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Couch Satisfies Home Crowd

October 21, 2002|From Associated Press

CLEVELAND — Tim Couch's only big mistake was misjudging the height of the wall.

Couch, booed by Cleveland fans in his previous home game, threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Quincy Morgan and the Browns sacked David Carr nine times in a 34-17 victory Sunday over the Houston Texans.

After hooking up with Morgan, Couch tried to jump into the crowd to celebrate with Brown fans who drove him to tears by booing him two weeks ago.

But Couch didn't quite make his leap, as his teammates reminded him.

"They said, 'We thought you were Mr. Kentucky in basketball, but you've got no hops,' " Couch said with a laugh. "It was great to win and get the fans back on our side."

Cleveland rookie Andre Davis had a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, and first-year running back William Green scored on a one-yard run as the Browns (3-4) ended a losing streak at three.

Phil Dawson kicked two field goals for Cleveland, which broke out new, orange jerseys.

"We needed a win," Brown Coach Butch Davis said. "We needed a win at home. We needed to stop the bleeding."

The first-year Texans (1-5) had their chances. But Carr twice overthrew a wide-open Corey Bradford, and Houston made too many mistakes.

The Texans have lost five in a row.

"We had too many sacks and negative plays," Coach Dom Capers said. "We had some plays in our hands that we didn't make."

Two weeks ago, Couch tearfully reacted to fans for first booing and then cheering after he sustained a concussion in a loss to Baltimore.

Couch heard a few more boos when the Browns left the field tied 7-7 at halftime. But the former No. 1 overall draft pick won the fans over by completing 12 of 17 passes for 86 yards and the touchdown after halftime.

He went nine for 10 in the third quarter, and helped spring Jamel White for a 36-yard run in the fourth. White reversed field and picked up a block from Couch.

Couch finished 21 for 31 for 148 yards, and didn't throw an interception for the first time in 13 games.

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