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Browns D carries 'enough is enough' mentality to sack 49ers

Enough was enough.

Sick of losing, sick of surrendering more points than it ever envisioned during this 2015 season, the Browns defense came into Sunday's game focused on simply putting together a complete, 60-minute effort that'd been missing in the previous seven games.

It happened Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium in a performance that was eerily similar to Cleveland's Week 2 win over the Titans, but even more dominant against a struggling 49ers offense.

"At some point you've got to man up and say enough is enough," defensive end Desmond Bryant said. "We said that this week, put in the work that was necessary and we finally got the W we've been looking for."

Bryant wore a new suit as he stood by his locker after Cleveland's 24-10 victory. It was the defensive end's birthday weekend -- he turns 30 on Tuesday -- and he wanted to set the tone for an all-business mindset.

For the Browns defense, that happened on the first series and continued to the very end.

The Browns picked up their first of nine sacks two plays into the game when San Francisco quarterback Blaine Gabbert was pressured out of the pocket and forced to run out of bounds behind the line of scrimmage. It emerged as a theme, and the player making it tough on Gabbert depended on the play.

"It was really exciting to see all your teammates have success together," linebacker Paul Kruger said. "It just breaks up what we've been feeling for the past little while. It was something we definitely needed."

Seven different Browns had their hand in at least one of the team's nine sacks. It marked just the third time in franchise history the team hit nine and was just two short of the team record of 11 set in 1993 against the Saints.

"That's a credit to that group and the pass rush plan (defensive line coach) Anthony Weaver put together for those guys and they went out and executed," Browns coach Mike Pettine said. "We talked about it all week, there's nothing like winning. We just wanted to find a way. Just the mental toughness of the men in that room, very easily could have been just 'let's shut this down and ride out the month' and this league's about winning and I think they set their minds to it."

The Browns limited the 49ers to 221 yards of offense -- 87 fewer than the previous season-low. San Francisco picked up a good chunk of that total on its final possession when the game was well in Cleveland's hands. That final drive, which ended with a Gabbert touchdown pass to Jerome Simpson with less than 2 minutes to play, marked the first time the 49ers entered the red zone on a Browns defense that held tough and allowed zero points on the two drives following Cleveland turnovers.

Sunday marked the first time Cleveland limited its opponent to 10 or fewer points since Nov. 6, 2014, against the Bengals.

"The hunger's been building in us every time we've gone out and we haven't gotten the result we wanted. The hunger has gotten more and more," Bryant said. "Today we finally got it done."

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