Through the first five games of 2007, it was apparent that Browns wide receiver Braylon Edwards was already well on his way to having a special season.
But in that sixth contest, on Oct. 14 against the Miami Dolphins before a crowd of 73,198 at Cleveland Browns Stadium, he raised his level of play even more. As such, that special season began turning into something much more -- arguably the greatest one ever by a Browns pass-catcher.
Edwards had three touchdown catches, tying a team record now shared with nine others, in leading the Browns to a 41-31 victory that evened their record at 3-3 while keeping the Dolphins reeling with an 0-6 mark on their way to a 1-15 in their first, and only, season under coach Cam Cameron.
Edwards, the Browns’ first-round draft pick in 2005 from Michigan, had five catches in all, tying tight end Kellen Winslow for the team high. He amassed 67 receiving yards, second only to Winslow’s 90.
By the end of the year, Edwards had 80 receptions, only two behind Winslow, while setting Browns records with 1,289 yard receiving and 16 TD catches. The yardage mark had been set by Webster Slaughter with 1,236 in 1989, while Gary Collins had the TD record with 13 in 1963 – in only a 14-game season.
The performances of Edwards and Winslow were why Derek Anderson completed 18 of 25 passes for 245 yards and three scores with no interceptions, giving him a sizzling quarterback rating of 142.5. Anderson was on his way to becoming the first Browns quarterback to go to the Pro Bowl since Bernie Kosar 20 years earlier.
Without any help from Edwards, the Browns raced to a 14-3 first-quarter lead on two one-yard TD runs, by running back Jason Wright to open the game and Anderson. In between was a 43-yard field goal by Miami’s Jay Feely.
The Browns started the second quarter with a field goal of their own – a 40-yarder by
Tight end David Martin caught a 14-yard TD pass from Cleo Lemon, but Dawson made a 20-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to make it 27-10.
The Dolphins rallied in the third quarter to cut the deficit to only three points, 27-24, on five-yard and one-yard TD runs by Lemon.
Then Edwards, with the help of Anderson, took control of things, catching five- and 16-yard scoring passes in the fourth quarter to push the lead back up to 41-24 and put the game out of each.
Another Lemon-to-Martin TD pass, this one of four yards, with a minute and a half left meant little.
Even without running back Jamal Lewis, who had a foot injury and missed his only game of the year, the Browns still rushed for 140 yards. In the balanced attack, Jason Wright got 59 yards and Jerome Harrison 57.
This Day in Browns History is presented by Cleveland Clinic.