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Benjamin is 'real weapon' for Browns

Posted Oct 3, 2013

Wide receiver Travis Benjamin proved to be the catalyst for the Browns’ 37-24 come-from-behind victory over the Buffalo Bills at FirstEnergy Stadium Thursday night.

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Travis Benjamin broke the team record for the most punt return yards in a single game, and in gaining 179 yards on seven punt returns, he proved to be the catalyst in the 37-24, come-from-behind victory over the Buffalo Bills at FirstEnergy Stadium Thursday night.

Benjamin returned one punt for 57 yards to set up the Browns’ first score of the game, a 30-yard Billy Cundiff field goal, and followed by taking the encore 79 yards for a touchdown that turned a 10-10 game into a 17-10 Browns advantage.

“It means a lot, knowing that I can come in and give my team great field position and make that play,” Benjamin said, “be a game-changer to put my team up on top.”

Tied at 10 with 2:41 to play in the first half, Benjamin returned Shawn Powell’s 52-yard punt 79 yards for a touchdown and gave the Browns their first lead over the Bills.

After fielding the punt at the Browns’ 21-yard line, Benjamin ran from the right hash mark to the middle of the field and was able to turn upfield near the Browns’ sideline. After stepping out of one tackle and spinning his way past another, Benjamin got one final block from safety Josh Aubrey that sealed the special-teams score.

“It was a wild punt return for us,” Benjamin said. “We knew that he just wanted to kick the ball out of bounds, and kick it away from me. I knew once I caught the ball that I had great special-teams blocks and they were going to get me a crease.

“The first time, I let him push me out of bounds, so I came to the sidelines thinking I can’t let the punter tackle me. The second time, when I came to him, I just cut back inside and I knew he missed the tackle.”

Down, 10-0, near the end of the first quarter, Cleveland’s offense was struggling to move the ball after starting quarterback Brian Hoyer suffered a right knee injury that knocked him out of the game, but the defense answered the bell and forced a Bills punt.

That is when Benjamin went to work, as he flipped the field position by taking it from Cleveland’s 12-yard line to Buffalo’s 31. Seven plays later, the Browns got on the scoreboard with Cundiff’s field goal.

“Fabulous,” Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said of Benjamin. “He’s a real weapon back there, and he showed it tonight. It was a huge, huge play, and a great run. He broke multiple tackles, and obviously, you saw his speed. He’s an electrifying player and he did that tonight.”

Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon added, “Travis was huge. We’ve never really seen a guy move that fast. It’s great to have him on our team. He’s a position-builder for our offense, a huge, pivotal guy on this team right now.”