The focus was on the Todds - Philcox and Marinovich. It was Eric, though, who stole the show.
Eric Metcalf scored four touchdowns - three on passes from first-time starter Todd Philcox - as the Cleveland Browns won their first game of the season Sunday, beating the winless Los Angeles Raiders 28-16."Not since high school have I had a performance like this," Metcalf said. "On offense, we spread the field out and it paid off. Every time I touched the ball, I was headed toward the end zone."
It must have seemed that way to the Raiders. Actually, Metcalf handled the ball nine times from scrimmage, catching five passes for 177 yards and gaining 10 yards on four carries.
Metcalf scored his first two touchdowns on Cleveland's first two possessions following recovered fumbles deep in Los Angeles territory.
Then, he broke the Raiders' hearts by turning short passes from Philcox into long-distance touchdowns to turn a precarious 14-13 lead into a healthy 28-13 advantage.
On the first scrimmage play after a 30-yard field goal by Jeff Jaeger late in the third quarter drew the Raiders within a point, Philcox and Metcalf clicked on a 69-yard pass play.
Then, with 11:41 left in the game, the same combination teamed up for a 63-yard touchdown to assure the Browns of their first win in three tries this season.
"We just used Metcalf's ability," Philcox said. "I was able to get the ball to him and he did the rest."
The Raiders (0-3) lost decisively despite the fact that they had 27 first downs to seven for the Browns and 464 yards in total offense to 231 for Cleveland.
Making his first start of the season, Todd Marinovich completed 33 of a team-record 59 passes for 395 yards and one touchdown. But he threw three interceptions, lost a fumble, which set up a Cleveland touchdown, and was sacked five times.
Marinovich was promoted to first-string status over Jay Schroeder last week, but he couldn't keep the Raiders from losing their seventh straight game dating back to last year.
Philcox, who moved into Cleveland's starting lineup because longtime starter Bernie Kosar broke his right ankle last Monday night, completed 10 of 20 passes for 200 yards without being sacked or intercepted and guided an offense which didn't commit a turnover. Before Sunday, Philcox had attempted only 10 passes in his career.
"I spent my time (in the NFL) learning and it paid off today," Philcox said. "I didn't think I had a great day, but we got a win, and that's what counts."
Playing their home opener before a crowd of 48,102, the Raiders were 12-point favorites over the Browns. Instead, they lost by 12 points.
"I am highly disappointed," Marinovich said. "We could not get it done. I made a lot of mistakes today. I made plenty of bad throws and some of our guys ran bad routes."