The Browns played with fire nearly all game -- perhaps to stay warm in windy, cold Cleveland. But they kept inviting San Diego to come back Sunday after taking a 7-0 lead 11 minutes into the first quarter.

In the end, Cleveland (2-6) held on for a 7-6 victory over the Chargers (3-4) in a game that pitted head coaches fighting for their jobs. When the final second ticked off the game clock, it was Chargers coach Norv Turner who appeared to be in grave danger of being sent packing. His team has been outscored 52-10 in the second half of the last three games. 

Then there's Browns counterpart Pat Shurmur, who is being evaluated by new owner Jimmy Haslam. If his die is not already cast, beating the Chargers might help him hang on. Shurmur was wise to give Haslam one of the game balls.

Perhaps, the Browns are learning to win and establishing a home-field advantage at the same time. They have won their last two at home and have begun to make key plays down the stretch. San Diego second-year CB Buster Skring knocked down a Philip Rivers to Malcom Floyd pass to clinch the victory.

The offense must be credited as well for marching into Chargers territory with three first downs to eat up four minutes late in the fourth quarter and set up the final defensive stand.

When the game turned: Every scoring opportunity was precious in this game. The Chargers blew their best one when WR Robert Meachem dropped a perfect pass from Rivers midway through the third quarter.

Meachem, who had gotten behind coverage deep downfield bobbled it, then dropped it. 

"I took my eyes off of it," Meachem said. "I thought about scoring first before I caught the ball. Big play in the game. Big-time players make big-time plays, and that's a play you have to make in a game like this."

Highlight moments: There were not many in this rather dull performance on both sides, but Browns RB Trent Richardson provided one early. He exploded for 49 yards on the team’s first possession and capped it with a 26-yard bolt into the end zone for the lone touchdown of the game. 

Top-shelf performances:

  • Browns RB Trent Richardson -- 24 carries, 122 yards, 1 TD

  • Browns OLB James-Michael Johnson -- 10 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 1 tackle for loss

  • Chargers RB Ryan Mathews -- 24 carries, 95 yards.

  • Chargers ILB Donald Butler -- 11 tackles, 1 tackle for loss 1 QB hit.

What they said about the Trent Richardson touchdown:

  • Browns RG Shawn Lauvao -- “Trent set the block up and I was just fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time. I saw the safety over pursue on the tackle and I made a block. We just happen to be in the background and Trent makes us look good. He was making people miss left and right.”

  • Browns RB Trent Richardson -- “It was going to be a counter play and it was crowded up the middle, so I had to bounce it back outside. … I heard Lauvao talking to me. He was saying ‘Go, go, go, go!’"

What they said about the Robert Meachem drop of a sure TD in the third quarter:

  • Browns SS T.J. Ward -- “It was blown coverage. We got our sides mixed up. I came off one guy and [CB] Buster [Skrine] thought I had [Meachem]. He came up the seam.”

  • Chargers QB Philip Rivers -- “I don’t think it was a momentum killer; we got it right back. We had a lot of possessions and a lot of field position game, but I mean it could have been a big play.”

What they said about the Buster Skrine knock-away that clinched the win:

  • Browns CB Buster Skrine -- “We worked on that play all week. I knew someone was behind me. I was on Meachem. There was a certain way we play that coverage in which I was able to help [cornerback] Sheldon [Brown]. I just went back and made the play.”

Numbers you should know: Ward and Skrine held Chargers TE Antonio Gates to two catches for 14 yards. … San Diego was 6 of 18 in third- and fourth-down efficiency combined. … Chargers punter Mike Scifres finished with a net punting average of 45.3 to 32.2 for Browns counterpart Reggie Hodges. … The teams combined for just seven penalties in the game. … The Browns have allowed just five sacks in the last five games.

Setting the tone on defense -- Rookie outside linebacker James Michael-Johnson made the biggest defensive play of the first half when he stripped Chargers RB Ryan Mathews and fellow rookie Billy Winn fell on it for the turnover. “I wasn’t trying to force the ball out,” Johnson said. “But [Mathews] had it in his right hand and maybe he should have had it in his left because I was on the side with the ball. I didn’t even know he fumbled it until I saw people diving for it.” 

Going forward: Browns -- The Browns will be smiling a bit more in practice this week after securing their second win in two weeks. The Baltimore Ravens will be flying in for a game next Sunday before the Browns embark on their bye week. The Browns can seemingly play with anyone now and could hang with banged-up Baltimore, but it remains to be seen if they’ve learned how to consistently finish. Chargers -- A quick turnaround doesn’t bode well for a team struggling, particularly to find their offensive rhythm. But the Chargers have the Chiefs at home Thursday. The Chargers might have thought games against Cleveland and Kansas City was a ticket to a 5-3 record. Now the best they can hope for is a split and .500 mark. The current employment of coach Norv Turner is on the line.

Stay dialed in on the Cleveland Browns on Twitter at @CBSBrowns throughout the season with on-site updates from RapidReports correspondent Marty Gitlin.

Follow Chargers reporter Dan McLellan on Twitter @CBSChargers and @sandiegosports.