History

Year by Year Results: 2000
Team Photo

 Three games do not make a season, but in 2000, Browns fans were giddy about the team's quick start.

The second-year club, coming off a 2-14 season, the worst in franchise history, vaulted to a 2-1 record.

After getting ground down 27-7 by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the opener, the Browns won back-to-back games against their two most bitter rivals, AFC Central foes Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. They clubbed the host Bengals 24-7, getting -- by far -- their most lopsided win of the expansion era to that point, and then returned home to turn back the Steelers 23-20. It was their second consecutive win over Pittsburgh dating back to 1999.

The Browns blew out to a 14-0 lead and then, after falling behind, scored the game's last six points to win. Tim Couch passed for a career-high 310 yards and two touchdowns.

So all was right in Browns Town as the team prepared for a game at Oakland.

The Browns got off to a great start, scoring a TD on the first possession of the game, but it was all Raiders from there as they coasted to a 36-10 victory.

Still, at 2-2, the Browns appeared to be in good shape.

But the offense's struggles in that game foreshadowed a major problem: As was the case in 1999, the Browns couldn't score enough points to be competitive on a consistent basis. That was a real disappointment to head coach Chris Palmer, who had ascended to the job for his skill in coaching offense.

In 10 of their final 12 games, the Browns would get no more than 19 points and would score in single digits seven times, including three shutouts. And in the two contests where they exceeded 19 points, they did so only barely, getting 21 and 24 points.

 The defense was improved, but no defense was good enough to carry a club that had offensive problems of that magnitude.

It started with a 12-0 loss at home at Baltimore, giving the Ravens -- the transplanted Browns -- their third straight win over Palmer's team. To make matters worse, Baltimore got all of its points on four field goals from former Brown Matt Stover.

The defeat was costly, as Errict Rhett, signed in free agency in the offseason from the Ravens to be the Browns' featured running back, suffered a career-ending ruptured Achilles tendon injury in the first half.

Two more losses followed, both on the road, 29-21 to the Arizona Cardinals and 44-10 to that old nemesis, the Denver Broncos.

Now at 2-5 and in the midst of a four-game losing streak, things were beginning to unravel for the Browns.

But as it turned out, that was only the tip of the iceberg -- a pre-cursor to the devastating events that would follow and change the course of the franchise.

On the final play of practice on Thursday, the last major day of work as the Browns prepared for the return match with the Steelers at Three Rivers Stadium, Couch broke the thumb on his throwing (right) hand when the hand hit that of a defensive teammate who had come way too close on his pass rush.

An hour later, Palmer, with an ashen look on his face, came into the media room to deliver the sobering news: Couch would miss the rest of the season.

Veteran Ty Detmer would have normally taken over at this point, just as he did successfully late in the 1999 season when Couch got hurt, but he was out for the season himself after having torn his Achilles tendon at Chicago in the second preseason game.

So Doug Pederson stepped in at quarterback and, with virtually no time for him to get ready for the game, or for him and the rest of his offensive teammates to get acclimated to one another, the Browns attack really struggled in a 22-0 loss to the Steelers.

That would continue for the rest of the year, as the team scored just 66 points in their final eight games.

Particularly hard to swallow were road losses at Baltimore (44-7) and to the Jacksonville Jaguars (48-0), two of the most lopsided defeats in Browns history.

Getting blanked in two of their last three games, the Browns' once-promising season ended with a 3-13 record. They had won one more game than they did in 1999, but the same hopefulness and optimism the club carried into that offseason was non-existent this time because of all of the injuries and the way the season ended.

In a lot of respects, the Browns were back to square one, like they were at the start of the 1999 expansion season. Something of real magnitude needed to happen to get them jump-started.

Steve King,
Staff Writer

Year Results
Preseason Results
National Football League: 1-3
Philadelphia Eagles (72,518) 33-22
at Chicago Bears (66,944) 6-19
Washington Redskins (71,818) 0-24
at Green Bay Packers (59,687) 33-34
Regular Season Results
  Regular Season Playoffs Combined Record
League W L T PCT W L T PCT W L T PCT
NFL 3 13 0 .188 0 0 0 .000 3 13 0 .188
Date Result Opponent Att.
9/3 L7-27 Jacksonville Jaguars 72,418
9/10 W24-7 at Cincinnati Bengals 64,006
9/17 W23-20 Pittsburgh Steelers 73,018
9/24 L10-36 at Oakland Raiders 45,702
10/1 L0-12 Baltimore Ravens 73,018
10/8 L21-29 at Arizona Cardinals 39,148
10/15 L10-44 at Denver Broncos 75,811
10/22 L0-22 at Pittsburgh Steelers 57,659
10/29 L3-12 Cincinnati Bengals 73,118
11/5 L3-24 New York Giants 72,718
11/12 W19-11 New England Patriots 72,618
11/19 L10-24 at Tennessee Titans 68,498
11/26 L7-44 at Baltimore Ravens 68,361
12/3 L0-48 at Jacksonville Jaguars 51,262
12/10 L24-35 Philadelphia Eagles 72,318
12/17 L0-24 Tennessee Titans 72,318
Score By Periods
1st 2nd 3rd 4th OT Tot.
Browns 51 45 32 33 0 --- 161
Opponents 46 176 115 82 0 --- 419
Team Statistics
Browns Opponent
Total First Downs 176 343
Rushing 53 147
Passing 110 169
Penalty 13 27
3rd Down: Made/Att 58/210 98/227
3rd Down Pct. 27.6 43.2
4th Down: Made/Att 6/19 11/17
4th Down Pct. 31.6 64.7
Possesion Avg. 23:38 36:22
Total Net Yards 3530 5643
Avg. Per Game 220.6 352.7
Total Plays 859 1122
Avg. Per Play 4.1 5.0
Net Yards Rushing 1085 2505
Avg. Per Game 67.8 156.6
Total Rushes 336 594
Net Yards Passing 2445 3138
Avg. Per Game 152.8 196.1
Sacked/Yards Lost 40/283 42/270
Gross Yards 2728 3408
Attempts/Completions 483/278 486/262
Completion Pct. 57.6 53.9
Had Intercepted 19 12
Punts/Avg. 108/45.5 68/42.2
Net Punting Avg. 108/37.3 68/35.8
Penalties/Yards Lost 103/925 71/626
Fumbles/Ball Lost 21/9 27/13
Touchdowns 17 46
Rushing 7 26
Passing 9 18
Returns 1 2
Scoring
Ru Pa St Df PAT 2Ru 2Pa FG Saf TP
Dawson, Phil 0 0 0 0 17/17 0 0 14/17 0 59
Prentice, Travis 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 48
Edwards, Marc 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 12
Shea, Aaron 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 12
Campbell, Marc 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6
Browns 7 9 0 1 17/17 0 0 14/17 0 161
Opponents 26 18 0 2 44/44 1 0 31/34 2 419
Receiving
No Yds Avg LG TD
Johnson, Kevin 57 669 11.7 79 0
Northcutt, Dennis 39 422 10.8 37 0
Patten, David 38 546 14.4 65 1
Prentice, Travis 37 191 5.2 13 1
Shea, Aaron 30 302 10.1 37 2
Browns 278 2,728 9.8 79 9
Opponents 262 3,408 13 61 18
Interceptions
No Yds Avg LG TD
Fuller, Corey 3 0 0 0 0
Ellsworth, Percy 1 33 33.0 33t 1
McCutcheon, Daylon 1 20 20.0 20 0
Little, Earl 1 7 7.0 7 0
Rainer, Wali 1 5 5.0 5 0
Browns 12 68 5.7 33t 1
Opponents 19 228 12 46t 2
Punting
No Yds Avg In20 TB LG BLK
Gardocki, Chris 108 4,919 45.5 25 5 67 0
Browns 108 4,919 45.5 25 5 67 0
Opponents 68 2,868 42.2 18 7 69 0
Punt Returns
No FC Yds Avg LG TD
Northcutt, Dennis 27 12 289 10.7 30 0
Barnes, Rashidi 1 0 0 0 0 0
Chapman, Lamar 1 2 5 5 5 0
Dunn, Damon 1 0 0 0 0 0
Browns 29 14 294 10.1 30 0
Opponents 69 10 793 11.5 54 0
Kickoff Returns
No Yds Avg LG TD
White, Jamel 43 935 21.7 40 0
Patten, David 22 469 21.3 62 0
Jackson, Lenzie 9 168 18.7 30 0
Saleh, Tarek 4 46 11.5 15 0
Campbell, Marc 3 30 10 13 0
Browns 85 1,710 20.1 62 0
Opponents 42 1012 24..1 62 0
Field Goals
1-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50+ Tot
Dawson, Phil 3/3 4/4 5/5 2/5 0/0 14/17
Browns 3/3 4/4 5/5 2/5 0/0 14/17
Opponents 0/0 9/9 13/13 8/10 1/2 31/34
Passing
Att Cmp Yds Pct Av/At th th% Int Int% LG Tkld Rating
Couch, Tim 215 137 1,483 63.7 6.9 7 3.3 9 4.2 79 Oct-78 77.3
Pederson, Doug 210 117 1047 55.7 5.0 2 1.0 8 3.8 67 17/116 56.6
Wynn, Spergon 54 22 167 40.7 3.1 0 0.0 1 1.9 32 13/89 41.2
Johnson, Kevin 3 1 23 33.3 7.7 0 0.0 1 33.3 23 0/0 22.2
Thompson, Kevin 1 1 8 100 8.0 0 0.0 0 0 8 0/0 100
Browns 483 278 2,728 57.6 5.65 9 1.9 19 3.9 79 40/283 63.4
Opponents 486 262 3,408 53.9 7.01 18 3.7 12 2.5 61 42/270 78.3