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-KICKOFF COVERAGE’S: HISTORY OF THE 32 IN 32-

-CLEVELAND BROWNS-

2002

"NEW BROWNS" HAVE FIRST WINNING SEASON, COUGH UP LEAD TO STEELERS IN PLAYOFFS:

The Browns season got off to an odd start as they lost at home to the Kansas City Chiefs at home 40-39 after Dwayne Rudd threw his helmet in celebration for what he thought was a game ending tackle. Instead a penalty was thrown on Rudd giving the Chiefs the opportunity to kick a game winning field goal with nothing on the clock. The Browns would recover to win the next two games but struggled over the next month losing three straight games as Quarterback Tim Couch returned from a preseason injury. After the Browns beat the expansion Houston Texans 34-17 the Browns were hit by tragedy s Owner Al Lerner succumbed to cancer on October 24th.

Three days after Lerner’s passing the Browns made a stirring 4th Quarter comeback to beat the New York Jets on the road 24-21, to improve to 4-4. After a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers the Browns would win four of six games and entered the final week of the season with a record of 8-7 and a shot to make the playoffs with a win at home over the Atlanta Falcons. However, things seemed bleak early when Tim Couch broke his right leg in the first half, but back up Kelly Holcomb would lead the Browns to two Touchdowns as the Browns beat the Falcons 24-16.

 With a 9-7 record the Browns would qualify for the playoffs for the first time since returning to the NFL in 1999. In the playoffs on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers the Browns would hold a 33-21 lead with five minutes left as backup Quarterback Kelly Holcomb had a career day with 429 yards passing. However, the Browns defense would suffer a let down allowing the Steelers to score 15 points to take a 36-33 lead in the final minute. Holcomb would not go down without a fight driving ten Browns down the field. However, Andre King could not get out of bounds fast enough after catching a pass at the Steelers 29 as time ran out on the Browns season.  

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