Cleveland 34, Houston 17


CLEVELAND, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- After calling some Cleveland fans "classless" for cheering when he suffered a concussion in his last home game, quarterback Tim Couch played efficiently Sunday as the Browns snapped a three-game losing streak with a 34-17 win over the Houston Texans.

Couch completed 21 of 31 passes for 146 yards, including a go-ahead 25-yard touchdown pass to Quincy Morgan in the third quarter.


"When I came out for warmups the respones were all positive," Couch said. "A lot of the people kept saying we're behind you and all that kind of stuff and it was a great motivator for me. Even throughout the game, I thought the fans were behind us.

"It was great to get back home and get a win and get the fans back on our side. It was a huge win."

Meanwhile, Texans rookie David Carr was again hounded by a relentless pass rush and was sacked nine times. He still managed to complete 22 of 36 passes for 268 yards and a touchdown.

Playing behind a shaky offensive line, Carr has been sacked 40 times in just six games.


"We threw the ball more than we have the last couple of weeks," said Carr. "There's three things we have to do -- get the ball out of my hand quicker, the, offensive line has to protect and our wide receivers have to get open. So we all have to take blame for the sacks."

"We knew we needed to step up our production today," said Browns defensive end Mark Word. "We just came out hungry today. Houston gave up 31 sacks in their first five games so we knew we could beat them. If we were going to get out of our slump, we knew this was the week to do it."

Cleveland received some much needed production on the ground as well.

Rookie William Green scored his first NFL touchdown on a one-yard run in the second quarter that gave Cleveland a 7-0 lead while Jamel White compiled 99 yards of total offense and scored on a two-yard run in the fourth quarter to cap the game's scoring.

The Texans utilized a trick play to take a 14-10 lead when rookie receiver Jabar Gaffney tossed a 39-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Corey Bradford with 8:44 left in the third quarter.


Rookie Andre Davis returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown to give the lead back to Cleveland (3-4).

"We said that we are going to win this game and it will be a team effort, not just one person," Browns Coach Butch Davis said.

After Kris Brown kicked a 47-yard field goal to tie the game at 17-17, Couch directed a six-play, 60-yard drive which featured a seven-yard pass to Dennis Northcutt on fourth and four before the touchdown to Morgan.

The Texans (1-5) have dropped their last five after opening the season with a win against the Dallas Cowboys.

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