Maybe the best way to end a long drought is with a long touchdown pass … or even two.
For the Browns, that sounded like a plan when they played Green Bay on Sept. 18, 2005 at Lambeau Field.
Trent Dilfer threw touchdown passes of 80 yards to rookie wide receiver Braylon Edwards in the third quartrer and 62 yards to tight end Steve Heiden late in the fourth quarter to propel the Browns to a 26-24 win.
It was Dilfer’s second scoring pass to Heiden in the game. They had combined on a one-yarder in the opening quarter.
Also, the touchdown to Edwards was the Browns’ longest scoring play from scrimmage all season.
It marked the first time the Browns had beaten the Packers on the road since 1956, and evened their record at 1-1 under first-year head coach Romeo Crennel.
The Packers, in their final season before head coach Mike McCarthy took over, dropped to 0-2.
Dilfer, in his first year with the Browns, had a big day overall, completing 21 of 32 passes for 336 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions as he out-dueled Green Bay’s Brett Favre. But it was what he did in the second half that was particularly impressive.
The Browns were nursing a six-point lead with 2½ minutes left in the third quarter when Dilfer hit a streaking Edwards, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, down the sideline for the 80-yard score to make it 19-7.
But Favre and the Packers weren’t going to go away quietly.
Ryan Longwell hit a 34-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter, then the Packers cut the deficit to 19-17 with 3:47 remaining when Favre threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Robert Ferguson.
The Browns needed to answer that score quickly with one of their own to extend the lead and quell the Packers’ momentum, and that’s exactly what they did. Proving that wide receivers weren’t the only ones who could catch long touchdown passes for the Browns on this day, the 6-foot-5, 270-pound Heiden grabbed a throw from Dilfer and rambled 62 yards to make it 26-17 with just under two minutes left and virtually ice the victory.
Heiden had six receptions for 104 yards and the two touchdowns overall in the game. Edwards grabbed three passes for 107 yards and the score.
Favre, who was 32-of-44 passing for 344 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions, then tossed a four-yard scoring pass to tight end Tony Fisher with 10 seconds remaining.
Green Bay scored a touchdown on the game’s first possession, with Favre throwing a 42-yard pass to wide receiver Donald Driver.
The Browns also scored the first time they had the ball as Dilfer passed one yard to Heiden later in the opening quarter.
Phil Dawson’s two field goals -- a 21-yarder early in the second quarter and a 39-yarder with 17 seconds remaining -- gave the Browns a 13-7 halftime lead.
But Dilfer was just getting warmed up.