- The Washington Times - Monday, October 22, 2001

CLEVELAND Until they win the Super Bowl, this was as good as it can get for the Cleveland Browns and their fans.
Beating Baltimore never will feel quite the same.
Six years after Art Modell moved his team, Cleveland finally thumbed its nose at Baltimore's owner as the Browns topped the Super Bowl champion Ravens 24-14 yesterday.
"This was huge," said quarterback Tim Couch. "It feels so good to get this win for the fans of Cleveland who have seen their team leave town, and then go win the Super Bowl. This was for them."
Couch threw two quick touchdown passes in the third quarter as the Browns (4-2) beat Baltimore for the first time since returning to the league in 1999.
The Browns have been saying all season that they're a different team under first-year coach Butch Davis, and now there's no doubt they are.
"We've got confidence, and we believe," said safety Percy Ellsworth. "If you beat Baltimore, who should you be scared of?"
Cleveland's defense forced three turnovers, had seven sacks and dominated the reeling Ravens (3-3), who are a shell of the team whose defense dominated the NFL last season.
Matt Stover set an NFL record by making a field goal for the 32nd straight game but that was the lone bright spot for Baltimore, whose ferocious defense has given up 55 points in two weeks.
"We're 3-3 and if we don't take it seriously, we can be 8-8," said safety Rod Woodson. "We've got to pick it up now."
The Browns were outscored 116-26 while going 0-4 since '99 against the Ravens and Modell, who broke Cleveland's collective heart when he moved his franchise following the 1995 season.
And although Modell didn't come to Cleveland to flaunt his Super Bowl ring, that didn't stop Browns fans from enjoying their first on-field success against the former owner.
"I want to beat everybody's team," Browns owner Al Lerner said. "We beat the Super Bowl champions it just so happens that it's Baltimore. I love it."
Browns fans were more excited. Most of the crowd of 72,828 stayed through a driving rain in the fourth quarter to soak in every second and jeer the Ravens off the field.
A few feet away, Davis pumped his fist as he sprinted to Cleveland's locker room.
Couch was 11-for-18 for 149 yards and rookie James Jackson rushed for 77 yards and a touchdown for the Browns, whose biggest win in three years will be followed by an off week.
Couch threw a 29-yard TD pass to Kevin Johnson, and a 36-yarder to rookie Quincy Morgan in a span of 1 minute, 54 seconds in the third quarter as the Browns opened a 24-6 lead.
Clearly, the Browns are a much different team under Davis than the one which went 5-27 in two seasons.
"Butch is doing a great job," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "They have a certain attitude. The fans are pumped up. They are obviously a better team. They earned it."
The Ravens, meanwhile, are in big trouble.
They lost quarterback Elvis Grbac in the third quarter with a chest injury, and running back Terry Allen left following the first series with a pulled calf muscle and never returned. Grbac was replaced by Randall Cunningham, who was sacked four times.
After Couch's second TD pass, Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis gathered his defense and screamed at his teammates.
Billick didn't publicly blast his players.
"It serves no purpose for me to go off," he said. "It's frustrating. I'm angry. But I have to keep my focus."
Cleveland led 10-6 early in the second half when Baltimore was forced to punt. On the kick, Ravens cornerback James Trapp drilled Browns returner Dennis Northcutt, who said he didn't know what hit him.
Seeing Northcutt get laid out seemed to fire up the Browns, who picked up a first down on fourth-and-2 during an 80-yard drive capped by Couch hooking up with Johnson, who pushed off against cornerback Duane Starks before catching the TD.
On Baltimore's next possession, Grbac fumbled while by being sacked by Jamir Miller. Cleveland's Greg Spires recovered.
Couch didn't waste any time, hitting Morgan at the goal line on a ball that Starks probably should have knocked away to give the Browns a 24-6 lead.

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