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Throwback Thursday: 2001 Browns post 1st shutout in 7 years

The Browns boasted a much-improved defense to start 2001, but it wasn't until Week 11 when the team was able to celebrate a landmark moment for the rebooted franchise.

Cleveland notched its first shutout 42 games into the new era by blanking the Cincinnati Bengals, 18-0, on Nov. 25, 2001, at Cleveland Browns Stadium. The Browns intercepted five passes, forced seven turnovers and limited Cincinnati to 191 yards of offense in a win that moved the team to 6-4.

"I'll be celebrating 'til Tuesday," linebacker Jamir Miller told the Associated Press after the game. "It's our first shutout, a milestone. My first one in years and it feels great."

The shutout was the Browns' first since Sept. 18, 1994, against the Arizona Cardinals.

Cleveland needed just one touchdown and four Phil Dawson field goals to provide itself with a comfortable margin of victory on this day. Tim Couch connected with Kevin Johnson on a 6-yard pass with 26 seconds remaining in the first half to send Cleveland to the locker room with a 12-point advantage.

The Bengals came oh so close to breaking the shutout, but a defensive stand inside the 5-yard line kept it in tact. After T.J. Houshmandzadeh's 86-yard punt return put the Bengals on Cleveland's 5-yard line, the Browns toughened up and stopped Cincinnati cold. The Browns got the ball back with no damage incurred after Courtney Brown and Dwayne Rudd combined to sack Scott Mitchell on fourth down.

The victory was the second-to-last for Cleveland in 2001, as the team finished 7-9 in Butch Davis' first season as head coach.

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