Monday, October 27, 2008

They just won't go away

I knew it. Just when we stop caring about the Browns and move on to the start of the NBA season, they suck us back in. I called it on Friday and I was even close with the score, I just didn't anticipate Shaun Rogers' rejection of that Josh Scobee FG attempt. So with their big 23-17 victory (highlights here) over the Jaguars on Sunday, the Browns have kept their season alive and have undoubtedly stirred up more talk of moving on without Kellen Winslow.

Of course in typical Browns fashion, they just couldn't make it easy. They failed to capitalize twice in the fourth quarter. The first time they got down to first-and-goal from inside the 1 yard line and couldn't punch it into the end zone, settling for a field goal. Then on the ensuing kickoff they forced a fumble, recovered it at the Jacksonville 25, and again walked away with only three points. So clinging to a 6-point lead they naturally let the Jags drive down to the 30-yard line (with no timeouts) and for a few harrowing moments it looked like Matt Jones would haul in a bobbling touchdown catch to steal victory away from the good guys. But Nick Sorensen jumped in at the last second to break up the play, yet amazingly one tick still remained on the game clock. But after one final David Garrard heave into the end zone sailed harmlessly out of play, the Browns finally could breathe a sigh of relief.

'Good DA' stuck around for most of the game on Sunday and the Browns won

This game was both fun and maddening at the same time. It was the standard Jekyll and Hyde-type performance from Derek Anderson that we have grown accustomed to. He didn't have the greatest game ever (14-27, 236 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT), particularly in the 2nd half, but he made enough big plays to put some much-needed points on the scoreboard. And offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinsky deserves a pat on the back for the game he called yesterday.The 51-yard gain on a bootleg to Steve Heiden on 4th-and-1 was a stroke of genius that allowed the Browns to continue to play from ahead in the first half.

I could nitpick about some other things in this win but I won't. Well, besides the two or three completely obviously illegal blocks in the back on Josh Cribbs during second half kick coverage. They happened literally right in front of the refs and nothing was called. I rewound my DVR feed a few times after the game just to see them again and I was stunned they weren't called. And by the way, Cribbs was back to his old self, flying all over the field on special teams again and was the one that recovered that huge fumble on the kickoff in the 4th quarter. But I digress. A win's a win for these Browns and we'll take them however they come. Baltimore is up next and I don't even want to start thinking about that one.

Other Browns Notes: Terry Pluto is shocked by the Browns' victory after a bizarre week... And Bud Shaw has to go K2 on us right after another win... If we didn't already know it, now we do: Shaun Rogers is a beast... Pat McManamon agrees that the Browns are at their best with their backs against the wall... I wish all this would just go away, but apparently it hasn't yet... And if anyone is interested, I made the right fantasy call this week with Garrard over DA.

Cavs Update: Tomorrow the regular season starts. That makes me very happy. I'll give a mini season preview then. For today, the news is light. Brian Windhorst gives some tip-off thoughts for the 2008-09 campaign... And it looks like Delonte West has stolen the starting 2-guard spot... much more tomorrow when I have more time.
“I thought they worked well together. With [Delonte], LeBron and Mo out on the floor, you have three legitimate playmakers. All of those guys know how to play together.”
- Mike Brown