For a moment there, it seemed like Sam Bradford would need to lead an impressive two-minute drill for the St. Louis Rams to have any chance of winning. That was before Cleveland Browns kicker Phil Dawson missed a 22-yard field goal with just over two minutes left in the game, allowing the Rams to hold onto a 13-12 lead and beat the Browns on Sunday afternoon.
Down 12-10 going into the fourth quarter, Cleveland made a major mistake when punt returner Joshua Cribbs fumbled the ball. The Rams recovered the ball at Cleveland's 27-yard line, and got close enough for kicker Josh Brown to knock in a 34-yard field goal. That put St. Louis up 13-12 with just under eight minutes to go in the game.
That when the Browns began a drive that looked like it could be the game-winner, at least for the first nine plays. The Rams handed Cleveland exceptional field position when Brown popped the kickoff out of bounds, handing the Browns the ball at their own 40-yard line. After a couple of solid plays got Cleveland to the St. Louis 39, a horse collar tackle penalty by the Rams pushed Cleveland into the red zone.
After a series of running plays, Cleveland got the ball down to the Rams' 4-yard line with just over two minutes left in the game. Stuck at fourth-and-4, the Browns called on kicker Phil Dawson to push through his fifth field goal of the day. It seemed like pretty much a lock from just 22 yards out. Dawson was a perfect 4-for-4 on his first four opportunities of the day, all of them longer than 22 yards. Coming into this game, he was 100-for-104 (roughly 96% efficiency) on kicks from inside 30 yards during his career.
And then he missed it, wide left. The Rams took possession of the ball at the Browns' 20, got a first down on a couple of strong runs from Steven Jackson and called it a game. It may not have been a pretty win, as the Browns had more yardage, less turnovers, less penalties and more time of possession, but the Rams got things done when it counted, and now they have a second win on the season.
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