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Chargers vs. Browns game recap: Cleveland's defense paces 7-6 victory

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.

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Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.