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(Sunday, December 12th)
Final Score: Buffalo 13, Cleveland 6
Orchard Park, NY (Sports Network) - Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for the only touchdown of the game in the first half to help the Buffalo Bills earn a 13-6 win over the Cleveland Browns.
Fitzpatrick was 14-of-23 for 142 yards while Fred Jackson had 29 carries for 112 yards for the Bills (3-10), who snapped a two-game losing streak. Rian Lindell kicked two field goals and David Nelson caught a score for the second straight week.
"We knew this was the kind of game it was going to be," said Fitzpatrick. "Especially with the weather and type of game that Cleveland plays. We knew we were going to have to win the turnover battle and grind it out. The defense had a phenomenal day and won the game for us."
Jake Delhomme, making his third straight start, threw for just 86 yards on 12- for-20 passing and had an interception with a lost fumble for the Browns (5-8), who came into the game riding a two-game winning streak. Peyton Hillis totaled 108 yards on 21 carries, but fumbled the ball three times, losing one.
"I'm really disappointed with the loss because I don't think we played good in any of the three phases of the game," said Cleveland head coach Eric Mangini. "We weren't able to run the ball effectively and we turned it over too much. Combine those two things and it makes it difficult to operate."
The Browns started the game with the ball and began the drive at their own 40. They managed to get down to the Buffalo one-yard line, but opted for a 19-yard field goal from Phil Dawson on fourth down for a 3-0 lead just under five minutes in.
The Bills went ahead with a drive that spanned the first and second quarters. Starting at their own 11, they covered the field in 14 plays eating up over eight minutes with Fitzpatrick capping the drive on a sharp pass over the head of two defenders and into the arms of Nelson for an 11-yard score with 9:28 to play in the half.
Cleveland responded with a long drive of its own as the team went 73 yards over 11 plays and took up 5 1/2 minutes of the clock, but again came away with three points. The drive stalled at the eight-yard line and a 25-yard boot from Dawson pulled the Browns within 7-6 with 3:53 left.
That gave Buffalo plenty of time for a 30-yard field goal from Lindell with 14 seconds left in the half to make it a 10-6 game at the break. The drive featured a 35-yard reception from Jonathan Stupar that got the ball across midfield.
The third quarter passed scoreless with neither team able to break midfield. They exchanged punts to begin the fourth, but a turnover allowed Buffalo to expand its lead.
Facing a 3rd-and-3 at his own 27, Delhomme had the ball knocked out of his hand as he attempted to throw it. A Buffalo player jumped on the ball, but it was ruled incomplete. However, the Bills asked for a replay and the call on the field was overturned, giving the Bills the ball at the Cleveland 23.
However, Buffalo was only able to manage three points with the short field as Jackson was stuffed on third down from the two-yard line and a 19-yard field goal from Lindell made it a 13-6 game with 7:56 to play.
After an exchange of punts, Cleveland got the ball back at its own 47, but Delhomme was picked off by Leodis McKelvin and the Bills killed off the rest of the clock for the win.
The Browns had won the previous three games against the Bills...Cleveland plays at Cincinnati next Sunday, while the Bills will travel to Miami...Buffalo totaled 323 yards, including 192 on the ground, compared to just 187 yards for Cleveland. The Bills also controlled the clock for over 36 minutes...Cleveland had just nine first downs in the game.
12/12 18:19:36 ET