Top Browns Season Openers - #8

Today marks 80 days until the 2014 Cleveland Browns regular season begins with a road game in Pittsburgh. We're counting down with the #8 Top Cleveland Browns Opening Game:

Sunday, September 2, 1979

Browns 25, New York Jets 22 (OT)

Shea Stadium (48,472)

The Browns set the tone for a remarkable season with a nail-biting, emotionally exhausting 75-minute battle at Shea Stadium. The drama began early in the fourth when the Browns, leading 19-13, decided to go for it on fourth-and-inches at the New York 14 rather than kick a field goal. They were stuffed, and the Jets responded with the game-tying touchdown, but missed a chance to take the lead when the extra-point attempt went awry. Browns' WR Ricky Feacher fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the Jets recovered, cashing in for a 22-19 lead on a field goal with 1:58 to play. But the Browns weren't to be denied, driving from their own 14 to the Jets' 18 with time running out, and Don Cockroft sent the game to overtime with a 35-yard field goal with four seconds remaining. Momentum swung dramatically back and forth in sudden-death, with the Browns surviving a blocked punt with the aid of a ferocious pass rush that pinned New York QB Matt Robinson five times, including three by newly acquired DE Lyle Alzado. With 35 seconds left in overtime, Robinson launched a desperation pass from his own 38 that was intercepted by DB Oliver Davis, who weaved his way to the New York 31, giving the Browns one last chance. A key pass from QB Brian Sipe, who threw for 302 yards, to WR Dave Logan, who caught six passes for 115 yards, pushed them into field-goal range, and with 18 seconds left, Cockroft kicked his fourth field goal of the day into the falling dusk to give the Browns a memorable opening-day victory.

1          2          3          4          OT

Browns           7          3          9          3          3          =          25

Jets                 3          7          3          9          0          =          22

NYJ-Leahy 34-yd. FG

CLE-G.Pruitt 12-yd. pass from Sipe (Cockroft kick)

NYJ-Robinson 1-yd. run (Leahy kick)

CLE-Cockroft 31-yd. FG

CLE-Newsome 17-yd. pass from Sipe (kick failed)

NYJ-Leahy 24-yd. FG

CLE-Cockroft 36-yd. FG

NYJ-Long 5-yd. run (kick failed)

NYJ-Leahy 21-yd. FG

CLE-Cockroft 35-yd. FG

CLE-Cockroft 27-yd. FG


CLE: Sipe 21-36-302 2 TD 3 INT

NYJ: Robinson 17-31-191 0 TD 2 INT


CLE: G.Pruitt 20-81, M.Pruitt 16-49, Hill 2-1

NYJ: Dierking 14-94, Long 21-69, Harper 7-44, Gaines 6-18, Robinson 3-4


CLE: Logan 6-115, Rucker 4-74, G.Pruitt 3-39, Newsome 3-31, M.Pruitt 3-18, Wright 1-13, Feacher 1-12

NYJ: Walker 5-65, Barkum 3-33, Gaffney 3-33, Long 1-27, Gaines 3-22, Dierking 1-8, Harper 1-3

Text reproduced from The Browns Bible:The Complete Game-By-Game History of the Cleveland Browns by Jonathan Knight, The Kent State University Press

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