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Backup sparkles; Browns rally past Chiefs

CLEVELAND (Dec. 3, 2006) -- By his 10th birthday, Derek Anderson wore size 17 shoes. In Week 13, those gigantic feet ran the Cleveland Browns to an improbable victory.

Anderson threw two touchdown passes to Steve Heiden in the final 8:55 of regulation and then scrambled 33 yards in overtime to set up Phil Dawson's 33-yard field goal, giving the Browns a 31-28 victory against the stunned Kansas City Chiefs.

Before coming in for the injured Charlie Frye, Anderson had never thrown an NFL pass and had taken only one snap. However, the 23-year-old calmly rallied the Browns (4-8), who capped another dysfunctional week with only their second December victory at home since 1999.

"This was a big, big win for our team," Anderson said. "Last week was such a mess for us."

Dawson kicked his game-winner with 7:25 remaining in OT after the gangly, 6-foot-6 Anderson sprinted right, broke a tackle near the sideline and lumbered his way down to the Chiefs 12.

"He looked like Forrest Gump," wide receiver Joe Jurevicius said.

The Browns then ran the ball twice to move it between the hash marks for Dawson, who booted Cleveland to its first OT win since 2002 -- one that should silence speculation about coach Romeo Crennel's job.

Anderson was growing so fast as a kid in Oregon that his parents had to order his sneakers from the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers, who sent the family ones belonging to center Arvidas Sabonis.

Not only did he fill those, but he stepped smoothly into Frye's, too.

"I knew he could play like that," Browns running back Jason Wright said. "I believe in him. I wasn't surprised, but I'm sure a lot of people are."

Especially the Chiefs.

Trent Green threw four TD passes -- two to Tony Gonzalez -- for Kansas City, which had its AFC playoff hopes severely damaged. The Chiefs (7-5) led 28-14 with 8:55 to play in regulation after Green hooked up with Gonzalez on a 23-yard strike.

But Anderson, Cleveland's third-string QB a year ago, brought the Browns back to cap a bizarre week.

"The season isn't over, but we just made it a lot tougher," said Gonzalez, who had nine catches for 105 yards. "We played well, we just didn't finish. We let one slip away."

Green, making his third start after missing eight games with a concussion, was 24-for-32 for 297 yards. The Chiefs fell three games behind San Diego in the AFC West.

"Now we need other teams to help us out," Green said. "That's why this one is so disappointing."

The victory was totally unexpected from the Browns, who were embarrassed 30-0 by Cincinnati last week. The ugly loss was compounded by wide receiver Braylon Edwards arguing with his teammates on the sideline, a disturbing scene that led to talk that Crennel was down to his final days.

But there was no finger-pointing as Edwards caught a TD pass and kept his mouth shut until after the game.

"This shows what kind of team we have," Edwards said. "When we play on all cylinders and don't get caught up in everything else, we can play."

However, things didn't look good for the Browns when Frye came out after halftime wearing a brace and without his shoulder pads. Anderson, though, rode in to the rescue.

Frye got hurt on Cleveland's first series. He went for X-rays before returning to guide the Browns to a tying TD right before halftime. Following the game, Frye was vague about the extent of his injury.

"I don't know," he said. "I'm heading to the (Cleveland) Clinic tomorrow."

Tight end Kellen Winslow blurted out that Frye's wrist was broken. The club said Crennel would have more information Dec. 4.

With Cleveland down by 14 and appearing to be on its way to another lopsided loss, Anderson hooked up with Heiden for a 6-yard score to pull the Browns within 28-21. The pair connected again to tie it with 35 seconds left.

In OT, Anderson completed a 26-yard pass to Winslow -- his only reception. Then, following a sack, Anderson rolled out, and without anyone to throw to, took off on his memorable jaunt.

As he neared the sideline, Anderson shook off Chiefs safety Greg Wesley's tackle and kept his legs churning "on the longest run I've had since high school. I just wanted to keep going until I got knocked down."

When Dawson's kick sailed through, several Browns leaped into the Dawg Pound to celebrate.

"It's everything," said Jurevicius, a Cleveland native who signed as a free agent to play for his hometown team. "This is the stuff I remember from the old Browns Stadium. This is what I came here for."

GAME NOTES: Bobby Martin, a former Dayton high school football player born without legs, joined the Browns during player introductions. On Saturday, he visited the team's training facility and even worked out with the team. "I taught them everything I could," he said. ... Gonzalez's 61 career TDs are the second most for a tight end, one behind Shannon Sharpe. ... The Browns are only 2-14 at home in December since '99.

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Carolina Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore (12) makes a deep catch as Los Angeles Chargers outside linebacker Kyzir White (44) trails on the play during an NFL football game , Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif.

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