Run the ball effectively.
Put pressure on the quarterback.
Score touchdowns, not field goals, in the red zone.
Those are some of the biggest keys to victory in the NFL, and the Browns did a good job in all of those categories against the New York Jets on Dec. 9, 2007 at The Meadowlands.
Derek Anderson threw two touchdowns passes, one to Jamal Lewis, and the running back also had a rushing score as the Browns built an 11-point, fourth-quarter lead and then held on to win, 24-18.
It was the third victory in four games for the Browns, who upped their mark to 8-5 and kept pace in the battle for an AFC playoff spot.
Head coach Eric Mangini’s Jets dropped to 3-10, losing for the sixth time by seven points or less.
With 118 yards in 21 carries, averaging 5.6 yards a try, Lewis led a running game that produced 152 yards.
The Browns committed just one turnover, on an interception. Otherwise, Anderson played well, completing 16 of 29 passes for 185 yards and the two scores, giving him an 83.3 quarterback rating.
He spread the ball around, with tight end Kellen Winslow having four receptions for 34 yards, wide receiver Braylon Edwards four catches for 63 yards and a touchdown, and Lewis three grabs for 19 yards and the score.
The Browns sacked quarterback Kellen Clemens four times for 18 yards in losses. Linebacker Leon Williams, a Brooklyn native, celebrated his return home by getting 1.5 sacks and 11 total tackles, second-best on the team. Linebacker Kamerion Wimbley added one sack, and linebacker D’Qwell Jackson led the club with 12 total tackles.
Safety Sean Jones and cornerback Brandon McDonald had the Browns’ two interceptions off Clemens.
Three of the Browns’ four scores were touchdowns, the only exception being Phil Dawson’s 49-yard field goal.
The game was scoreless for almost the entire first half.
The Browns finally broke the ice when Anderson completed an 80-yard drive by throwing a seven-yard touchdown pass to Lewis with 1:15 left in the second quarter.
The Jets cut their deficit to 7-3 at halftime when ex-Ohio Stater Mike Nugent kicked the first of his four field goals, a 35-yarder as time expired.
Edwards caught a four-yard scoring pass from Anderson with 2½ minutes gone in the second half, but Nugent’s 41-yard field goal with just under three minutes left made it 14-6 after three quarters.
Dawson’s field goal with 12:59 left in the game bulked the advantage to 11 points, 17-6.
The Jets then crept much closer.
Clemens ran one yard for a touchdown exactly eight minutes later, and then Nugent hit a 38-yard field goal as New York closed the gap to just two points, 17-15, with 1:43 remaining.
It took only 21 seconds for the Browns to answer that burst with one of their own, a 31-yard touchdown run by Lewis to make it 24-15 with 1:22 left.
Nugent’s 35-yarder with 32 seconds remaining closed the scoring.