The 2004 Season
Record: 4-12

With the Tim Couch era officially over, the Browns made a big splash in free agency, signing 3-time Pro Bowl quarterback, Jeff Garcia. Garcia was previously quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers. In his 5 years with the 49ers, Garcia led them to the playoff twice and averaged 3,282 passing yards, 23 touchdowns, with a QB rating of 88.3. The only downside of Garcia was his age, as he would be 34 coming into the season. In the draft, the Browns moved up one spot to take Tight End, Kellen Winslow with the 6th pick (Winslow was a Butch Davis favorite, since Davis recruited Winslow to play at Miami (Fl.)). Many people questioned this pick, especially with Ben Roethlisberger still on the board. Other notable players drafted were, Sean Jones (2nd round, safety, Georgia), and Luke McCown (4th round, QB, Louisiana Tech).

For the first time since returning to the NFL in 1999, the Browns won their first game of the season with a 20-3 win over the Baltimore Ravens. Week 2 was a game that Jeff Garcia would like to forget, as he was 8-for-27 with 71 yards and 3 interceptions in a 19-12 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Garcia posted the worst QB rating one can possibly put up with a rating of 0.0, in other words, me or you could have done just as well as Garcia did in week 2. The season ended early for Kellen Winslow in week 2, as he tore his ACL, making the Browns recent draft history look even worse. The Browns returned to .500 in week 4, with a 17-13 win over the Washington Redskins to even their record at 2-2. In week 5, the Browns faced Ben Roethlisberger for the first time, and the Steelers began the dominance over the Browns with a 34-23 win. The Browns returned to the .500 mark with a 34-17 win over the Bengals. The Browns put up a total of 449 yards in the game, as Jeff Garcia threw for 310 yards and 4 touchdowns, and William Green ran for 115 yards on 25 carries. The scoring started with the longest play possible, as the Browns started the drive on the 1-yard line. One play later Andre Davis had taken a Jeff Garcia pass 99 yards for the score. Week 7 brought another offensive showdown, this time against the Philadelphia Eagles; however, the Browns couldn’t pull this one out, losing 34-31 in overtime. The loss gave the Browns a 3-4 record going into the bye.

Week 7 would mark the first of 9 straight losses. In week 9 more history was made in a Browns 27-13 loss to the Ravens, as Ed Reed recorded 106-yard interception, which was, at the time, the longest play in NFL history. The next two games, Jeff Garcia would battle injuries, and eventually go out for the season, forcing Kelly Holcomb back into the starting spot. Week 12 against the Bengals proved to be one of the highest scoring games in NFL history, as the two teams combined for 106 points, in a 58-48 Browns loss. Kelly Holcomb threw for 413 yards and 5 touchdowns, Antonio Bryant had 8 receptions for 131 yards and 2 touchdowns, and Steve Heiden had 7 receptions for 82 yards and 3 touchdowns. With the Browns down 51-48, Kelly Holcomb attempted to drive the Browns down the field, but was picked off by Deltha O’Neal, who returned it for a touchdown to end the Browns hopes. After the game, Butch Davis decided he was finished coaching the Browns, as he resigned. Terry Robiskie would take over the interim coaching duties. Luke McCown was forced into the starting QB spot the next week against the New England Patroits, McCown threw for 277 yards and 2 touchdowns, but the Patriots running game (and Tom Brady) was too much, as the Patroits would win by a score of 42-15. Antonio Bryant continued his hot streak in this game, with 7 receptions for 115 yards and 2 touchdowns. Week 14 marked one of the worst offensive performances you will ever see. The Browns had a total of 29 yards in a 37-7 loss to the Buffalo Bills. The Browns actually had negative passing yards in this game (net passing yards). The Browns QB’s were sacked 7 times, lowering their net passing yards to -3. The last 3 games of the season, the Browns gave teams a heavy dose of Lee Suggs, as he ran for 379 yards on 85 carries. However this plan only worked during the last week of the season, in a 22-14 win over the Houston Texans to give the Browns another disappointing season at 4-12.

Pro Bowl: None
All-Pro: None

Offensive Stats
Total Points: 276 (27th)
Total Yards: 4,481 (28th)

Passing Yards: Jeff Garcia – 1,732
Passing TD: Jeff Garcia – 10
Passing Int: Jeff Garcia – 9
QB Rating: Kelly Holcomb – 96.8

Rush Att: Lee Suggs – 199
Rush Yards: Lee Suggs – 744
Rush TD: Lee Suggs, William Green, Jeff Garcia – 2

Rec: Dennis Northcutt – 55
Rec Yards: Dennis Northcutt – 806
Rec TD: Steve Heiden – 5

Defensive Stats
Total Points allowed: 390 (24th)
Total Yards allowed: 5,215 (15th)

Tackles: Robert Griffin – 118
Sacks: Ebenezer Ekuban – 8.0
Int: Anthony Henry – 4

–Chris Sladoje (@CST_Doje)

Photo via cleveland.com

Cleveland Browns: Season in Review

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

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