Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Did that really happen???

Wow. All I can say is wow. We actually do have an NFL team again. What a great win last night. I don't think I would have believed it if I didn't see it with my own eyes inside the Stadium. The Browns dismantled the Giants, outplaying them in every way possible en route to a huge 35-14 win that just may have saved their season (very fun highlights here).

Eric Wright seals it with his 96-yard interception return for a TD

Where has this offense been in the first four games? I know Ryan Tucker was finally back from his hip injury - does he really make the line that much better? DA seemed to have all day to throw on his way to 18-of-29 for 310 yards, 2 TDs, and 0 INTs. And I have to say that Steve Heiden and Darnell Dinkins stepped up in a big way in the absence of Kellen Winslow, combining for 6 catches, 81 yards, and a touchdown. And Braylon Edwards finally had his breakout game with 5 catches for 154 yards, a touchdown, and a two-point conversion. He beat Aaron Ross like a drum all game long.

The Browns even mixed it up offensively with the run, gaining another 144 yards on the ground. When was the last time you saw this team go an entire game without a punt? Savor last night's rare feat because that may not happen again for a long time. Their signature drive started with 8:11 left in the third quarter and ended 87 yards later (112 if you count a bunch of silly penalties) with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Edwards.

And the Browns came up equally huge on defense forcing 3 Eli Manning interceptions, including the game clinching 96-yard touchdown return by Eric Wright. We can forgive him for dropping an earlier interception after watching that play unfold. And I love Jim Donovan's call of that play starting around the 3:25 mark in the highlights above. Goosebump-inducing, reminiscent of his "Run William, run!" call back in 2002.

So where do the Browns go from here? Your guess is as good as mine. I expected a 34-13 Giants loss last night and got a 35-14 win. What do I expect this Sunday when the Browns travel to Washington to face the Redskins? I'll let you know later in the week. For now, let's bask in the warm glow of a big victory on national TV. It's been a long time coming for this team and it feels good to have a little pride restored in these guys.

Other Browns Notes: Terry Pluto gives his post-game scribbles from the big victory... Braylon Edwards was finally able to quiet some critics after his big game... James Walker talks about how the Browns kept their season alive... And don't forget Tony Grossi's podcast today. I'm sure he'll be just as shocked as the rest of us.