NFL throwback: Revisiting the Browns’ last victory over the Patriots in New England

Much has changed since the Cleveland Browns’ last win in New England. America has had five different presidents during that span. Cassette players were in vogue. The internet’s first webpage was still a year away from creation. Tom Brady was a sophomore in high school. 

One thing will be relatively the same when the Browns travel to New England for Sunday’s game between two 5-4 teams. The game will again involve Bill Belichick, who was the Browns’ coach when Cleveland defeated winless New England midway through the ’92 season. Since then, the Patriots have won the last six games against the Browns in Foxborough. Belichick was the Browns’ coach for the first loss and was the Patriots’ coach for the Browns’ last five losses in New England. 

Belichick was a 40-year-old, second-year head coach in the fall of 1992. A two-time Super Bowl winning defensive coordinator with the New York Giants, Belichick’s Browns went 6-10 in his first season and were 3-3 in his second season heading into their Week 8 matchup with the Patriots. Belichick had managed to keep New England at bay despite losing starting quarterback Bernie Kosar to a major ankle injury that would ultimately sideline him for eight games. Kosar’s replacement was Mike Tomzcak, a 30-year-old veteran who had gone 21-10 in 31 starts as the Bears’ quarterback from 1986-90. 

The Browns were fighting mediocrity, while the Patriots were just trying to win a game. The franchise had fallen on hard times in the years following their surprising Super Bowl run in 1985. Four years after leading the Patriots on their improbable Super Bowl run, Raymond Berry was fired following a 5-11 season. His replacement, Rod Rust, was quickly ousted after a 1-15 season in 1990. 

Dick MacPherson was lured away from Syracuse to coach the Patriots in 1991. But after an encouraging 6-10 season in 1991, MacPhearson’s team lost their first six games of the…


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