HOUSTON, DEC. 9 -- Lorenzo White ran for three of his four touchdowns in a 45-point first half, and Terry Kinard scored on a 72-yard fumble return today as the Houston Oilers gave the Cleveland Browns their eighth straight loss, 58-14.
The victory, coupled with Cincinnati's 20-17 loss to San Francisco and Pittsburgh's 24-3 win over New England, put the Oilers, Bengals and Steelers in a three-way tie for first place in the AFC Central at 7-6.
Houston set a franchise record for points in a game. Its first-half total matches the third most in NFL history.
Cleveland (2-11) was helpless against the Oilers' top-ranked offense, which scored on all six of its first-half possessions. Kinard's fumble return came on a play on which Kevin Mack gained four yards on a second-quarter reception.
"If they had scored early, it could have been a different game," Houston Coach Jack Pardee said. "But with their record and the bad things that have happened to them, Kinard really helped us out."
Eric Metcalf (O'Connell High) had a 101-yard kickoff return for Cleveland's only first-half score.
Houston's 45 first-half points trails only Green Bay's 49 against Tampa Bay (1983) and Buffalo's 48 against Miami (1966).
The 58 points are the most scored in a regular season game against the Browns. Cleveland has allowed 396 points this season, another franchise record.
White gained 116 yards on 18 carries for the third 100-yard performance of his career.