To continue our celebration of the franchise's 75th anniversary, we're launching "Browns Countdown: Top 75 Moments" presented by Bridgestone. Over the next month, through videos, articles and more, we'll be highlighting the top 75 moments in Browns history. Our video tributes, which will be available at ClevelandBrowns.com, the Browns' mobile app and the Browns' official YouTube Channel, will dive deep into the top 20 while our articles will put the spotlight on a number of different moments that are sprinkled throughout the top 75.
We're moving down to No. 66, which highlights the first time the expansion-era Browns got revenge against Cleveland's former team.
It took 756 days to do it, but the Browns will never forget the first time they earned revenge against the team that will forever be remembered as the one that broke Cleveland's hearts.
Oct. 21, 2001. The Baltimore Ravens, who were in their sixth year of existence after the franchise moved from Cleveland, traveled to Cleveland Browns Stadium for their fifth game ever against the expansion-era team. After recording just five wins in their first two seasons, the Browns were entering the Week 6 matchup with a significantly better roster, one that led them to a promising 3-2 start to the season.
But the Browns had yet to record a win in either of their first two seasons against Baltimore. The first game, played in Week 3 of the 1999 season, resulted in a Ravens win. The Browns were thumped again in their second matchup that year and were swept by Baltimore in 2000, when the Ravens won Super Bowl XXXVII.
The skid finally ended in their first matchup of 2001.
Browns quarterback Tim Couch threw two touchdowns while the defense drilled Baltimore with three turnovers and seven sacks to secure the 24-14 win. The 4-2 Browns had moved ahead of the 3-3 Ravens in the AFC Central, and the city of Cleveland finally snagged its retribution.
"This was huge," Couch said after the game. "It feels so good to get this win for the fans of Cleveland who have seen their team leave town, and then go win the Super Bowl. This was for
For the Browns, the win was one of four more they attained for a 7-9 record to the season, which didn't place them in the playoffs but still represented a significant turning point since the franchise's return — it took them a full year to reach four wins since their first game back in Cleveland in September 1999. But in 2001, they achieved that mark in six weeks and completed their best season since recording 11 wins in 1994.
New head coach Butch Davis believed he could angle the franchise back to a winning direction, and he proved that was possible by coaching the Browns to their first win over Cleveland's former football tenants.
"Butch is doing a great job," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "They have a certain attitude. The fans are pumped up. They are obviously a better team. They earned it."
Earlier this year, the Browns commissioned a panel of historians, alumni and journalists to rank the top 75 moments in Browns history. The group met multiple times to discuss the moments and each member submitted their own final rankings, which were averaged against each other to create the ultimate list.
Building the Top 75 from the bottom up
65. Phil Dawson retires from the NFL as a Cleveland Brown. Dawson signed with the Browns in 1999 and kicked for the Browns for 14 years.
67. Bobby Mitchell rushes for 232 yards on 14 carries for an incredible 16.6-yard average in a Cleveland Browns 31-17 win against the Washington Redskins on Nov. 15, 1959.
68. Browns' fans create numerous music ballads that are played on Cleveland radio to celebrate the teams resurgence in the late 1980s. Songs include "Oh Bernie Bernie," "Super Bowl Browns" and "Born and Raised on the Browns."
69. Browns defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars, 21-20, on Dec. 8, 2002 with a 50-yard Hail Mary from Tim Couch to Quincy Morgan with no time left. Couch becomes the only quarterback to have two game-winning passes of 50 yards or more with no time left on the clock.
72. Browns clinch an Eastern Conference title by crushing the New York Giants 52-20 on Dec. 12, 1964.
73. Browns move into first place of the AFC Central Division after defeating the Houston Oilers on Dec. 15, 1985. The Browns would go on to win the AFC Central for the first time since 1980
74. Jeff Garcia and Andre Davis combine to tie the NFL record for the longest pass in NFL history of 99 yards in a Cleveland Browns 34-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Oct. 17, 2004.