Sunday, December 09, 2007

Browns 24, Jets 18
It doesn't matter how you get it done. You just have to get it done.

Sunday's game was not pretty, but there's not a Browns fan alive who wouldn't take it. Forgiving the one Derek Anderson interception and the inability to put the Jets away earlier, the Browns did what they needed to.

Before the game, most of the Browns fans I talked to were paranoid. Was last week's loss a blip on the radar or a downward trend?

Jamal Lewis has earned all his money this year. Barring a disaster (always possible with this franchise) he will rush for 1,000 yards. But the most important plays are not the ones that always show up. People will talk about his remarkable 31-yard TD run in the final minute.

What I will remember is the first two runs of that series. Lewis gained six yards on two carries, setting up a manageable third down.

The Jets knew Lewis was getting the ball on the last series, and still couldn't stop him.

Lewis is a winner. He senses the finish line and wants to blow through it and keep going. On a day when the Browns couldn't pass to a win, Lewis made sure his team got it anyway.

- The Browns defense is improving every game. One touchdown today, with Sean Jones and Brandon McDonald getting interceptions. Few have noticed, but the defense has kept teams out of the end zone lately. It even picked up Anderson -- something it didn't do in Arizona. First and goal from the 1, and the Jets get nothing.

- Three games left. Next week's home game against Buffalo will be the biggest home game in five years.

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1 Comments:

At 7:01 AM , Anonymous Erik said...

Everybody is writing about this game as a kind of "ugly duckling" this morning. Perhaps the clock mismanagement in the fourth quarter left a bad taste in everyone's mouth, but I didn't see a poorly-played game from start to finish.

The Browns defense managed to work around an interception on another horrendous throw by Anderson and hold the Jets out of the end zone in the first half.

Anderson recovered and led the offense on a nice, long TD drive to start the second half, putting the Browns up 14-3.

The Browns held an 11-point lead for much of the second half. They were in control of this game until Leon Williams' pass interference call in the fourth quarter caused panic to set in.

Really, the Browns didn't start butchering things until they took what could have been a game-ending drive and turned it into a 49-second three-and-out thanks to some questionable playcalling and an Anderson sinkerball on third down that Joe Jurevicius had no chance of catching.

That's what gave the Jets life and put the outcome of the game in doubt.

A good offense can score, but a great offense can put teams away up by a touchdown late. Until the Browns can become like the Patriots and win every game 44-14, they need to learn how to close games out.

 

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