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PRO FOOTBALL : Browns Defeat Bills, 21-17, Talk About Bengals

December 08, 1986| From Times Wire Services

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Postseason play may be on the minds of Cleveland Browns fans, but the team sees the playoffs coming a little sooner than that.

The Browns, who defeated the Buffalo Bills, 21-17, Sunday at rainy Rich Stadium, face a difficult situation next Sunday when they play Cincinnati in an AFC Central showdown. If Cleveland beats the Bengals, it is insured a playoff berth.

"Cincinnati's not just going to hand us this division, we're going to have to fight for it," said Cleveland quarterback Bernie Kosar, who threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Brian Brennan that provided the winning points.

"They (Cincinnati) embarrassed us on national television earlier in the season," Browns nose tackle Bob Golic said of the 30-13 loss to the Bengals. "We've got a lot of things going for us now. We're going after them."

Added cornerback Hanford Dixon: "It's going to be a war."

That wasn't exactly the case against the Bills, who struggled throughout the game from deep in their own territory and lost despite quarterback Jim Kelly's 2-touchdown, 315-yard passing day.

"What hurt us the most was our terrible field position we had at times during the game," Bills Coach Marv Levy said.

Kevin Mack rushed for two one-yard touchdowns to make the Browns' record 10-4 going into the pivotal game with the Bengals.

Mack, who had rushed for more than 100 yards in his two previous games, scored both of his touchdowns in the first half before suffering a shoulder injury in the second half that kept him out for most of the rest of the game.

Buffalo (4-10) scored on a 22-yard Scott Norwood field goal, a 4-yard pass from Kelly to Jimmy Teal and a 75-yard pass from Kelly to Chris Burkett.

After trailing 14-3 at halftime, the Bills got back in the game on the third quarter's first play.

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