The Browns started Sunday at home against the Chargers a house of fire, but just like has happened so many times when they seem to be competitive, they fell into the same lull, and are now 1-11 after a 30-23 loss. The Browns made it a game as they were able to score 10 points to make it a game in the final minutes.
San Diego took total control in the third quarter by dominating, to the tune of outgaining their Browns, 208-10. They scored two touchdowns to pull away, 27-7. San Diego TE Antonio Gates, from Kent State, killed the Browns, pulling in 8 passes for 167 yards. He seemed to come down with just about everything Philip Rivers put up.
“Some of those catches were unbelievable,” said Browns coach Eric Mangini. “We had him high-low doubled. We had him locked man-to-man with zone coverage all around him. We had guys hitting him at the line of scrimmage. He’s amazing. A few of those catches … in between two guys and just going up and getting it … It’s hard to draw something up that you can put more people on him.”
The Browns actually looked good on offense, putting up 372 yards. Brady Quinn was 25-for-45 for 271 yards with three TD’s and a QB rating of 95.7. Playing in his first game, new tight end Evan Moore had six catches for a team high 80 yards, including three on the first TD drive that put the Browns up 7-0.
There was too much offense on San Diego’s side though, as LaDainian Tomlinson cemented the day as he moved past Jim Brown for eighth place on the all-time rushing list. Tomlinson pushed over Brown’s career total of 12,312 yards with an 11-yard run with 9:02 left in the game.
Rivers also had a huge day, going 18-for-25 for 373 yards with two scores and a QB rating of 140.8. He hit fullback Mike Tolbert with a 66-yard score to make it 10-7 with :45 seconds left in the first quarter, then found Darren Sproles for a 31-yard TD at the 10:30 mark of the third quarter.
The Browns made it somewhat of interesting end as they were down 30-14 with 4:12 left. They drove down and scored on a Quinn to Jerome Harrison 8-yard score, then got a Phil Dawson 49-yard field goal with :39 seconds left to make it a 30-23 final.