Browns shock Chargers
CLEVELAND — Trent Richardson broke one tackle, then another and was gone.
The San Diego Chargers couldn't stop the rookie running back who might be the one to make Cleveland relevant once more. On a day when every yard counted, Richardson delivered a dominating performance that even made Hall of Famer Jim Brown swell with pride.
“Great running backs break tackles,” Brown said following Cleveland's 7-6 win Sunday. “You do that, you are in control. You keep the ball. The other team is disheartened. That's football.”
And that's why the Browns chose Richardson.
Cleveland's rookie running back, still playing with a rib injury, rushed for 122 yards in nasty weather and scored the game's only touchdown on a 26-yard run to lead Browns (2-6) to their second straight win at home.
Following the game, Brown, who called Richardson an “ordinary” back when Cleveland selected the Alabama star No. 3 overall, was waiting at the young star's locker.
Richardson has made even Brown a believer.
“That's my partner,” Brown said. “I'm so happy he didn't take anything I said the wrong way. He's a player. He's making sacrifices for his team. He's hurting now more than you think, and he's out there making plays.”
Richardson, pulled last week at Indianapolis when he was ineffective because of a rib injury, carried 24 times as the Browns gave new owner Jimmy Haslam his first win since taking over the franchise. Haslam was presented with a game ball by coach Pat Shurmur in Cleveland's jubilant locker room.
“It feels good,” linebacker D'Qwell Jackson said of rewarding Haslam, who shelled out $1.05 billion for the Browns. “You always want to put a smile on his face.”
Richardson's TD to cap Cleveland's first drive was like many they used to get from the incomparable Brown, who either outran or carried defenders to the end zone. It was No. 32 who helped make the Browns one of the league's most storied teams, and Cleveland has a new runner who may one day get them back to the top.
Two plays after quarterback Brandon Weeden converted on fourth-and-1 with a sneak to keep the drive alive, Richardson took a handoff up the middle, broke two tackles and was kept upright by right guard Shawn Lauvao, who wrapped his hands around his teammate, before scampering in for his fifth TD.
Richardson said once he was deep in San Diego's secondary there was no stopping him.
“They don't want no problems,” he said.
The Chargers (3-4) dropped their third straight. San Diego had a final chance, but quarterback Philip Rivers' pass was batted away by Browns cornerback Buster Skrine with 1:24 left. Rivers finished 18 of 34 for 154 yards but had a potential touchdown pass dropped by Robert Meachem in the third quarter.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.