Rams 13, Browns 12
Turning point: Browns wide receiver Josh Cribbs lost a fumble as he returned a punt in the fourth quarter. Linebacker David Nixon knocked the ball loose, and linebacker Ben Leber recovered the fumble at the Browns’ 27-yard line with 10:39 left. Six plays later, Josh Brown made a 34-yard field goal to give the Rams a one-point advantage with 7:42 remaining. The Rams never relinquished their lead because Browns kicker Phil Dawson missed a 22-yard field goal attempt with 2:10 left after the snap was deflected and Dawson’s timing was disrupted.
Hero: Rams running back Steven Jackson. He had 27 carries for 128 yards (4.7 average).
Goat: Browns offensive lineman Alex Mack. Ryan Pontbriand’s snap ricocheted off Mack’s right foot and skipped on the ground. Brad Maynard still got the ball down for the hold, but Dawson missed wide left. Mack took his normal step inside toward Pontbriand, but Mack appeared to move a little early.
Key stat: The Browns failed to score a touchdown despite making four trips to the red zone.
Bottom line: This loss will be remembered for the botched snap, but the Browns fell because they squandered opportunities throughout the game, not just at the end.
— Nate Ulrich