I have to admit I really did not see this coming. Never in my wildest dreams did I believe the Browns could compete for a playoff spot this year. And here we are halfway through the season, the Browns are 5-3 and no matter what happens tomorrow night between the Ravens and Steelers, will be playing for at least a share of first place next week.
For the first time since 2001, the Browns have won three games in a row. Heading into the game, there were some doubters about the Browns wins. Outside of the Baltimore win, the others were against the dredges of the league as the Bengals, Dolphins and Rams are a combined 2-22. Even the Baltimore win has lost some shine as the Ravens have played poorly the last few weeks. And while Seattle is only a playoff contender because their division is awful, this was again a game the Browns would have lost in the past. Instead the Browns made plays when plays were needed. The defense has been a sieve all season but for the second straight week, when a defensive stop was needed on a fourth and one-- they stepped up and made a play.
There was no running game to speak. Jamal Lewis had 20 carries and only 37 yards for a disturbing 1.9 average yet he was a beast on the goal line as he powered his way for four touchdowns. Derek Anderson has truly become a leader on an offense that is littered with playmakers.
While I am not ready to utter the P word yet, I do now have hope. Next week will tell us just how far the Browns have come. The Browns have not been competitive against the Steelers for some time. For the Browns to take that next step, that has to change next week.