The Browns step up!
What a game of varying emotions!
First the Rams get the opening kickoff, stuff it down our throats and take a quick 7-0 lead. It is three and out and the Rams again waltz right down the field and it is 14-0.
You couldn't help but feel it is the same old Browns. A winless team was using them as a punching bag.
But then something I have never seen before happened. Now I never saw Otto Graham, Dante Lavelli or Marion Motley play. I never saw Jim Brown, Frank Ryan or Paul Warfield play. But the Browns in the second and third quarter was the best offense team I have ever watched with my own two eyes that wore Cleveland uniforms.
Derek Anderson was a stud. The Browns seemed to commit a penalty on every play and it never mattered. First and 20. First and 15. No big deal. Braylon Edwards was catching everything in sight. Winslow made a nice snag for the second touchdown. Because of Edwards and Winslow demanding extra attention, Joe Jurevucius was a third down hero. It didn't seem to matter the yardage or the situation. It was the most impressive display of offense I have witnessed. I sat there shocked with my mouth open.
Then it happened. I had just remarked how Braylon Edwards had seemed to grow up. He was mature and looked ready to ascend into the next tier and become one of the top receiver in the NFL. He made another great grab and cut and ran for extra yardage. I swear I thought this kid has arrived. He must have felt it too. As he ran up the field-- I as I assume most of Cleveland-- stood and yelled, "No, kid, No!"
And sure enough, he took his helmet off and roared like a gladiator. 15 yard penalty and end of our offensive momentum.
The defense held on the fourth and one and the Browns had a chance to run out the clock. You have to love new offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski. Instead of banging a running back into the line, he let Anderson throw on second down and then again on third down. It was the perfect play until Edwards dropped the ball. The fall from grace was a quick one.
But Leigh Bodden bailed Edwards out with an interception and the game was won. And for the first time since 2003, the Browns won two games in a row and have above .500 record this late in the season.
It was a game the Browns had to win and they did. They won despite the abundance of turnovers. But the important part was winning a game on the road that they were supposed to win. And since they won-- Edwards slip up may end up being the best thing for him. He is like the addict whose has that one sidestep. Hopefully this will be the next step in his development. He has to stay inside himself on every play. He can't afford to lose focus because it almost cost his football team.
And today we saw flashes of an offense that can rival any in the league. It was scary good.