Jamal Lewis helped build a big season with the Browns in 2007 on a lot of big runs.
He raced 66 yards for a touchdown, 31 yards for another score and also had 28-, 26-, 23- and 21-yarders en route to gaining 1,304 yards, the seventh-largest total in club history – and the largest for anyone not named Jim Brown.
But some of Lewis’ most significant runs that year were also some of his shortest, and that was never more apparent than on Nov. 4, against the Seattle Seahawks at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
He rushed for four touchdowns, tying for the second-most in team history, as the Browns got a signature win, 33-30 in overtime, in a signature season during the expansion era in front of 72,927 snow-covered fans.
Combined, his scores covered only six yards – a pair of two-yarders and a pair of one-yarders. His longest run all day was a five-yarder as he finished with only 37 yards, which would turn out to be his third-smallest total of the season, on 20 carries.
But it was enough for the Browns as they won their third in a row and improved to 5-3.
And it was a victory well-earned, because the Seahawks, coached by current Browns president Mike Holmgren, were a good team. They fell to 4-4 with the loss, but they recovered to go 6-2 in the second half of the season to finish 10-6 and capture the NFC West title.
The Browns would also finish 10-6, the same as Pittsburgh and Tennessee, but, on tie-breakers, they would lose the AFC North title to the Steelers and the conference’s final wild-card spot to the Titans.
The Seahawks started fast. With just 3:49 left in the second quarter, they had gone ahead, 21-6, on Nate Burleson’s 94-yard punt return. They had also scored on Matt Hasselbeck touchdown passes of five yards to Bobby Engram and six yards to D.J. Hackett.
The only score for the Browns was on a two-yard scoring run by Lewis early in the second quarter, after which they missed the extra point.
Lewis ran for a one-yard touchdown and Josh Brown booted a 39-yard field goal to put the Seahawks ahead, 24-16, after three quarters.
Then, came a wild fourth quarter. Lewis started it by running two yards for a score, which was followed by a failed two-point conversion attempt. Brown kicked a 26-yarder to push Seattle’s lead to 27-22.
The Browns went ahead for the first time, 30-27, on Lewis’ one-yard run with 2:17 remaining, after which Derek Anderson flipped a pass to wide receiver Joe Jurevicius for the two points.
But the Seahawks drove 67 yards down the stretch to set up Brown for a 22-yard field goal as time expired in regulation to tie the game, 30-30.
Dawson’s 25-yard field goal 5:41 into overtime won it.
This Day in Browns History is presented by Cleveland Clinic.