuing possession to secure the win for Cleveland (2-1), which was coming off last week's win in Indianapolis.
"We got into the two-minute offense and guys got open and made plays," McCoy said. "It's a great feeling, a great win."
McCoy completed only 19 of his 39 attempts, but was 9-of-14 during the game- winning drive. He finished with 210 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for the Browns, who won despite missing starting running back Peyton Hillis because of an illness.
Henne was 19-of-29 for 255 yards and a touchdown, but couldn't lead the Dolphins (0-3) to their first win of the season, likely leaving head coach Tony Sparano on the hot seat.
Miami outgained Cleveland, 369-280, but struggled to convert the yardage into points. The Dolphins also had penalty trouble, incurring 10 flags for 93 yards, while fumbling twice and losing one.
"It's frustrating," Henne said. "We were moving the ball, but we hurt ourselves with penalties and turnovers."
Stalled drives led to four field goal attempts by Carpenter, who converted three of them.
His 38-yarder late in the fourth quarter came after Miami reached the 20 and stalled, thanks to a zero-yard rush by Reggie Bush and a Henne incompletion.
McCoy completed his first five passes of the Browns' ensuing drive, and converted a fourth down with a 10-yard pass to Montario Hardesty, who started in place of Hillis.
That brought the ball to the Miami 27, and inside of a minute to play, McCoy converted a third down with an eight-yard pass to tight end Evan Moore. He followed it with the pass to Massaquoi.
Henne wasn't able to lead the Dolphins into field goal range, despite the fact that they started the drive at the Cleveland 47 -- the Browns were penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct after their touchdown and for a horse collar tackle on the kickoff return. Henne threw three incompletions before being picked off.
However, Henne started the game strongly, leading Miami to a touchdown on its second possession.
Thanks to Jimmy Wilson's interception of McCoy, the Dolphins started a drive at the Cleveland 43.
Miami picked up a big chunk of yardage with Henne's 26-yard connection to Anthony Fasano, bringing the ball to the 13. After Daniel Thomas ran for three yards, he caught the touchdown pass.
The play unfolded after Henne faked a handoff to Thomas, then faked another handoff to Brandon Marshall. By that point Thomas was open on the right side of the field, made the catch and sprinted into the end zone.
The Dolphins had several chances to expand their lead, but couldn't capitalize.
They were deep in Browns territory later in the first quarter when Bush fumbled after being hit from the side by Cleveland lineman Jayme Mitchell. The ball popped out and Mitchell grabbed it.
The Browns ended up punting and Miami marched back onto Cleveland's side of the field, but Carpenter's 51-yard field goal faded to the left.
That miss led to the Browns' first points. Starting from their own 41, they initially moved backward and faced a 3rd-and-12 before McCoy gained a first down with a 13-yard throw to Benjamin Watson.
After Cleveland advanced to the Miami 33, McCoy went for the score, rolling out and lobbing a long toss to the right side of the end zone. Cornerback Sean Smith was a step or two behind Cribbs and had stopped to turn around, looking for the pass.
By the time he saw it was sailing over his head, Cribbs had jumped to make the catch. The receiver held onto the ball as Smith scrambled back, making it a 7-7 game.
The Dolphins, however, headed into the locker room with the lead thanks to a 23-yard Carpenter kick with 27 seconds left. Miami had a 1st-and-goal at the eight, but failed to gain more than three yards.
The teams opened the third quarter with promising drives, but both ended in a field goal.
Cleveland had a 2nd-and-2 at the Miami 12, but Hardesty was stuffed on a run and McCoy's pass to Watson was incomplete, forcing the Browns to settle for a 30-yarder by Phil Dawson.
On its ensuing drive, Henne's 38-yard pass to Brian Hartline put Miami at the seven-yard line. But on 3rd-and-goal from the five, Marshall was called for unnecessary roughness, and Carpenter made a 41-yarder to give the Dolphins a 13-10 edge.
Hardesty finished with 67 rushing yards...Thomas had 95 yards on the ground and 27 yards on three receptions...Miami was 1-for-3 in red zone opportunities.
09/25 20:32:22 ET
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