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News » Brady Quinn throws 2 TD passes in first NFL start

Brady Quinn throws 2 TD passes in first NFL start

Brady Quinn throws 2 TD passes in first NFL start
CLEVELAND (AP) - Brady Quinn threw a pair of touchdown passes to Kellen Winslow in his first NFL start, sending the Cleveland Browns to a 23-13 lead over the Denver Broncos after three quarters Thursday night.

Jay Cutler led Denver on an early 86-yard scoring drive that culminated with a 1-yard TD run by rookie Ryan Torain, also making his first career start. Torain left midway through the second quarter with a sprained left knee. He was replaced by Selvin Young, who then went out with a groin injury - the fourth Broncos running back hurt this week.

Starter Michael Pittman (spinal cord) and backup Andre Hall (hand) sustained season-ending injuries in the Broncos' loss to Miami on Sunday.

Quinn, the former Notre Dame star drafted in the first round by the Browns in 2007, got a big ovation when he was introduced with the starting offense for the first time. The cheers got louder when he hit Winslow in the center of the end zone with a pinpoint pass from 5 yards out, helping Cleveland tie the score at 7 with 3:38 to go in the first quarter.

A popular backup, Quinn started in place of struggling quarterback Derek Anderson, who made the Pro Bowl last season. The Browns announced the move late Monday.

With the attention of fans and a national TV audience on Quinn, Cutler was sharp early. He completed seven of his first nine passes for 128 yards, including a 39-yard toss to a wide-open Tony Scheffler on the game's first play. Denver's first drive stalled and Matt Prater missed a 38-yard field-goal attempt, giving the ball to Quinn at the Cleveland 20.

His first pass attempt to Winslow fell incomplete before he connected on a 7-yarder to Syndric Steptoe on third-and-8.

After the Browns punted, Cutler went 5-for-5 for 74 yards on a nine-play scoring drive for a 7-0 lead with 7:03 remaining in the first. Torain, who made his NFL debut on Sunday, plunged in from the 1.

Cleveland came right back, helped by a 37-yard kickoff return by Joshua Cribbs. Quinn quickly completed an 18-yard pass to Donte Stallworth, then let Jamal Lewis carry the load. Lewis ran three times for 40 yards to the Denver 1 before being tackled for a 4-yard loss. Quinn then found Winslow to tie it.

Phil Dawson kicked a 24-yard field goal on Cleveland's first possession of the second quarter for a 10-7 lead.

An interception by Brodney Pool put the Browns back on the attack deep in Denver territory moments later. He stepped in front of Cutler's pass over the middle intended for Brandon Marshall and returned it to the Broncos 20.

Three plays later, Quinn found Winslow on the left side for a 16-yard TD. The Pro Bowl tight end shook off a tackle by Marquand Manuel at the 5 and jogged into the end zone to make it 17-7.

Prater and Dawson then exchanged field goals. Prater connected from 35 yards with 5:40 left in the half. Dawson hit again from 52 yards four minutes later to make it 20-10 at halftime.

Dawson made it 23-10 with a 33-yard field goal and Prater got the points back with a 30-yard kick with 5:37 remaining in the third quarter to make it 23-13.

Quinn had not taken a snap this season before Thursday night. Anderson led Cleveland to a 10-6 record last year, but struggled as the Browns lost their first three games in 2008. Despite helping the team win three of its next four, he and coach Romeo Crennel were serenaded by disenchanted fans chanting "Bra-dy, Bra-dy," during home losses to Dallas, Pittsburgh and most recently Baltimore.

The Browns came in after a disappointing 37-27 loss to the Ravens on Sunday when they blew a 14-point lead in the second half. They were seeking their first win over Denver since 1990, having lost seven in a row to the Broncos. Denver has dominated the series for more than three decades, winning 18 of 20 since 1974 and beating the Browns in the AFC championship game following the 1986, 1987 and 1989 seasons.

Cleveland was without Pro Bowl guard Eric Steinbach, sidelined by a pulled muscle in his rib area.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 7, 2008

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Justin Sandy Name: Justin Sandy
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Age: 26
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