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(Sunday, January 3rd)
Final Score: Cleveland 23, Jacksonville 17
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Jerome Harrison rushed for 127 yards and a score, as the Cleveland Browns ran over Jacksonville, 23-17, to officially snuff out the Jaguars' chances of making the playoffs.
Joshua Cribbs ran for a touchdown for the Browns (5-11), who totaled 214 yards on the ground to end Eric Mangini's first year as their head coach on a four-game winning streak.
While the Browns had their second straight losing season and finished last in the AFC North, their current streak is the team's longest since it won five in a row during the 1994 season.
"It's satisfying to watch and a lot of times as a coach, it's viewed differently than being a teacher," Mangini said. "But really, we're teachers, and to see guys learn and see them grow...it's really satisfying."
Cleveland quarterback Derek Anderson was used sparingly, throwing for 86 yards on 7-of-11 completions, with one interception. Phil Dawson kicked three field goals in the win.
As the Browns ended their season strong, the Jaguars (7-9) limped to the finish by losing their last four. Jacksonville had a very outside shot at making the playoffs, but foremost needed to win to keep the possibility alive.
David Garrard was 22-for-39 for 202 yards, with one interception and two touchdowns to Zach Miller, one of which came on the game's final play.
Dawson's 27-yard kick put the Browns on the board just over four minutes into the game, and with 2:20 left in the first quarter, Josh Scobee's 47-yarder tied the contest.
The game remained even until Cleveland got two scores in the late stages of the half. The Browns got the ball at their own 43 and, operating without a huddle, rode Harrison and fellow running back Chris Jennings to the end zone. Cribbs capped the drive by taking the snap and evading a number of Jaguars defenders to go 14 yards up the middle for a score with 3:51 left.
"Run-wise, not fitting the way we need to, not playing the kind of run defense we expect," Jacksonville head coach Jack Del Rio said. "That was disappointing to me. Can't hide from that point."
Garrard was intercepted by Eric Wright on the first play of the ensuing Jacksonville drive, which led to Dawson's 21-yarder, and the Browns led 13-3 at the break.
Scobee missed a 43-yarder on the opening drive of the third, and Cleveland responded with another touchdown. The highlight of the drive was a run by Jennings, in which he started up the right side of the field. But after escaping one tackle near the line of scrimmage, he reversed course and the chase was on. He got away from another tackle and eventually stepped out of bounds at the Jaguars' 15 for an 11-yard gain.
Harrison later took advantage of a couple good blocks to reach the end zone on a six-yard run, as Cleveland went ahead 20-3 with 4:03 left in the third.
The Jaguars got their first touchdown 4 1/2 minutes into the fourth quarter, when Garrard found Miller wide open in the back of the end zone.
But Cleveland ate up more than eight minutes on its next drive to essentially secure the win. Dawson concluded the 14-play, 60-yard march with a 33-yarder for a 23-10 lead.
Garrard ended the game with a 15-yard touchdown strike to Miller.
Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 82 yards on 16 carries for the Jaguars, who entered the contest with a 5-0 record at Cleveland...Harrison ended the season with 862 rushing yards, 561 of which came in the final three games...Miller had eight catches for 69 yards, while Mike Thomas had seven grabs for 65 yards for Jacksonville.
01/03 21:13:45 ET
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