Matt Sullivan

Chargers vs. Browns: Cleveland rides defense to 7-6 win

Even with a struggling Brandon Weeden, the Browns rode Trent Richardson and a strong defensive effort to a 7-6 victory over the Chargers on Sunday.

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21 Total Updates since October 28, 2012
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Josh Cribbs would like to see the ball more

The Browns' special team maven would like his role on offense expanded.

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Browns DE Emmanuel Stephens placed on IR

Cleveland has not yet announced Stephens' replacement on the roster

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Browns rookies shine in win over Chargers

The Cleveland Browns received big contributions from rookies Billy Winn and James-Michael Johnson in Sunday's 7-6 win over the San Diego Chargers.

Winn, a defensive tackle out of Boise State, recovered Chargers running back Ryan Mathews' fumble after Johnson, a linebacker from Nevada, forced the miscue. Winn told Tom Reed of The Plain Dealer about the importance of the Browns creating turnovers, at which they've had great success over the past three games:

"It's tough to win a game when you don't have turnovers -- everybody knows that. But they don't just come to you, you have to create them."

Winn has recovered two fumbles this season, while accumulating 12 tackles and a sack. Meanwhile, Johnson had the best game of his career to date, racking up 10 tackles and the forced fumble. Browns head coach Pat Shurmur was pleased with Johnson's effort, as well as that of the rest of the team's rookies:

"I think he's been like all of our rookies, they're playing a little better each week and I think he showed up well today."

The Browns allowed just 265 total yards to the Chargers' offense, which contains a myriad of weapons. Cleveland will need a similar effort in Week 9 with the Baltimore Ravens coming to town.

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Stephens, Goodman injured in Browns' win

The Cleveland Browns picked up their second win of the season on Sunday, and it was as ugly as it gets. When you see a 7-6 final score, you think it was a strong defensive battle, or that it was an ugly mess. It was, in fact, the latter, but a win is a win, and the important thing is that the Browns are on the right track.

As for injuries, there were a couple to note for the Browns. Kick returner Richard Goodman injured his hamstring returning the opening kickoff, and he was immediately out for the game. He did not return and there are no updates on his status as of Monday morning.

Defensive end Emmanuel Stephens sustained a neck injury in the first half and missed the rest of the game as well. His status is also unclear, though the Browns are expected to give updates on both players in the near future. Outside of those two, the Browns remained relatively healthy.

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Jim Brown congratulates Trent Richardson

Cleveland Browns legend Jim Brown met with current star running back Trent Richardson after the game to congratulate him on his solid performance in the team's win over the San Diego Chargers on Sunday. Brown created a stir after draft day when he called Richardson "ordinary," but the two have worked to smooth out their relationship since then and Richardson told the News-Herald that he appreciated Brown talking to him after the game.

"It meant a lot (to have Brown waiting for him)," Richardson said. "Like I've said, he's an icon. Someone came in the trainer's room and said, ‘Jim Brown's out there for you.' I ran out there. Him just being here today shows what he thinks about us."

Brown told him to "keep doing what you're doing," which is something that could help the Browns turn their season around. On Sunday, Richardson rushed for 122 yards on 24 carries, his second time over the century mark this season. It was a marked turnaround from the team's Week 7 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, in which Richardson rushed just eight times for eight yards.

On the season, the first-round pick from Alabama has rushed 127 times for 470 yards, good for just 3.7 yards per carry.

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Weather conditions aid Browns in 2nd win

The Browns picked up their first win of the Haslam era, and some sloppy conditions helped the cause. Ryan Alton recaps the day at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

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Browns' ground game, defense lead team to victory

Trent Richardson ran for 122 yards against San Diego.

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Trent Richardson rewards fantasy owners vs. SD

Despite being listed as questionable all week due to a rib injury, Browns running back Trent Richardson turned in the best game of his NFL career on Sunday afternoon to help power a narrow victory over the Chargers.

Richardson set new career highs with 24 carries and 122 rushing yards, and was the unquestioned star in a slow-paced game where neither the Browns nor the Chargers could pass for more than 150 yards. The 5'9, 230-pound back also scored the day's only touchdown with a 26-yard scamper in the first quarter, and managed to haul in a pass for the seventh consecutive week.

Expected to be spelled by backup Montario Hardesty more than usual entering the day, Richardson's strong performance represented a significant sigh of relief for fantasy owners after a frustrating Week 7. Hardesty carried the ball just three times for three yards, meaning that Richardson's owners can now keep him in their lineup with confidence going forward. The Browns will square off with Baltimore in Week 9, and Richardson could be poised for another big day against a depleted Ravens defense.

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Browns beat Chargers 7-6 for second win in 2012

The Cleveland Browns rode a dominant defensive effort to a 7-6 victory over the San Diego Chargers on Sunday afternoon. In spite of a struggling pass offense, the Browns were able to depend on running back Trent Richardson and a surprisingly-stout defensive unit to win their second game of the season.

Coming off a few underwhelming performances while dealing with an ongoing rib injury, Richardson came alive on Sunday to rush for 122 yards on 24 carries, including a 26-yard romp for the game's only touchdown. The rookie also caught one pass for 12 yards.

Richardson's performance comes at a particularly good time for the Browns, too, as quarterback Brandon Weeden struggled to complete passes. The rookie landed just 11-of-27 passes for 129 yards, although he avoided key turnovers that could've cost the team a win.

San Diego could muster just 265 total yards and 17 first downs against the Browns, with that effort split evenly between the pass and the rush. Philip Rivers completed 18-of-34 passes, but they accounted for just 154 yards overall.

The Chargers neared field goal range for a possible game-winning attempt in the final two minutes, but the Browns held steady on fourth down to force a turnover on downs, allowing them to run out the clock.

Fantasy studs/duds: The two starting running backs, Mathews (24 carries, 95 yards) and Richardson (24 carries, 122 yards, one score), were the biggest performers of the day. The two passing offenses combined for less than 265 yards on the day.

For more, check out SB Nation's fantasy hub.

Odds/Gambling: The Chargers were favored by 2.5 points, so they didn't cover.

For more, check out SB Nation's odds page.

Injury info: Browns defensive end Emmanuel Stephens suffered a neck injury during the game and did not return. His status going forward is unclear at the moment.

Next team on the schedule: On Thursday night, the Chargers are hosting the Kansas City Chiefs, while the Browns take on the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

For more on Browns football, check out Dawgs by Nature. To get more on the Chargers, check out Bolts From The Blue.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

This story originally appeared on SBNation.com.

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Trent Richardson will likely play vs. Chargers

Browns running back Trent Richardson is expected to play today, according to a report.

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Browns sign Sanford from practice squad

The Cleveland Browns signed Brian Sanford from their practice squad to take the place of Scott Fujita, who was placed on injured reserve.

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Trent Richardson listed as questionable for Week 8

The Cleveland Browns released their official injury report on Friday, running back Trent Richardson (ribs) is listed as questionable for the team's Week 8 matchup against the San Diego Chargers.

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Jabaal Sheard tired of being stuck on 1 sack

Cleveland Browns defensive end Jabaal Sheard is tired of being stuck on one sack in 2012.

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Haden enjoying comeback season despite suspension

Despite a four-game suspension, Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden is having a comeback season after a disappointing 2011 campaign.

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Banner's review, evaluation begins vs. Chargers

Jimmy Haslam officially took ownership of the Browns this week, and he and Joe Banner will immediately start looking to improve the organization -- starting this Sunday on the Lake.

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Weeden happy to have all his receivers for Week 8

Browns rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden is excited to get all of his receivers back on the field.

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