Sunday, November 25, 2007

Browns 27, Texans 17
As promised, here comes my glowing review of the Browns game.

There are few things more enjoyable than a win. But this game was less like the Cardiac Kids and more like the Bernie Kosar era, when the Browns knew how to put a game away.

A few weeks ago, some wondered if Jamal Lewis was done. Well, he's not. In the second half, he wore down a tired Texans defense and scored a clinching touchdown. He saw the finish line after Brandon McDonald's fourth quarter interception, and decided it was up to him to send the Browns fans home happy.

Lewis has been running with a purpose the last two weeks, and I don't blame him. The Browns are 7-4, and he is one of the few players on the roster with playoff experience. He may not be the running back who can carry a team, but don't tell the Texans.

Brandon McDonald played the best individual game by a Cleveland defender this season. He kept Andre Johnson in check. He picked off a Matt Shaub pass late, and made som good tackles on special teams. I can't help but say that, even though Brady Quinn has not stepped on the field, that the 2007 draft will go down as the most successful since the rebirth. Though, in fairness, it isn't like it has much competition.

Derek Anderson is playing like a pro bowler. He is limiting his mistakes and letting his playmakers do the work. But it sure helps when you have a quarterback with a rocket arm.

It also helps when he has all day to throw. The offensive line should share the team MVP award this year.

One more note: The Browns are 7-4. It's the most wins in a regular season in five years, and there are five games left. I'd like to know what certain radio and newspaper guys have to say about Romeo Crennel now.

The sad thing is, if Crennel had been replaced, and the Browns gone 6-5 in their first 11 games, the guys who gave Romeo heat would feel vindicated.

If nothing else, the Browns improvement is a reminder of the importance of stability. Had Phil Savage or Crennel been fired, who knows where the team would be?

If the season ended today, Crennel would get votes for coach of the year. He wouldn't win (you can make a strong case for the Packers' Mike McCarthy or the Cowboys' Wade Phillips). But it appears as if people are catching on that the Browns success is no fluke.

Sunday's game proved that.



At 8:27 AM , Anonymous Erik said...

I actually think Crennel will get strong consideration for coach of the year, especially if the Browns finish, say, 11-5.

The Browns were predicted by many to be the worst team in the NFL this year. Some prognosticators thought they wouldn't even match last year's four wins. I don't think anybody thought Romeo was still going to be this team's coach by Columbus Day, let alone after Thanksgiving.

To go from that to 7-4 is every bit as impressive as the Packers and Cowboys at 10-1, given that the Cowboys were already pretty good and the Packers have one of the six or seven greatest QBs of all time under center.

Of course, this now changes expectations drastically. Every person I asked prior to the offseason said something to the effect of, "If the Browns go 7-9, we should have a parade down Euclid Avenue." Now they already have seven wins. If they don't get to at least 10 wins, we're going to be disappointed.


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