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Browns Don't Let Eagles Soar : Interconference: Defense is dominant in 26-7 victory over Philadelphia.

November 14, 1994|From Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — The bend-don't-break Cleveland Brown defense barely budged Sunday during a 26-7 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Browns, who got four field goals from Matt Stover, limited the Eagles to 288 yards.

"Our trademark has been not to give up a lot of points," said Coach Bill Belichick, whose Browns have given up a league-low 11.8 points a game. "We were able to make some big plays when Philadelphia did get the ball down there on us."

Mark Rypien, who completed 12 of 30 passes for 158 yards, hooked up with Mark Carrier on a three-yard touchdown pass and Ernest Byner scored on a four-yard run to give the Browns (8-2) their seventh victory in eight games.

Rypien said the Brown offense decided that it wasn't going to give the Eagle defense the chance to make big plays.

"One thing that got a lot of teams in trouble (against the Eagles) is holding the football," Rypien said. "Sometimes the key against this defense is not making a big play, but simply knowing when to throw the ball away."

In losing for the first time in their last seven home games, the Eagles (7-3) got their only touchdown on Vaughn Hebron's 15-yard run in the second quarter.

Randall Cunningham, whose streak of winning starts at Veterans Stadium was ended at 20, completed 22 of 38 passes for 195 yards, with one interception.

Cunningham, who was sacked twice, also fumbled late in the third quarter after the Eagles, trailing by 12 points, had moved to the Cleveland 13. Don Griffin recovered for the Browns, who drove to Byner's touchdown early in the fourth quarter. "Their defense is just like NFC East teams," Cunningham said. "They'll definitely be in the playoffs. They're probably the best team in the AFC. The way they played today, they can win the Super Bowl."

Cleveland, ranked 16th in the NFL in defense, outplayed the second-ranked Eagle defense, which mustered no sacks and little pressure on Rypien, who started again in place of Vinny Testaverde. Testaverde sat out his second consecutive game because of a concussion and neck injury.

The Eagles, the NFL's second-most penalized team, hurt themselves again. They had nine penalties for 84 yards, and four gave the Browns first downs. Cleveland won despite seven penalties for 97 yards.

Eagle Coach Rich Kotite said his team was flat after an emotional victory over the Arizona Cardinals and former Eagle Coach Buddy Ryan last week.

"Prior to this, we'd won seven of our last eight games (and) the reason was the enthusiasm we had," Kotite said. "But I felt we just didn't play with a lot of enthusiasm and fire off the ball."

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