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A Victory That Really Fits the Bill

November 13, 2000|From Associated Press

CLEVELAND — For one more Sunday, Cleveland Brown fans got to scream, curse, mock and second-guess Bill Belichick. And for the first time they enjoyed every minute of it.

Phil Dawson kicked a career-high four field goals and quarterback Doug Pederson efficiently moved the ball as the Browns ended a seven-game losing streak with a 19-11 victory over Belichick and the Patriots.

With the victory, the Browns (3-8) surpassed their victory total of 1999, and as far as their fans were concerned, they couldn't have done it against a better guy than Belichick.

Belichick, who coached the Browns from 1991-95, made his first appearance in Cleveland since the franchise moved to Baltimore nearly five years ago.

While he was in Cleveland, Belichick was as unpopular as any coach in team history, and Cleveland fans didn't miss a chance to taunt him Sunday.

Belichick was typically stoic after the game. If he was moved by the homecoming, he didn't show it.

"This is a place where I spent a good chunk of my coaching career," Belichick said. "The drive around the stadium and seeing the place that I coached at for five years was a little nostalgic."

Patriot quarterback Drew Bledsoe, who was sacked three times, completed 21 of 35 passes for 212 yards and one touchdown.

The Patriots (2-8) lost their fourth in a row and again couldn't win a close one. Seven of New England's losses have been by eight or fewer points.

Pederson completed 20 of 37 passes for 138 yards.

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