Record days fuel Cleveland Browns
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- All week the Browns heard how Mike Holmgren coming to Cleveland might end coach Eric Mangini's short, drama-filled stint with the team.
Jerome Harrison and Joshua Cribbs may have saved their coach's job, at least for now, trying to outdo each other with record-setting games.
Harrison scored his third touchdown with 44 seconds left and rushed for a team-record 286 yards, and Cribbs returned two kickoffs for touchdowns to lift the Browns to a 41-34 win.
"For the past two, three weeks, Josh and I have had a personal [competition] against each other," Harrison said. "He set the tempo and set it pretty high, but I told him at halftime, 'I'm going to get you.'"
Cribbs started the Browns (3-11) off with kickoff returns of 100 and 103 yards in the first half, breaking the NFL career record and tying the single-game mark.
Harrison still got the better of him. Running behind fullback Lawrence Vickers, he scored all of his touchdowns in the second half to break Jim Brown's team record of 237 yards, set in 1957 and '61.
Following a tying touchdown by Kansas City, Harrison closed out Cleveland's first winning streak in more than a year with a 28-yard run off right tackle, putting him behind only Adrian Peterson and Jamal Lewis in the NFL record book.
Not bad for a running back who had 301 total yards this season and no more than 246 in any of the previous three.
Jamaal Charles ran for a career-high 154 yards and scored in his sixth game in a row, and Kansas City (3-11) tied the game, 34-34, on Matt Cassel's touchdown pass to Mark Bradley with 2:20 left.
It still wasn't enough. Playing in Arrowhead Stadium's first non-sellout in 19 years, the Chiefs were plagued by more poor run defense, shoddy special teams and nine dropped passes.
"Disappointing outcome with very clear-cut reasons for the outcome, starting with special teams," Chiefs coach Todd Haley said. "When you allow two returns for touchdowns, that's generally not going to end up a good thing."
First Published December 21, 2009 12:00 am