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In a game of two sides who have underperformed this season, the Cleveland Browns (4-6) emerged victorious at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars (3-7) in a close-fought match, the final score 14-10 to the Browns.
The Browns continue to be haunted by their lack of options at running back, with both Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty still ruled out due to injuries. The Jaguars were also missing key personnel in the form of Rashean Mathis, who was placed on Injured Reserve earlier in the week.
Although the Jaguars have been disappointing this season, they got off to the perfect start when running back Maurice Jones-Drew powered into the end zone from the six-yard line early in the second quarter.
Not to be outdone, the Browns responded in similar fashion, with running Chris Ogbonnaya getting the rushing touchdown from the one-yard line, leveling the scores as both sides headed into the halftime interval.
There was very little to separate the sides as they entered the second half, but the Browns nearly took the lead when Colt McCoy threw into the end zone from the six-yard line, only for the pass to be intercepted by Jaguars safety Dawan Landry.
Cleveland did finally propel themselves into the lead early in the fourth quarter when McCoy found wide receiver Josh Cribbs for a three-yard touchdown pass, putting the home side seven points ahead.
Although the Jaguars managed to kick a field goal and cut the deficit to four points, they couldn’t put anything else on the scoreboard and will head home disappointed to have lost to a side whose form has been as poor as their own.
Cleveland Head Coach Pat Shurmur will be pleased to have picked up the victory ahead of a tough end to the season which sees the Browns having to contend with the threat of all of their divisional rivals at least once.
The gradual improvement made by Ogbonnaya over the last few games, culminating in him running for 115 yards on 21 carries, will also please Shurmur. If Ogbonnaya can develop into a real threat running the ball, then his presence will allow McCoy to target the threats of Greg Little and Cribbs more efficiently.
With the Bengals up next for Cleveland, they will be hoping that they can welcome back some of their key injured players, as the Bengals continue to look dangerous despite losing to both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens in their last two games.
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