For the 2009 Browns, a running game led by Jerome Harrison keyed the last three victories in a season-ending four-game winning streak.
It culminated on Jan. 3, 2010, when the Browns raced to a 17-point lead through three quarters and went on to defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars, 23-17, before a crowd of 66,935 at what was then Cleveland Browns Stadium.
Harrison carried 33 times for 127 yards and a touchdown, wide receiver Joshua Cribbs, operating mostly as the quarterback in the wildcat formation, had 47 yards and a score in six tries and Chris Jennings added 38 yards in nine attempts. It all added up to the Browns rushing for 214 yards as a team.
The week before against the Oakland Raiders, Harrison ran for 148 yards, helping the Browns get 164, in a 23-9 triumph.
The most impressive effort came the week previous to that at Kansas City, as Harrison rushed for 289 yards, one of the largest totals in NFL history, and the Browns gained 351 overall, the second-highest figure in franchise history, in a 41-34 win.
At 729 yards, it was one of the biggest three-game team rushing totals the Browns have ever had, and helped Harrison finish the season with a club-best 862 yards.
It also enabled the Browns to recover from a rough start to post a final record of 5-11 in Eric Mangini’s first season as head coach.
Headed the other way, the Jaguars lost for the fourth straight time to finish 7-9.
The first quarter was a 3-3 standoff, the Browns getting a 27-yard field goal from Phil Dawson and then Josh Scobey adding a 47-yarder.
It was all Browns in the second quarter, though, as Cribbs ran 14 yards for a touchdown and Dawson kicked a 21-yard field goal to provide a 13-3 halftime lead.
The advantage went to 20-3 with 4:08 left in the third quarter as Harrison ran six yards for a touchdown on a fourth down-and-1 play. He rushed for 49 yards overall on the 67-yard drive.
The Jaguars rallied for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter on David Garrard-to-Zach Miller passes. The first one was a six-yarder with 10:35 remaining, but the second, from 15 yards, occurred in mop-up time, with two seconds left.
In between the two scores, Dawson booted a 33-yard field goal to put the Browns 13 points ahead, 23-10.
The kick, which pretty much cemented the victory, also culminated another big year for Dawson. The only man from the Browns’ 1999 expansion team left playing anywhere in the NFL, he connected on 17 of 19 field-goal tries.
The Browns also turned in a good performance defensively, getting three sacks. Rookie linebacker Kaluka Maiava led the way with 1.5, while Robaire Smith, Jason Trusnik and Marcus Benard added .5 each.
In addition, the Browns put together their first four-game winning streak to end the regular season in 23 years, since 1986.