The Series: With the 24-23 victory, Cleveland earned its first ever win against Carolina, who leads the all-time series 3-1.
For Starters: Quarterback Jimmy Clausen returned to the lineup after missing last week with a concussion sustained at Tampa Bay (11/14/10). Mackenzy Bernadeau made his second consecutive start at left guard in place of Travelle Wharton, who was inactive with a toe injury. Gary Barnidge started for the first time this season as the Panthers began in a two tight end set.
Defensively, cornerback Captain Munnerlyn also started for the first time this year as Chris Gamble worked at nickel back. Second-year player Jason Williams earned his first career start, replacing Nic Harris at weakside linebacker. Claimed off waivers from Dallas by Carolina (11/03/10), Williams played in five games as a rookie last season with the Cowboys and had contributed primarily on special teams in two games since joining the Panthers.
Firsts: Carolina took the opening kickoff and marched 81 yards in nine plays, capped by a 26-yard touchdown run by running back Mike Goodson. It marked the first touchdown the Panthers have scored in the first quarter this season and ended the Browns' streak of 23 consecutive games without allowing a touchdown on their opponents' opening possession.
Paws For Clausen: Rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen completed 16-of-28 passes for a season-high 195 yards and no touchdowns with one interception to produce a 63.8 quarterback rating. He surpassed his previous single-game high of 191 yards at Tampa Bay (11/14/10) and equaled his single-game high of 16 completions, previously achieved twice - most recently at Tampa Bay (11/14/10). In eight games with five starts this season, Clausen has completed 83-of-166 passes for 887 yards and one touchdown with five interceptions.
Offensive Line Paves The Way: Behind an offensive line featuring Jordan Gross at left tackle, Mackenzy Bernadeau at left guard, Ryan Kalil at center, Geoff Schwartz at right guard and Garry Williams at right tackle, the Panthers accumulated a season-high 151 yards rushing and one touchdown on 27 attempts - an average of 5.6 yards per carry. The front five has helped Carolina amass more than 100 yards rushing in four consecutive games, also exceeding 100 yards on the ground with 127 versus New Orleans (11/7/10), 118 at Tampa Bay (11/14/10) and 120 versus Baltimore (11/21/10).
Hot Stew: Running back Jonathan Stewart was back in action after being inactive the previous two games with a concussion and responded with a team-leading 98 yards on 12 carries for an average of 8.2 yards per attempt. He stands third on the Panthers with 306 yards and one touchdown on 81 carries this season.
Goodson Triple Threat: Running back Mike Goodson gained 55 yards rushing on 14 carries with one touchdown and 81 yards receiving on a team-high eight receptions to finish the game with 136 total yards from scrimmage.
Goodson scored his first career touchdown on a 26-yard run in the first quarter as he burst through the right side and dodged tacklers on the way to the end zone. He ranks second on Carolina with 325 yards rushing and one touchdown on 75 attempts this season.
The second-year running back's eight catches tied the team single-game record for the most receptions by a running back, previously accomplished by Vince Workman versus St. Louis (9/17/95). Goodson is second on the Panthers with 33 catches for 265 yards this season.
Prior to starting the last three games, Goodson served as Carolina's primary kickoff returner and leads the team with a 22.9-yard average on 30 returns.
Takeaway/Giveaway: Carolina forced three turnovers on one fumble and two interceptions.
Linebacker Jason Williams ended a Cleveland scoring threat in the second quarter when he stripped the ball from Browns tight end Evan Moore at the Panthers' 2-yard line. Williams then picked up the fumble and returned it seven yards.
On the first play of the second half, linebacker Jon Beason picked off Browns quarterback Jake Delhomme at the Cleveland 39-yard line for his eighth career interception.
On Cleveland's next possession, cornerback Captain Munnerlyn stepped in front of a Delhomme pass intended for wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi and snared his first career interception. Munnerlyn returned the heist 37 yards for a touchdown. It represented Carolina's first return for a touchdown this season and the team's first interception return for a touchdown since a 37-yarder by Julius Peppers at Arizona (11/1/09).
The Panthers turned it over once on an interception to finish with a plus-two turnover ratio. The three takeaways resulted in seven points for Carolina, and the one giveaway led to no points for Cleveland. The Panthers have a negative-eight turnover ratio this season, compiling an 0-4 record when having a positive turnover margin, an 0-1 record when being even in turnover margin, and a 1-5 record when having a negative turnover margin.
Sakrete Sacks: The Panthers collected two sacks against the Browns and have gathered 18 this season. On the last play of the first half, defensive end Tyler Brayton harassed Cleveland quarterback Jake Delhomme for a sack and forced fumble on the same play, which resulted in a 13-yard loss. In the fourth quarter, defensive end Charles Johnson took down Delhomme for a five-yard loss. Johnson leads the team with 5.5 sacks this season.
During the 2010 season, Sakrete, a leader in concrete and concrete-related products, is donating $100 to the BVC Playground Build for every sack Carolina records. Through 11 games, $1,800 has been raised.
The Specialists: Kicker John Kasay connected on three-of-five field goal attempts - converting from 43, 42 and 43 yards, missing wide right from 46 yards and hitting the left upright from 42 yards. He also made both of his extra point chances.
Kasay's five field goal attempts matched the third most in a game by the Panthers, previously accomplished nine times - most recently by Kasay at New Orleans (12/28/08). The last time Kasay missed two field goal attempts occurred versus Buffalo (10/29/09).
He has been successful on 18-of-22 field goal attempts and perfect on all 12 of his extra point opportunities for a team-leading 66 points this season. Kasay ranks seventh in NFL history with 426 made field goals and eighth with 1,797 points scored. He is the Panthers' all-time leader with 344 made field goals and 1,456 points scored. Additionally, he is tied for second with Morten Andersen for the most field goals of 50 yards or more in NFL history with 40 behind Jason Hanson with 45.
Punter Jason Baker generated a gross average of 47.3 yards and net average of 41.0 yards with one inside the 20, no touchbacks and long of 56 yards on four punts. His gross average improved to 43.5 yards and his net average increased to 37.6 yards with 15 punts inside the 20, four touchbacks and long of 57 yards this season.
Kickoff specialist Rhys Lloyd placed three-of-six kickoffs in the end zone with no touchbacks, helping limit the Browns to an average kickoff drive start of their own 26-yard line. He has reached the end zone on 28-of-38 kickoffs with nine touchbacks this season.
Inactives: The following eight players were inactive for the Panthers: wide receiver Armanti Edwards (third quarterback), linebacker Abdul Hodge, safety Marcus Hudson, defensive tackle Andre Neblett, safety Jordan Pugh, quarterback Brian St. Pierre, running back Tyrell Sutton, and guard Travelle Wharton.
Brownies: Browns running back Peyton Hillis rushed for 131 yards and three touchdowns and added six receptions for 63 yards. He joined Marshall Faulk for St. Louis (9/17/00) as the only players in NFL history to have at least 130 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns, six receptions and 60 receiving yards in a single game.
Hillis' 18 points and three touchdowns equaled the second-most points and touchdowns in a game by a Panthers' opponent, previously accomplished three times - most recently by Joseph Addai for Indianapolis (10/28/07). His three rushing touchdowns also matched the second-most rushing touchdowns in a game by an opponent, previously achieved by Brandon Jacobs for the New York Giants (12/21/08). Michael Turner for Atlanta (11/23/08) holds the records for the most points by an opponent with 24 and most touchdowns and rushing touchdowns by an opponent with four.