Turn back the clock: 5 Memorable Cleveland Browns home openers

John Suchan
Browns, Myles Garrett. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Browns, Myles Garrett. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /
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Trent Green, Chiefs. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) /

No. 4: 2002 Browns vs. Chiefs, loss 40-39

This was a Cleveland victory before a very strange play occurred with the clock running out that left fans dumbfounded and frustrated. Dwayne Rudd, a defensive lineman for Cleveland thought he had sacked Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Trent Green at midfield on the last play of the game, however, Green was able to pitch the ball to his running back right before the takedown by Rudd.

The running back ran the ball for 28 yards but went out of bounds seemingly ending the game.

Not so fast, because Rudd threw his helmet off after he thought he sacked Green, it was called a penalty on the defense and gave Kansas City one additional untimed down where they kicked a chip shot field goal to stun Cleveland.

That Browns team would go on to have a successful season and make the playoffs despite the home opening loss, but it’s still one of the more shocking defeats for the team.

No. 3: 2020 Browns versus Bengals, win 35-30

This was at the start of the Kevin Stefanski coaching era and ended up being a highly entertaining offensive game where quarterback Baker Mayfield battled against Joe Burrow. The game was also played in the early stages of the Covid Pandemic so there were only a handful of fans in the stadium because of all the restrictions at the time.

The previous week, the Browns had been embarrassed by the Baltimore Ravens 38-6 in Stefanski’s debut as the coach. It was a quick turnaround for this contest as it was a Thursday Night Football game.

Cleveland wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. made an immediate impact in this one and scored a touchdown on a 43-yard pass play. They had built a lead and then hung on at the end as the rookie Burrow made some nice plays to put pressure on the Browns.

Cleveland would take that win and run off four wins in a row helping them contend and then make the playoffs by the end of the season.