Published October 28, 2012
| Sports Network
Cleveland, OH – Trent Richardson's 26-yard touchdown run early in the first quarter proved to be the difference, as the Cleveland Browns held off the San Diego Chargers, 7-6.
Richardson, who played through a rib injury, carried the ball 24 times for 122 yards for the Browns (2-6), who have won two of three.
"I just felt real good out there," Richardson said.
Brandon Weeden completed 11-of-27 passes for 129 yards for Cleveland, which snapped a four-game skid against San Diego.
Philip Rivers connected on 18-of-34 passes for 154 yards for the Chargers (3-4), who have lost three in a row. Ryan Mathews carried the ball 24 times for 95 yards.
The Chargers moved the ball down to the Cleveland 30-yard line on the first possession of the game. Instead of kicking a field goal in the rain and wind, San Diego went for it on 4th-and-1. Jackie Battle was stopped for no gain and the Browns took over on downs.
"The conditions didn't help today," Rivers said. "We just need to finish some of those drives."
The Browns found the end zone 12 plays later. Richardson moved the chains with an 11-yard run on 3rd-and-1 near midfield. Faced with a 4th-and-1, Weeden got two yards on a quarterback sneak. Richardson then ripped off a 26-yard TD run to make it 7-0.
Cleveland failed to take advantage of Mathews' fumble near the end of the first quarter.
The Chargers got a late field goal to make it 7-3 at the half. San Diego moved the ball to the Cleveland 17-yard line, but Jeromey Clary caught a pass for a loss of eight yards. Nick Novak made a 43-yard field goal.
Following five combined punts to start the third quarter, Novak made a 31-yard field goal to make it 7-6.
Cleveland moved the ball to the San Diego 34 on the ensuing drive. Weeden, though, was sacked on 3rd-and-10 to force a punt.
The Chargers had one last chance on offense following a punt from each team. San Diego started from its own 12-yard line with 2:36 to play. Rivers led the visitors to the 44-yard line of the Browns. However, four incomplete passes in a row resulted in a turnover on downs.
The Browns ran out the rest of the clock to secure the narrow victory.
"Our defense won us that football game," Weeden said.
Browns defensive lineman Emmanuel Stephens left the game with a neck injury ... San Diego's Robert Meachem dropped a potential touchdown pass in the third quarter ... Ronnie Brown caught seven passes for 85 yards for the Chargers.