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Cleveland at Buffalo

Field goal brings merciful end to Browns' victory over Bills

CBSSports.com wire reports

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- In a game that could only be considered an instant classic on Comedy Central, leave it to punter Dave Zastudil to help secure the Cleveland Browns' first victory of the season.

Just don't tell the Browns that their 6-3 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday was in any way ugly.

"The way it turned out, I thought it was beautiful," coach Eric Mangini said of his first win with Cleveland. "It's great. It's fantastic. I couldn't be happier."

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Postgame reports: Browns | Bills

Zastudil landed seven of nine punts inside the Bills 20. That included his last one, a difficult-to-pick-up roller that Roscoe Parrish muffed, allowing the Browns to take over at the Buffalo 16. Seven plays later -- and after Jamal Lewis was stopped inches from the goal line on third-and-goal from the 3 -- backup kicker Billy Cundiff hit an 18-yard field goal with 23 seconds remaining.

In a fitting conclusion to an error-filled game, Zastudil acknowledged he didn't strike the decisive punt cleanly.

"I mis-hit it just a little bit," Zastudil said. "But looking back, it was the best punt of the night because they fumbled it."

Cleveland (1-4) snapped a 10-game losing streak, one short of matching the franchise worst, the same week the team traded star receiver Braylon Edwards to the New York Jets.

It's impossible to know whether Edwards could have helped in a game that lived down to its billing as a Misery Loves Company Bowl.

Buffalo (1-4) has now lost 12 of 15, including consecutive games to winless teams following a 38-10 defeat at Miami. Its offense continues to look anemic and coach Dick Jauron's back on the hot seat.

"I don't know -- that's not a question to ask me," Jauron said of his job status.

Bills owner Ralph Wilson was in attendance, but did not address reporters after the game. General manager Russ Brandon declined to comment on Jauron.

"Obviously, this is a low point for the organization and the fan base," Brandon said. "This is not where we expected to be right now."

Receiver Lee Evans shook his head when asked if he believes Jauron will be fired.

"I hope not," Evans said. "That's not going to solve anything."

Penalties cost the Bills. They were flagged 13 times for 75 yards -- including a whopping nine false-start violations.

Linebacker Marcus Buggs was penalized for jumping the snap to sack Derek Anderson on a third-and-7. On the next play, Joshua Cribbs had a 31-yard gain to set up Cundiff's 24-yard field goal that opened the scoring.

Parrish had a tough day, too. Aside from his fumble, he made the wrong decision in fielding a punt at his own 42 on the final play of the third quarter. With his path blocked up the right sideline, Parrish instead reversed course and wound up losing 15 yards.

Rian Lindell provided the Bills' only scoring, tying the game at 3 with a 36-yard field goal early in the third quarter.

Trent Edwards finished 16 of 31 for 152 yards and an interception, his fifth in three games. For an offense that features Evans and Terrell Owens, Edwards has not thrown for more than 200 yards in each of his past three outings.

The Browns passing attack was even worse. Anderson went 2 of 17 for a mere 23 yards and an interception to register a 15.1 passer rating in his second consecutive start. The Browns managed nine first downs and 193 yards of offense. They were led by Lewis, who had 117 yards rushing on 31 carries in his first game back after missing two with a hamstring injury.

"A win's a win," said Anderson, noting that the swirling winds inside the stadium didn't help. "I knew it was going to be a grind. You could tell. It was hard to throw."

The Browns couldn't take advantage of a Bills defense that was already without four starters due to injuries and lost two middle linebackers during the game. Starter Kawika Mitchell was carted off in the second quarter with a right knee injury. Buggs took over and was carted off after hurting his left leg in the third.

Zastudil played a key role in bottling up the Bills offense. He had two punts downed at the Buffalo 1 and another at the 4.

"Special teams, we really came through for this football team," Cribbs said. "The defense held their side, and Jamal Lewis took care of the rest."


  • The Browns' two completions are the fewest for a winning team since the Bengals did it in a 31-21 win over Denver on Oct. 22, 2000. Corey Dillon had 278 of the Bengals' 407 yards rushing. Akili Smith went 2 of 9 for 34 yards and Scott Mitchell missed all five attempts.
  • The Browns offense failed to score a touchdown for the third time this season, and ninth time in their past 11 games.
Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Sun. Oct. 11Final
Pass: D. Anderson (2-17, 23) T. Edwards (16-31, 152)
Rush: J. Lewis (31-117) M. Lynch (17-69)
Rec: M. Massaquoi (1-16) M. Lynch (6-56)
Scoring Summary
FGBilly Cundiff 24 Yd, 7:23. Drive: 7 plays, 47 yards in 3:29.
FGRian Lindell 36 Yd, 10:10. Drive: 10 plays, 56 yards in 4:50.
FGBilly Cundiff 18 Yd, 0:23. Drive: 7 plays, 15 yards in 2:36.
Players of the Game

M. Lynch
Rush 17
Yds 69
Avg 4.1
TD 0

J. Lewis
Rush 31
Yds 117
Avg 3.8
TD 0
D. Anderson2/172301
J. Lewis31117018
J. Cribbs131031
J. Harrison82109
D. Anderson1202
M. Massaquoi116016
S. Heiden1707
T. Edwards16/3115201
M. Lynch1769012
T. Edwards440020
F. Jackson133006
T. Owens1606
M. Lynch656035
T. Owens444018
F. Jackson21709
L. Evans21107
D. Fine1808
S. Nelson1000
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
NYJ 27 Final
MIA 31
IND 31 Final
JAC 0 Final
SEA 41
NE 17 Final
DEN 20
HOU 21 Final
ARI 28
ATL 45 Final
SF 10
MIN 38 Final
STL 10
TB 14 Final
PHI 33
OAK 7 Final
NYG 44
DAL 26 Final
KC 20
PIT 28 Final
DET 20
WAS 17 Final
CAR 20
CIN 17 Final
BAL 14