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CLEVELAND 24, OAKLAND 21

Browns Rally Past the Raiders

October 02, 2006|From the Associated Press

OAKLAND — Charlie Frye threw the ball up for grabs in the end zone, and it looked as if another late mistake by the young quarterback would do in the Cleveland Browns.

Instead, the defense held tough and the Browns rallied from 18 points down and won for the first time this season, 24-21 over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

"This win is huge," Frye said. "I thought it was a game we were supposed to win. I thought we were a better team than Oakland. I'm glad we came out in the second half and played well."

Frye threw three touchdown passes to lead the comeback, but it was the interception that almost cost him again.

With Cleveland (1-3) leading by three points, Frye led the Browns down to the six before throwing an ill-advised ball across the field that was intercepted by Nnamdi Asomugha with 3:58 left.

"I thought it was a bonehead play by me," Frye said. "I forced it. That was a no-no that late in the game."

Last week, Frye threw an interception in the end zone with 3:21 left with Cleveland leading Baltimore, 14-12. The Ravens then drove for the winning field goal.

The Raiders were unable to do the same and are off to their worst start since losing their first three games in 1961.

"We feel fortunate to come out of here with a win," Browns Coach Romeo Crennel said.

A week off helped the Raiders (0-3) regroup after being outscored 55-6 in the first two games in Art Shell's second stint as coach. It seemed as if Oakland was poised for a win after taking a 21-3 lead.

But poor play on special teams, a mediocre performance by Andrew Walter in his first start and a questionable spot by the officials doomed Oakland.

"We were better, but that's not good enough," Shell said. "We just didn't play well on a consistent basis. We played well in spurts. You can't play in spurts. You have to be consistent."

Early in the fourth quarter, Walter completed a 15-yard pass to Ronald Curry on third and 16 from the 45. Curry appeared to stretch the ball to the 28, but the officials marked him just inside the 30 and short of a first down.

Shell chose not to challenge the spot after consulting with the coaches upstairs. Orpheus Roye then beat Langston Walker and stopped LaMont Jordan for a two-yard loss in the backfield on fourth down to end the drive.

"We had to go out there and make a play on that down," Roye said. "It was a big momentum swing."

Jordan ran for 128 yards, including a 59-yard score, Sam Williams returned a fumble 30 yards for Oakland's first touchdown and Walter connected on a five-yard pass with Randy Moss for his first career touchdown.

Reuben Droughns ran for 100 yards in 25 carries for Cleveland.

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