History

Year by Year Results: 1985

In terms of win and losses, 1985 was hardly a successful season for the Browns, as they finished just 8-8.

But it was indeed a success in another respect, since that .500 mark -- which was three victories better than the previous year's 5-11 record -- was good enough to earn them the AFC Central title by a game over the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers (7-9).

In addition, the Browns nearly advanced to the AFC Championship Game, which they would have hosted against New England. They were dominating the Miami Dolphins 21-3 in the third quarter of their divisional playoff contest at the Orange Bowl before losing 24-21 in what would turn out to be the last game for promising second-year safety Don Rogers. He died of a drug overdose the following June.

It was a year of great change for the Browns. For starters, they were in the playoffs for the first time in three seasons, and captured the division crown for the first time in five years.

Marty Schottenheimer, who took over halfway through 1984 when Sam Rutigliano was fired, was in his first full year as head coach. He brought a mostly new coaching staff with him, including a special teams coach who used to play for the Browns, Bill Cowher.

Doug Dieken, who had been the team's left tackle for 14 years, was asked to retire in the offseason, which he did despite his desire to continue playing.

Bernie Kosar, who wiggled his way to the Browns as their first pick in the 1985 Supplemental Draft, shared quarterback duties with veteran Gary Danielson. They replaced Paul McDonald, who, while constantly under a fierce pass rush, had struggled in 1984 in his first year as a full-time starter.

But Danielson and Kosar didn't wow anyone with their numbers, combining to throw for just 16 touchdowns with 13 interceptions in the run-oriented attack of first-year offensive coordinator Joe Pendry. Saying it was run-oriented is a tremendous understatement about the offense, though. For just the third time in NFL history, two players from the same team - in this case, Kevin Mack (1,104) and Earnest Byner (1,002) - rushed for 1,000 yards in the same season.

What they lacked in the sophistication of their passing attack, the Browns more than made up for with the dominance of their running game. They pounded the ball on everyone, including the Dolphins in the playoff game, with an offense made up mostly of younger players.

Still, it didn't translate into many points. The Browns scored over 30 points just once all year, and they totaled only 46 points combined during a four-game losing streak, ruining a surprisingly good 4-2 start.

What saved the Browns overall - and allowed them to play seven games that were decided by seven points or less -- was their defense. Despite that aforementioned 5-11 record, the defense had played well in 1984. That carried over into '85, as all of the young players on that side of the ball continued to come of age.

The Browns made the playoffs by winning four of their last six games. The biggest of those victories was a nationally-televised 35-33 decision over the New York Giants that wasn't decided until the last play.

Because of the drama that accompanied it, and the fact it came on the road over a playoff-bound Giants team that was just one year away from capturing the Super Bowl, the win not only catapulted the Browns toward the playoffs in 1985 but also served as the launching pad for all the success the team would enjoy for the entire last half of the 1980s.

Steve King,
Staff Writer

Year Results
Preseason Results
National Football League: 2-2
at San Diego Chargers (42,300) 7-12
Philadelphia Eagles (46,236) 28-14
at Buffalo Bills (23,145) 31-28
Los Angeles Raiders (44,926) 7-26
Regular Season Results
  Regular Season Playoffs Combined Record
League W L T PCT W L T PCT W L T PCT
NFL 8 8 0 .500 0 1 0 .000 8 9 0 .471
Postseason Results
Divisional Playoff Game
Date Opponent Result Score
1/4 at Miami Dolphins Loss 21-24
Date Result Opponent Att.
9/8 L24-27 St. Louis Cardinals (OT) 62,107
9/16 W17-7 Pittsburgh Steelers 79,042
9/22 L7-20 at Dallas Cowboys 61,456
9/29 W21-7 at San Diego Chargers 52,107
10/6 W24-20 New England Patriots 62,139
10/13 W21-6 at Houston Oilers 38,386
10/20 L20-21 Los Angeles Raiders 77,928
10/27 L7-14 Washington Redskins 78,540
11/3 L9-10 at Pittsburgh Steelers 51,976
11/10 L10-27 at Cincinnati Bengals 57,293
11/17 W17-7 Buffalo Bills 50,764
11/24 W24-6 Cincinnati Bengals 74,439
12/1 W35-33 at New York Giants 66,482
12/8 L13-31 at Seattle Seahawks 58,477
12/15 W28-21 Houston Oilers 50,793
12/22 L10-37 at New York Jets 59,073
Playoff
1/4 L21-24 at Miami Dolphins 75,128
Score By Periods
1st 2nd 3rd 4th OT Tot.
Browns 44 68 78 97 0 --- 287
Opponents 75 81 50 85 3 --- 294
Team Statistics
Browns Opponent
Total First Downs 271 297
Rushing 119 106
Passing 128 172
Penalty 24 19
3rd Down: Made/Att 79/216 83/228
3rd Down Pct. 36.60% 36.40%
4th Down: Made/Att 13/21 7/15
4th Down Pct. 61.90% 46.70%
Total Net Yards 4,921 4,958
Avg. Per Game 307.6 309.9
Total Plays 989 1,050
Avg. Per Play 5 4.7
Net Yards Rushing 2,285 1,851
Avg. Per Game 142.8 115.7
Total Rushes 539 497
Net Yards Passing 2,636 3,107
Avg. Per Game 164.8 194.2
Sacked/Yards Lost 36/249 44/353
Gross Yards 2,885 3,460
Attempts/Completions 414/222 509/289
Completion Pct. 53.60% 56.80%
Had Intercepted 13 18
Punts/Avg. 81/40.3 91/42.2
Net Punting Avg. 81/36.5 91/38.1
Penalties/Yards Lost 99/751 102/773
Fumbles/Ball Lost 40/23 28/9
Touchdowns 35 34
Scoring
Ru Pa St Df PAT 2Ru 2Pa FG Saf TP
Bahr, Matt 0 0 0 0 35/35 0 0 14/18 0 77
Byner, Earnest 8 2 0 0 0/0 0 0 0/0 0 60
Mack, Kevin 7 3 0 0 0/0 0 0 0/0 0 60
Newsome, Ozzie 0 5 0 0 0/0 0 0 0/0 0 30
Weathers, Clarence 0 3 0 0 0/0 0 0 0/0 0 18
Browns 16 17 1 1 35/35 0 0 14/18 0 287
Opponents 14 18 2 0 33/34 0 0 19/29 0 294
Rushing
No Yds Avg LG TD
Byner, Earnest 244 1,002 4.1 36 8
Mack, Kevin 222 1,104 5 61 7
Danielson, Gary 27 126 4.7 28 0
Kosar, Bernie 26 -12 -0.5 10 1
Allen, Greg 8 32 4 8 0
Browns 535 2,285 4.3 61 16
Opponents 497 1,851 3.7 58t 14
Receiving
No Yds Avg LG TD
Newsome, Ozzie 62 711 11.5 38 5
Byner, Earnest 45 460 10.2 31 2
Brennan, Brian 32 487 15.2 57 0
Mack, Kevin 29 297 10.2 43 3
Weathers, Clarence 16 449 28.1 72t 3
Browns 222 2,885 13 72t 17
Opponents 289 3,460 12 54t 17
Interceptions
No Yds Avg LG TD
Gross, Al 5 109 21.8 37t 1
Dixon, Hanford 3 65 21.7 37 0
Braziel, Larry 2 40 20 40 0
Wright, Felix 2 11 5.5 10 0
Weathers, Curtis 1 9 9 9 0
Browns 18 254 14.1 40 1
Opponents 13 217 16.7 48t 0
Punting
No Yds Avg In20 TB LG BLK
Gossett, Jeff 81 3,261 40.3 18 8 64 0
Browns 81 3,261 40.3 18 8 64 0
Opponents 91 3,842 42.2 22 16 64 0
Punt Returns
No FC Yds Avg LG TD
Weathers, Clarence 28 4 218 7.8 16 0
Brennan, Brian 19 4 153 8.1 37t 1
Browns 47 8 371 7.9 37t 1
Opponents 36 14 304 8.4 38 0
Kickoff Returns
No Yds Avg LG TD
Young, Glen 35 898 25.7 63 0
Fontenot, Herman 8 215 26.9 81 0
Langhorne, Reggie 3 46 15.3 19 0
Green, Boyce 2 20 10 13 0
Puzzuoli, Dave 2 8 4 8 0
Browns 53 1,217 23 81 0
Opponents 51 884 17.3 37 0
Field Goals
1-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50+ Tot
Bahr, Matt 1/1 2/2 3/5 0/1 0/1 14/18
Browns 1/1 2/2 3/5 0/1 0/1 14/18
Opponents 0/0 5/6 2/5 2/4 2/4 19/29
Passing
Att Cmp Yds Pct Av/At TD Td% Int Int% LG Tkld Rating
Kosar, Bernie 248 124 1,578 50 6.36 8 3.2 7 2.8 68t 19/121 69.3
Danielson, Gary 163 97 1,274 59.5 7.82 8 4.9 6 3.7 72t 17/128 85.3
Brennan, Brian 1 1 33 100 33 1 100 0 0 33t 0/0 158.3
Fontenot, Herman 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 39.6
Gossett, Jeff 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 39.6
Browns 414 222 2,885 53.6 6.97 17 4.1 13 3.1 72t 36/249 76.4
Opponents 509 289 3,460 56.8 6.8 18 3.5 18 3.5 54t 44/353 74.8