Browns beat skidding Bills, 29-27

Turns out the Cleveland Browns aren't quitters after all. And they have Phil Dawson to thank for this wild win.

Dawson capped a five-field-goal outing by hitting a career-long 56-yarder with 1:39 remaining to secure the visiting Browns' 29-27 win over the reeling Buffalo Bills last night. Cleveland (4-6) ended a two-game skid and rallied to avoid wasting a 13-point lead for a third straight time.


The Bills (5-5) had a chance to win with a clutch kick of their own, but Rian Lindell missed a 47-yard attempt with 38 seconds left.

Trailing 13-10 at halftime, the Bills threatened to take the lead on their first possession of the third quarter. Trent Edwards, who threw three interceptions in the first quarter before rallying the Bills in the second, hit Steve Johnson for 21 yards to the Browns' 32. But two plays later, Fred Jackson fumbled while struggling for extra yardage and Ahtyba Rubin recovered for the Browns.


Brady Quinn, making the first road start of his career, gained 8 yards on his second bootleg of the game and then, facing third-and-10, hit a wide-open Braylon Edwards along the right side for 23 yards to the Buffalo 27. But two plays later, Kawika Mitchell sacked Quinn on a blitz for a 9-yard loss and the Browns had to settle for Dawson's third field goal, a 43-yarder at 6:27.

Buffalo took the ensuing kick, drove 45 yards on 11 plays and moved within 16-13 on Lindell's 31-yard field goal with 22 seconds left in the period.

Buffalo fell behind 13-0 in the second quarter before rallying on an 18-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown by Marshawn Lynch, and Lindell's 26-yard field goal as time expired in the half.

Dawson's field goals came after two of Edwards' interceptions as Quinn struggled to find consistency.

Quinn found his touch early in the second quarter, though, directing a 96-yard, 12-play scoring drive that took nearly six minutes. He completed passes to Braylon Edwards of 20, 18 and 10 yards, and Jamal Lewis added a 16-yard run around the right side to the 2. Joshua Cribbs scored at 9:52 to end the longest drive of the year for the Browns.

Off the field

Appeals: : Minnesota Vikings defensive linemen Kevin and Pat Williams were to meet with NFL officials to appeal their suspensions after testing positive for a weight-loss diuretic considered a masking agent for steroids. The hearing was to be followed today by additional appeals for three New Orleans Saints: running back Deuce McAllister and defensive ends Charles Grant and Will Smith.

Buccaneers: : Running back Earnest Graham's season could be in jeopardy after he injured his right ankle during Sunday's victory over the Vikings, coach Jon Gruden said. Also, nine-time Pro Bowl safety John Lynch formally retired at age 37.


Rams: : Offensive tackle Orlando Pace will be sidelined two to four weeks with a knee injury he suffered in Sunday's loss at San Francisco.

Texans: : Quarterback Matt Schaub's recovery from a ligament injury to his left knee injury will take longer than the two to four weeks initially projected. Coach Gary Kubiak said it could be four more weeks.

Packers: : Linebacker Nick Barnett will have surgery to repair his torn right knee ligament Thursday. He is expected to recover in six to eight months.

Cowboys: : Quarterback Tony Romo will continue to wear the splint for the next two games for his recently broken pinkie.

Titans: : Cornerback Eric King will miss this weekend's game after he suffered a broken forearm in Sunday's win against Jacksonville that likely will need surgery.