Cleveland 27, Minnesota 15

Aug. 11, 2002 at 12:14 AM
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MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- Tim Couch completed seven of nine passes for 138 yards and a touchdown Saturday night to help carry the Cleveland Browns to a 27-15 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

Beginning his fourth season with the Browns, Couch played the entire first half and looked sharp, tossing a 45-yard touchdown pass to Jamel White just 2:05 into the contest.

Moe Williams, Minnesota's leading rusher with 19 yards on four carries, tied the game on a four-yard run with 4:58 left in the first quarter. But Phil Dawson kicked field goals of 46 and 45 yards in the second quarter to give the Browns a 13-7 halftime lead.

Cleveland took a 20-7 lead on Kalvin Pearson's 62-yard interception return 4:14 into the second half.

Kelly Holcomb, who completed seven of 10 for 100 yards, threw a five-yard touchdown strike to Mark Campbell to make it 27-7 with 7:12 left in the third period.

Autry Denson paced Cleveland on the ground with 41 yards on eight carries. William Green, the Browns' first-round pick, rushed for just 11 yards on six carries in his NFL debut.

Minnesota played without offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie, its first-round pick who remains unsigned.

Daunte Culpepper completed eight of 13 for 66 yards for the Vikings while backup Todd Bouman was seven of 11 for 48 yards.

Minnesota got its final touchdown when Matt Birk recovered a fumble in the end zone with 2:37 left in the contest.

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