The Browns played with fire nearly all game — perhaps to stay warm in windy, cold Cleveland. But they kept inviting San Diego to come back Sunday after taking a 7-0 lead 11 minutes into the first quarter.
In the end, Cleveland (2-6) held on for a 7-6 victory over the Chargers (3-4) in a game that pitted head coaches fighting for their jobs. When the final second ticked off the game clock, it was Chargers coach Norv Turner who appeared to be in grave danger of being sent packing. His team has been outscored 52-10 in the second half of the last three games.
The news was also bad for another couple teams at a crossroads: The Chargers lost 7-6 at Cleveland — their third straight defeat — falling out of a first-place tie with Denver and conjuring up memories of last year’s season-killing six-game losing streak. The streaky Jets, too, could have climbed back to respectability with a victory, but were demolished at home by Miami, 30-9, skidding to 3-5 and into last place in the AFC East. Big, bad New York hits midseason looking humbled and bewildered, as if another .500 finish this year might be beyond its grasp.
CLEVELAND, Ohio — The wind tore into the threads of stadium flags and shot debris end-to-end across the mostly absent crowd. The rain poured down on a ponchoed sideline, turning the grass into soggy, slippery slush.