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Time Penalty Helps Browns

November 14, 1999

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ An NFL rule designed to prevent teams from faking injuries to stop the clock penalized the wrong team in the Cleveland Browns-Pittsburgh Steelers game Sunday.

With the Browns driving for the winning field goal in their 16-15 upset victory, Browns tackle Lomas Brown was injured on Tim Couch’s 7-yard swing pass to Terry Kirby.

Because the Browns were out of timeouts, they were assessed a 10-second penalty, cutting the time remaining from 1:23 to 1:13.

But because the Browns were trying to run down the clock before Phil Dawson kicked his game-winning 39-yard field goal on the final play, the 10-second penalty actually helped them.

Coach Chris Palmer decided not to spike the ball with time running out, forcing Dawson to kick the field goal with very little preparation time. The Steelers had no time to run a play after Dawson made the kick.

``I was very concerned with leaving time on the clock,″ Palmer said. ``I wanted to be in the situation where we won or lost the game with the kick.″

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