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Brown Provides Spark in Losing Effort
With consistent rain and the temperature dipping into the low 40s in Cleveland, it’s not a surprise head coach Norv Turner’s play calling would consist of an abundance of running plays and check downs to the running backs.
Though Ryan Mathews still received a majority of the carries, veteran Ronnie Brown came off the bench to provide a spark for San Diego.
Brown, who is in his eighth NFL season and first with the Chargers, led all San Diego receivers with seven catches for 85 yards, including five catches of 11 yards or more. He also had four carries for 17 yards, good enough for an average of 4.3 yards per carry.
Brown’s impact in the first half was most felt on the final drive. As the Chargers took over on their own 20-yard with 1:48 left in the half, quarterback Philip Rivers found him on a slant route out of the backfield for a gain of 25 yards, the longest play from scrimmage for the Chargers on the day.
Brown would total 30 yards receiving and seven yards rushing on the series, as San Diego would drive down to Cleveland’s 25-yard line, where Nick Novak would convert a 43-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 7-3 at halftime.
Late in the third quarter, Rivers would once again go to Brown on an angle route from the backfield on a third down and 16 yards to go. He gained 11 yards to take it inside Cleveland’s 20-yard line and Novak would knock through a 31-yard field goal to make it 7-6 in favor of the Browns.
With 2:36 left in the game and the Chargers trailing by one, the offense took over on their own 12-yard line with the chance to win the game. On the drive, Brown would haul in two receptions for 32 yards, including a 21-yard catch to put the Chargers near midfield.
San Diego would eventually turn the ball over on downs and lose 7-6 to fall to 3-4 on the season, but the game showcased the versatile Brown’s unique skillset.
“When you get your shot, you need to make the best of it,” he said. “Be consistent – that’s what it comes down to. We just need to be consistent as a unit, as a football team. When you get that shot, (it’s about) making the best of it.”
On the season, Brown now has 27 receptions for 257 yards, good for second on second on the team, and 18 carries for 70 yards.