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Top 10 Browns Season Openers: #5 September 21, 1970

Posted Jul 18, 2014

The Top 10 Cleveland Browns Season Openers countdown continues with #5 as we’re a mere 50 days from the 2014 Cleveland Browns regular season kickoff!

Monday, September 21, 1970

Browns 31, New York Jets 21

Cleveland Stadium (85,703)

 

On an historic evening, the Browns played their first game as a member of the American Football Conference and hosted the initial broadcast of ABC’s Monday Night Football, holding off the Jets for an exciting victory before the largest home crowd in team history. The Browns jumped to a quick 14-0 lead with touchdowns on their first two possessions. They then added a third score when WR Homer Jones - acquired in the offseason to replace Paul Warfield, who was traded so the Browns could draft QB Mike Phipps - returned the second-half kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown to make it 21-7. With QB Joe Namath picking apart the Cleveland defense, including hitting WR George Sauer 10 times for a whopping 172 yards, the Jets battled back to pull within three points at 24-21 and regained possession with just over a minute left. Cleveland LB Billy Andrews then made a diving interception and scampered 25 yards for the game-clinching touchdown. It was the fourth New York turnover, as Jets‘ mistakes wiped out a convincing 454-221 advantage in total yardage. New York also rolled up 161 yards in penalties (the Browns added 101) and committed two of their turnovers inside the Cleveland 20, allowing the Browns to escape with a victory on a memorable evening.

 

                  1          2          3          4

Jets                 0          7          7          7          =          21

Browns           14        0          10        7          =          31

 

CLE-Collins 8-yd. pass from Nelsen (Cockroft kick)

CLE-Scott 2-yd. run (Cockroft kick)

NYJ-Boozer 5-yd. run (Turner kick)

CLE-Jones 94-yd. kickoff return (Cockroft kick)

NYJ-Boozer 10-yd. run (Turner kick)

CLE-Cockroft 27-yd. FG

NYJ-Sauer 33-yd. pass from Namath (Turner kick)

CLE-Andrews 25-yd. interception return (Cockroft kick)

 

Passing

NYJ: Namath 18-31-298 1 TD 3 INT, Woodall 1-2-7 0 TD 0 INT

CLE: Nelsen 12-27-145 1 TD 0 INT

 

Rushing

NYJ: Snell 16-108, Boozer 15-58, Nock 1-3, White 1-0, Namath 1-(-1)

CLE: Kelly 20-62, Scott 9-12, Nelsen 1-2

 

Receiving

NYJ: Sauer 10-172, Maynard 4-69, Boozer 3-38, Caster 1-19, Stewart 1-7

CLE: Morin 5-90, Scott 4-21, Collins 2-21, Hooker 1-13

 

Text reproduced from The Browns Bible:The Complete Game-By-Game History of the Cleveland Browns by Jonathan Knight, The Kent State University Press

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