For the first time in 10 years, they're 1-0 at home.
Cundiff's kick helped the Browns (1-1) snap a nine-game losing streak in home openers, gave Pettine his first NFL coaching win and Cleveland its first in a home opener since 2004.
"I graduated high school that year," Hoyer said. "It's a long time coming, and our fans deserve it."
Manziel made a perfunctory NFL debut with a handful of plays, but had no major impact. The Browns didn't need any magic from Johnny Football.
"The play of the game was Gary catching the ball across the middle on the last drive," Hoyer said. "If he doesn't do that, it's over."
He completed two passes on third down and kept the drive alive by firing his 10-yard strike to Barnidge. With 15 seconds remaining, Hawkins somehow got behind the defense and Hoyer lobbed him the ball.
Out came Cundiff, who drilled his kick to the delight of Browns fans, who seconds earlier feared they would witness another heart-breaker.
Pettine was presented with a game ball by Hoyer and got a handshake from legendary Browns running back Jim Brown.
"I couldn't be more proud," said Pettine, who lost his debut last week in Pittsburgh. "There were a lot of times during that game we could have just let it slip away and we battled back. This game's about making plays."
Hoyer went 8 of 11 for 78 yards on the last drive and finished 24 of 40 for 204 yards and a TD. He came out for a few plays as Manziel, the hyped rookie, handed the ball off twice and had one incompletion.
Hoyer wasn't thrilled about sharing the stage with Manziel.
"If it's going to help us win, then I'm all for it," Hoyer said.
After a terrible start, Brees got into a groove and had the Saints in position to bounce back from a tough overtime loss last week in Atlanta. But New Orleans defense couldn't stop the Browns late and coordinator Rob Ryan and coach Sean Payton had a heated discussion on the sideline in the fourth quarter.
It was a milestone day for Brees, who jumped Hall of Famer John Elway into fourth place in career yardage. Brees went by Elway on a six-yard completion in the second quarter to Graham, who didn't make his first catch until deep into the second quarter.
Brees went 27 of 40 for 237 yards. Graham had 10 catches for 118 yards.
"It's frustrating because we expect to win," Brees said. "You can point to one play in each of these games. We're one play away in each of these games from being 2-0 instead of 0-2. That hurts."
Brees was under duress throughout the first half as Cleveland's defensive front harassed him. On the pick, Paul Kruger hit Brees just as he released the ball, sailing it over Graham and right to Gipson, who picked up some blockers and scored untouched.
For a change, the ball bounced Cleveland's way.
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press