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Browns win; Lions remain NFL's only 0-16 team

The Detroit News
The Cleveland Browns enjoy their defeat of the San Diego Chargers on Saturday.

The Cleveland Browns defeated the San Diego Chargers on Saturday, 20-17, preserving the Detroit Lions’ dubious distinction as the only NFL team to go winless in a 16-game season.

The Browns are 1-14 and finish the season next Sunday, Jan. 1, at Pittsburgh.

The NFL moved from 14 to 16 regular-season games in 1978.

The 2008 Lions went 0-16. Two players from that team are still with the Lions – long snapper Don Muhlbach and backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky.

Those players took no solace in the Browns’ plight this season as the team crept closer to 0-16.

When the Browns were 0-12, Muhlbach told The Detroit News, “I just remember it being really tough and I wouldn’t have anyone else to go through it.”

Said Orlovsky, also when the Browns stood 0-12, “I feel bad about it. It’s a crappy situation. (Browns quarterback) Josh McCown is a good friend of mine, I don’t want him to go through it. You don’t wish that upon anybody, so you hope at some point they can get one (win) under their belts.”

Finally, the Browns have done just that.

San Diego’s Josh Lambo missed a 45-yard field goal as time expired, giving the Browns their first win in 377 days. They lost the last three games of the 2015 season.

When the kick sailed right, Cleveland’s small crowd erupted in celebration and Browns players poured off their sideline as if they had just won the Super Bowl. Several players dropped to the turf in disbelief and relief.

Cleveland built 10-point lead in the third quarter and hung on — defensive tackle Jamie Meder blocked a potential tying field goal with 3:49 left — to give coach Hue Jackson his first win with the Browns.

Associated Press contributed.