A Look Back: Browns-Patriots

Posted Dec 8, 2013

In this feature, looks back to a 19-17 Browns win over New England on Oct. 25, 1992.

With quarterback Bernie Kosar out with a broken ankle, and with Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end Ozzie Newsome having retired two years earlier, the Browns were desperate for some offensive heroes when they played the New England Patriots on Oct. 25, 1992 in Foxboro.

Mike Tomczak, a former Ohio State quarterback, and Scott Galbraith, a third-year tight end, heeded the call.

Tomczak threw a six-yard touchdown pass to Galbraith on fourth down with 31 seconds left as the Browns rallied from an eight-point fourth-quarter deficit with 10 unanswered points to win, 19-17.

The Browns won their third straight, and fourth in five games, to improve to 4-3 after starting 0-2.

The Patriots, under head coach Dick MacPherson, an assistant coach with the 1980 Kardiac Kids Browns, dropped to 0-7.

The Browns controlled almost all of the first half, building a 9-0 lead on three field goals by Matt Stover on their first three possessions -- 29- and 28-yarders in the opener quarter and a 21-yarder with just 2:09 left in the first half.

But the Patriots cut their deficit to 9-7 at halftime when Hugh Millen threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Kevin Turner with 35 seconds remaining.

It was the first touchdown given up in 14 quarters given up by the Browns defense, which was under second-year coordinator Nick Saban.

Just a little over five minutes into the second half, the Patriots went ahead, 14-9, when Millen threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to tight end Ben Coates, who would serve as a Browns assistant coach in 2005 and ’06.

The lead ballooned to 17-9 with 2½ minutes left in the third quarter on Charlie Baumann’s 30-yard field goal.

Then the Cleveland defense began to flex its muscle again, forcing turnovers on three consecutive New England possessions.

That set the stage for Stover to add a fourth field goal – his longest of the day, a 32-yarder – with 2:27 remaining to bring the Browns to within 17-12.

When the Browns offense finally got going shortly thereafter and scored its only touchdown of the day on the Tomczak-to-Galbraith pass, it proved to be the game-winner.

Tomczak was efficient and careful with the ball, which is exactly what second-year Browns head coach Bill Belichick wanted. In improving his record to 3-1 as a starter, Tomczak completed 14 of 29 passes for 186 yards and the one touchdown with no interceptions.

Wide receiver Michael Jackson had three receptions for 30 yards, while running back Eric Metcalf added three for 29 yards. Wide receiver Lawyer Tillman caught two passes for 71 yards, including a 44-yarder.

Rookie fullback Tonmy Vardell, the No. 9 overall pick in the 1992 NFL Draft, led the running attack with 80 yards in 17 carries. Kevin Mack chipped in with 38 yards.

Middle linebacker Mike Johnson paced a Browns defense that recorded five sacks. He had two of those sacks and 20 tackles overall. Outside linebacker Clay Matthews finished with 1.5 sacks.

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