History

Year by Year Results: 1992
Team Photo

After the three-win improvement they had had in 1991 in Bill Belichick's first year as head coach, the Browns wanted to enjoy a similar jump in '92 and make a push to get back into the AFC playoffs.

The Browns did make a jump, but not similar to the one in 1991. They won only one more game, going 7-9, and for a second straight year, three straight losses to end the season -- on the heels of two consecutive wins, no less -- killed any chances they had of getting into the postseason.

It all unfolded in a bizarre way.

The Browns got off to a slow -- and in one very important respect, devastating -- start, losing their first two games. After the second one, a 27-23 decision to the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football, it was discovered that Bernie Kosar had suffered a broken ankle in the first half.

Remarkably, he finished the game, throwing two touchdown passes and helping lead a 20-point comeback that brought the Browns from a 20-3 deficit with 11:53 left to a 23-20 lead 10½ minutes later. But the defense faltered in the closing moments, allowing the Dolphins to escape with a victory.

And the next week, Kosar's replacement, Todd Philcox, finished the game against the Los Angeles Raiders despite having fractured the thumb on his throwing (right) hand in the first half. It would cause him to miss eight weeks, an especially disappointing situation for him personally since that was his first career start and he probably would have played the next nine games until Kosar's return.

But at least Philcox had something good to think about during his recuperation, for he had had a hand in the Browns beating the Raiders 28-16. Eric Metcalf scored four TDs, the most by a Brown since Pro Football Hall of Famer Leroy Kelly in 1968, and three of them came on passes from Philcox. Two of the tosses covered 69 and 63 yards.

Former Ohio Stater Mike Tomczak took over for Philcox, becoming the team's third starting quarterback in as many weeks. After a rough debut -- a 12-0 home loss to old nemesis John Elway and the Denver Broncos -- Tomczak got going, leading the Browns to three triumphs in a row and getting them to 4-3 and over the .500 mark for the first time since Week 3 of 1991.

One victory (17-9) came over the eventual Central Division champion Pittsburgh Steelers, and another (17-6) was over the Green Bay Packers in Brett Favre's third career start.

In all, Tomczak led the Browns to a respectable 4-3 record as a starter before Kosar returned in a 27-14 win over the Chicago Bears. Following that game and a 37-21 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals the following week in which Kosar set a team record for completion percentage (82.6, on 19-of-23 passing for 239 yards and two TDs), the Browns were 7-6 and in the playoff chase.

But then came those three losses, the first of which was a 24-14 loss at Detroit to a Lions team that would finish just 5-11. That got the Browns off track, and they never recovered.

The defense continued to improve on the year, giving up 275 points, or 23 fewer than the unit had allowed in 1991. In two years under Belichick, the defense had shaved 187 points off its franchise-worst performance in 1990, when the Browns surrendered 462.

Offensively, Kosar, Tomczak and Philcox combined to throw for 18 TDs with 16 interceptions and an 82.7 quarterback rating. Considering all the injuries the Browns had suffered at the position, that was outstanding.

The fact Philcox had the best rating of the three at 97.3 gave Belichick confidence he could do the job, as would be revealed midway through 1993 when the coach cut Kosar and replaced him with the Syracuse product.

Rangy wide receiver Michael Jackson, though, was the most pleasant surprise on the team. A sixth-round pick in the 1991 NFL Draft out of Southern Mississippi, the 6-foot-4, 195-pounder tied with Metcalf for the team lead in receptions with 47 and added a club-best seven TD catches.

The Browns also increased their rushing yards to 1,607 -- just two more than their foes -- from 1,360 in 1992.

But in the end, those late-season collapses were killing the Browns. In the last six games, combined, from 1991 and '92 -- three in both seasons -- they had scored no more than 14 points. In 11 of their 16 contests in 1992, they scored 19 points or less.

They had to figure out a way to score more points, and if they could, then it might lead to more success for the team, especially in those important late-season games.

Steve King,
Staff Writer

Year Results
Preseason Results
National Football League: 2-2
Atlanta Falcons (59,566) 7-0
at New York Giants (46,788) 7-16
Minnesota Vikings (55,755) 3-56
at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (40,883) 24-3
Regular Season Results
  Regular Season Playoffs Combined Record
League W L T PCT W L T PCT W L T PCT
NFL 7 9 0 .438 0 0 0 .000 7 9 0 .438
Date Result Opponent Att.
9/6 L14-Mar at Indianapolis Colts 50,766
9/14 L23-27 Miami Dolphins 74,765
9/20 W28-16 at Los Angeles Raiders 48,102
9/27 L0-12 Denver Broncos 78,064
10/11 W17-9 Pittsburgh Steelers 78,080
10/18 W17-6 Green Bay Packers 69,268
10/25 W19-17 at New England Patriots 32,219
11/1 L30-Oct at Cincinnati Bengals 54,765
11/8 W24-14 at Houston Oilers 57,348
11/15 L13-14 San Diego Chargers 58,396
11/22 L13-17 at Minnesota Vikings 53,323
11/29 W27-14 Chicago Bears 73,578
12/6 W37-21 Cincinnati Bengals 68,368
12/13 L14-24 at Detroit Lions 65,970
12/20 L14-17 Houston Oilers 59,898
12/27 L13-23 at Pittsburgh Steelers 53,776
Score By Periods
1st 2nd 3rd 4th OT Tot.
Browns 63 31 76 102 0 --- 272
Opponents 55 47 80 93 0 --- 275
Team Statistics
Browns Opponent
Team Statistics Browns Opponent
Total First Downs 242 281
Rushing 85 86
Passing 141 170
Penalty 16 25
3rd Down: Made/Att 67/196 76/205
3rd Down Pct. 34.20% 37.10%
4th Down: Made/Att 9/17 7/14
4th Down Pct. 52.90% 50.00%
Total Net Yards 4,492 4,757
Avg. Per Game 280.8 297.3
Total Plays 883 963
Avg. Per Play 5.1 4.9
Net Yards Rushing 1,607 1,605
Avg. Per Game 100.4 100.3
Total Rushes 451 429
Net Yards Passing 2,885 3,152
Avg. Per Game 180.3 197
Sacked/Yards Lost 34/217 48/315
Attempts/Completions 398/238 486/291
Completion Pct. 59.80% 59.90%
Had Intercepted 16 13
Punts/Avg. 75/41.1 74/44.5
Net Punting Avg. 75/38.0 74/38.7
Penalties/Yards Lost 104/765 93/764
Fumbles/Ball Lost 19/12 33/20
Scoring
Ru Pa St Df PAT 2Ru 2Pa FG Saf TP
Stover, Matt 0 0 0 0 29/30 0 0 21/29 0 92
Metcalf, Eric 1 5 1 0 0/0 0 0 0/0 0 42
Jackson, Michael 0 7 0 0 0/0 0 0 0/0 0 42
Mack, Kevin 6 0 0 0 0/0 0 0 0/0 0 36
Bavaro, Mark 0 2 0 0 0/0 0 0 0/0 0 12
Brandon, David 0 0 0 2 0/0 0 0 0/0 0 12
Jones, James 0 1 0 0 0/0 0 0 0/0 0 6
Galbraith, Scott 0 1 0 0 0/0 0 0 0/0 0 6
Johnson, Mike 0 0 0 1 0/0 0 0 0/0 0 6
Hoard, Leroy 0 1 0 0 0/0 0 0 0/0 0 6
Moore, Stevon 0 0 0 1 0/0 0 0 0/0 0 6
Wolfley, Ron 0 1 0 0 0/0 0 0 0/0 0 6
Browns 7 18 1 4 29/30 0 0 21/29 0 272
Opponents 5 23 0 1 29/29 0 0 24/29 0 275
Rushing
No Yds Avg LG TD
Mack, Kevin 169 543 3.2 37 6
Vardell, Tommy 99 369 3.7 35 0
Metcalf, Eric 73 301 4.1 31 1
Hoard, Leroy 54 236 4.4 37 0
Tomczak, Mike 24 39 1.6 16 0
Browns 451 1,607 3.6 37 7
Opponents 429 1,605 3.7 48 5
Receiving
No Yds Avg LG TD
Jackson, Michael 47 755 16.1 69t 7
Metcalf, Eric 47 614 13.1 69t 5
Hoard, Leroy 26 310 11.9 46t 1
Tillman, Lawyer 25 498 19.9 52 0
Bavaro, Mark 25 315 12.6 39 2
Browns 238 3,102 13 69t 18
Opponents 291 3,467 11.9 68t 23
Interceptions
No Yds Avg LG TD
Newsome, Vince 3 55 18.3 29 0
Brandon, David 2 123 61.5 92t 1
Walls, Everson 2 26 13 24 0
Minnifield, Frank 2 6 3 5 0
Matthews, Clay 1 6 6 6 0
Browns 13 222 17.1 92t 1
Opponents 16 213 13.3 69 1
Punting
No Yds Avg In20 TB LG BLK
Hansen, Brian 74 3,083 41.7 28 7 73 1
Team, Stat 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Browns 75 3,083 41.1 28 7 73 1
Opponents 74 3,293 44.5 19 4 66 0
Punt Returns
No FC Yds Avg LG TD
Metcalf, Eric 44 10 429 9.8 75t 1
Browns 44 10 429 9.8 75t 1
Opponents 27 23 234 8.7 50 0
Kickoff Returns
No Yds Avg LG TD
Baldwin, Randy 30 675 22.5 47 0
Metcalf, Eric 9 157 17.4 30 0
Hoard, Leroy 2 34 17 25 0
Vardell, Tommy 2 14 7 13 0
Browns 43 880 20.5 47 0
Opponents 51 907 17.8 30 0
Field Goals
1-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50+ Tot
Stover, Matt 1/1 11/11 6/8 2/6 1/3 21/29
Browns 1/1 11/11 6/8 2/6 1/3 21/29
Opponents 0/0 10/11 7/8 7/8 0/2 24/29
Passing
Att Cmp Yds Pct Av/At th th% Int Int% LG Tkld Rating
Tomczak, Mike 211 120 1,693 56.9 8.02 7 3.3 7 3.3 52 12/85 80.1
Kosar, Bernie 155 103 1,160 66.5 7.48 8 5.2 7 4.5 69t 21/126 87
Philcox, Todd 27 13 217 48.1 8.04 3 11.1 1 3.7 69t 1/6 97.3
Goebel, Brad 3 2 32 66.7 10.67 0 0 0 0 22 0/0 102.1
Metcalf, Eric 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 39.6
Browns 398 238 3,102 59.8 7.79 18 4.5 16 4 69t 34/217 82.7
Opponents 486 291 3,467 59.9 7.13 23 4.7 13 2.7 68t 48/315 86.3