CLEVELAND, OCT. 26 -- Safety Felix Wright returned a goal-line interception 68 yards to set up a field goal and took a second interception 40 yards for a touchdown tonight as the Cleveland Browns beat the Los Angeles Rams, 30-17.
Wright's interceptions helped the Browns (4-2) to a 23-7 halftime lead, and Bernie Kosar then threw a 53-yard scoring pass to Brian Brennan on the second play of the second half for a 30-7 advantage.
The Rams (1-5), who played most of the game with disgruntled halfback Eric Dickerson on the sidelines, scored 10 straight third-quarter points on Charles White's one-yard dive and a 27-yard field goal by Mike Lansford, but could get no closer. In the first quarter, the Rams were unable to score after driving to a first and goal at the Cleveland 1-yard line, and in the fourth White was stopped on a fourth-and-1 play at the Cleveland 15.
Wright intercepted Jim Everett on third down to end the Rams' first-quarter threat, taking a deflected pass down the left sideline to set up the first of Jeff Jaeger's three field goals.
Kevin Mack gave the Browns a 10-0 lead with a 16-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter, shaking off three tacklers on his way to the end zone, and Wright then stepped in front of Henry Ellard and picked off Everett's telegraphed pass for an easy 40-yard touchdown.
Dickerson finished with seven carries for 38 yards, all in the first half.
Los Angeles Coach John Robinson benched Dickerson at the start of the game because of the running back's complaints last week that his $680,000 annual salary was inadequate. Dickerson, replaced in the starting lineup by White, suggested that his concerns over his contract might prevent him from giving a 100 percent effort.
White, who had two 150-yard-plus performances during the three games played during the NFL players strike, was the NFC's second-leading rusher after five weeks with 330 yards on 75 carries. He added 54 yards on 13 carries tonight.
Buford McGee, the Rams' starting fullback, left in the fourth quarter with a torn right Achilles' tendon. Surgery was called for Tuesday.
The game in 80,098-seat Cleveland Stadium was technically a sellout, although the final 2,000 tickets were purchased last Friday by the local ABC affiliate so the game could be televised in the Cleveland area. Actual attendance was 76,933, with 1,479 no-shows. L.A. Rams 0 7 10 0 17 Cleveland 3 20 7 0 30
C -- FG Jaeger 23, 10:13 Second Quarter
C -- Mack 16 run (Jaeger kick), 1:34
C -- Wright 40 interception return (Jaeger kick), 3:07
C -- FG Jaeger 48, 7:15
LA -- Dickerson 27 run (Lansford kick), 13:29
C -- FG Jaeger 41, 15:00 Third Quarter
C -- Brennan 53 pass from Kosar (Jaeger kick), 1:02
LA -- White 1 run (Lansford kick), 6:46
LA -- FG Lansford 27, 13:18
A -- 76,933
Rams Browns First downs 22 15 Rushes-yards 24-101 23-65 Passing yards 227 201 Return yards 24 131 Passing 21-50-3 19-30-1 Sacked-yards lost 0-0 3-22 Punts-average 4-37 5-36 Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-0 Penalties-yards 9-67 11-113 Time of possession 30:1
RUSHING -- Los Angeles: White 13-54, Dickerson 7-38, Tyrrell 2-5, McGee 2-4. Cleveland: Mack 14-47, Byner 7
PASSING -- Los Angeles: Everett 21-50-3, 227 yards. Cleveland: Kosar 19-30-1, 223.
RECEIVING -- Los Angeles: D. Johnson 6-69, Ellard 4-65, McGee 4-18, Hill 2-14, Brown 2-12, Young 1-26, Hous
MISSED FIELD GOALS -- Cleveland: Jaeger, 47.