November 6, 2007

News Flash - Browns Fans Were Ready Yesterday...

Uh oh, we better get our shit together...it's Steelers week in Ohio for the 2nd time in 3 weeks. And for the record, Browns bloggers were ready on Monday...ok? So like Mel Blount, I better get on my horse and ride.

Apparently, this is the "game of the year" for Browns fans. And who could blame them? Not like they'll have much else to look forward to, since their remaining schedule features such NFL powerhouses as the Texans, Jets, 49ers and Cardinals (Pitt West) who combined, boast a rather dubious record of 9-24. Not to mention 2-6 Cincy, and the 4-4 Bills. Still, it's the Browns. So can you ever really say their games are "winnable"?

All joking aside, and I can't believe I'm about to say this, this actually is a pretty big game for both teams. The Browns are 5-3 right now and given the aforementioned schedule, have a pretty good chance to contend for the division. Maybe.

The flipside of this coin is that the Steelers aren't exactly facing the league's elite either. Although we've still got New England and Jacksonville to contend with, we've got some otherwise pretty soft competition - Miami, St. Louis, and the Jets. Now, that's not to say we can't lose games we're expected to win (see Week 4 and Week 7). Just that we COULD be playing teams like Indy, San Diego (although I'm not so sure I'd be scared of them at this point), Dallas or Detroit(I dare you to challenge Jon Kitna...), which would certainly weigh more heavily on my optimism.

Fact is though, over the last 7 games since taking over for the useless Charlie Frye, Browns QB Derek Anderson has thrown for more than 2100 yards and 17 TDs. And let's be honest, Derek Anderson IS the story here. Without him right now, the Browns would be assuming their usual role as the dregs of the AFC North. And don't give me any of that Brady Quinn non-sense. He's where he should be. On the sidelines watching, learning, clipboard in hand, getting a pedicure and thinking about his next glamor shot.

With Anderson at the helm, the Browns have transformed themselves into an all out passing attack. Over the last 7 games since we met in Week 1, Jamal Lewis has only broken 100 yards once (a 216 romp of the Bungles), though he did manage to find the end zone 4 times on Sunday, ruining many a Braylon Edwards/Kellen Winslow fantasy owners day. Which is just a testament to the Browns new found reliance on the aerial pursuit. So this is largely the Derek Anderson show.

But the good news is, the Browns still don't know the meaning of defense. As you may have seen me comment on a number of my esteemed colleagues blogs already this week - in the Browns 5 wins, they've only won by an average margin of 8 points, while in the Steelers 6 wins, they've won by an average of 22.3 points. How bad is the Browns D? Glad you asked - they allow the most passing TDs of any team in the league, and they're 2nd to last in total yards allowed. Their sieve-like unit gives up an average of 135 yards on the ground and 282 yards through the air. Not what I'd call impressive.

So yeah, this will be a game, but just like, a game against Cleveland. Sack Derek Anderson approximately 9 times, call Kellen Winslow a 3 letter derogatory term for men who prefer the company of other men, and send any and all Browns fans packing for Cleveland with their tails between their legs.

What do you all say? Browns - contenders or pretenders? [Question removed due to sensitivities]

Browns Stats [Pro-football-reference]

Ballhype: hype it up!

12 comments:

domski43 said...

run the ball, milk the clock, defense needs to get off the field on third downs....cant get into shootout

Tobiathan said...

Gee, the Brownies look like a real football team finally. Never thought i'd say it, but there ya go. Good for them ah reckon.

They beat Seattle, which is nice. And they've thrown a lot of TD's(comparatively). Which is nice too. But i still doubt they have the moxy to whoop the Stillers.

MNF was a big boost to my faith in the team. They needed a big game to help them cement their confidence in themselves. The Steelers have finally, i think, proved to themselves that they can throw the ball deep effectively and consistently. And the defense, with the help of our new-found hero Silverback, has likely found their groove. Finally. Personally i look for Troy P. to get agitated about not being the focus of opposing offenses and to prove his warrior-instinct this weekend against the Poop-Colored Ohioans(that's Browns fer ya Clevelanders).

Anderson looks good, and has legitimate recieving threats in Jerivicius, Edwards and Kellen "Light-in-the-Loafers" Winslow Jr. (the Souldja, i remind yous). Their o-line must be doing something Wright, and i think his name is Jason (Browns RB in case ya din't know).

But all that said, i still don't think this team has the guts, brawn or angry, vicious attitude our Steelers have. In a toe-to-toe slug-fest they will blink first. Not that i think it'll come to that, though. I'm guessing the Steel D will slam Anderson a couple times, bludgeon the WRs and frustrate KLJ to the point of unsportsmanlike conduct. Or so i hope...

After what they did against Ray "the Stabby One" Lewis and the Baltithug [c]Ravens i'm convinced we'll see a dominating Steeler Dee here on out. We need to, given the competition we will face in a coouple weeks. A good game Sunday is a step up the ladder...

As always:

Go Stillers!

T

tecmo_bowl_bo_jackson said...

Milking the clock is great, but I also have no problem with a shootout. We did just hang 38 on the MSM's wet dream of a defense.

However, I don't see Cleveland dropping shootout-style points on us. We still haven't given up 100 total points through 8 games. We might hold up our end of a shootout, but the Browns will not.

Cotter said...

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Yeah, no shootouts for me. I'd like to see us make some good offensive plays but D will come first.

Tobiathan said...

We built this (Weeee buiiilllt this ciiitttyyyyyy...terrible 80's song reference!) on defense. Literally. Look it up. So i think that is where it all starts and stops. The offense will follow suit as long as the D plays well.

domski43 said...

the only criticism i can find for the ravens game is the offensive line..once again. ben made awesome plays, but on two of the touchdowns he still had to illude an oncoming pass rush. I know this is ben's job, but he shouldnt have to shake off defenders to have time in the pocket. Also, the o-line needs to improve on run blocking bceause of the poor rushing game on monday night. i respect the ravens' d-line, so i will give them a pass for last week.

i'm still sticking with the argument that we dont need to get into a shootout with the browns. the steelers win games when ben throws the ball around 20-25 times (or less) note Monday night! turnovers will be huge sunday, so i expect a lot of focus on the browns' passing game. I like our secondary/linebackers against winslow and edwards, and jamal lewis should be bottled up easily.

a win this weekend should just about wrap up the division!!!
go steelers!

Chris said...

"NFL powerhouse" AZ beat a team from the AFC North earlier this year... who was it?

domski43 said...

uuuummmm...tough question...probably the same team that is 6-2 and is currently winning the afc north, 1st in total defense, 1st in passing yards allowed per game, 4th in average yards per game, and 2nd in rushing offense.

cotter,
who let the 2nd grader on your blog? probably an eagles fan

Cotter said...

Actually I'm impressed that a Browns fan was able to maneuver the wide world of web well enough to comment on this post.

And for the record Chris, I never said just because they weren't a powerhouse they couldn't win games...we Steeler fans will forever be lamenting that loss...even great teams have to lose once in a while...

Tobiathan said...

Yup, great teams lose. In fact, i think it's the losses that really define great teams. I've always had the idea that front-runners and dominant teams seem to have a gard time in the playoffs in the NFL precisely because they've experienced so much success and domination. As soon as any team buys into it's own invincibility it's doomed to failure. Look at the last two 15-1 teams: the Purple Jesus's (Vikings) and our Pittsburgh Steelers*.(*- i add the asterik because, after seeing our loss that year in the AFC Championship, i'm convinced the the NE Cheatriots had an inside line on every offensive play we ran against them. Seriously)

Those two teams both lost in the playoffs. I attribute this to overconfidence and underachievement. Same will likely be said of the NE Cheatriots this year, especially if they go undefeated. Most teams will do everything imaginable to knock them out even if it costs that opponent in the long run.

My point is that losing can only make a good team great. It never hurts to be reminded occasionally that success, the honest kind, takes effort, dedication and humility.

PS- I hate the Patricheats. A lot. And Dour Bill Belichump. And especially a**hole bandwagon Patricheat fans. Honestly.

Love my Stillers tho!

T

dcr3000 said...

I can't believe we were not up for that game right out of the gate! If we come out that flat against the really good teams (NE, JAX) we will not be able to come from behind and win. Let's crank up the intensity and play for a full 60 mins!

Tobiathan said...

dcr3000-

Good point about coming out of the gate but i have to disagree on the inability to come back.

I don't think anybody could've stopped Ben and the O from doing what they did. Not even a more highly-rated D. They just had too much determination and were outright dominating in the second half. I hafta admit my heart was pumping and i couldn't actually look at the screen on several of those plays. However, nobody makes that many key plays in that situation against ANY defense unless he's got some real gamesmanship in him. And Ben got game.

I'm a believer, finally. I hoped he'd become this kind of player when he was drafted. Everybody did. But there were a few games, especially last year, when it looked like he'd turn into another over-sized, over-rated bust and fragile Freddy. Needless to say that didn't happen.

I take great pride in the fact that one of the most prolific and effective offenses of the first half of the NFL season came out and layed it on us good and we were still able to rally to a win. Nevermind the late surge by Cleveland; it was a statistical anomolie and never SHOUL have happened(even though it did).

I give the Brown(stains) credit: they are absolutely improving, and dramatically. But they aren't mature enough or confident enough yet to be competitive with the more experienced teams like Pittsburgh, NE, Indy or even Jax and the Titans. They might make the Wild Card round but no more. If they prove me wrong more power to them.

Because, like, i'm somebody in the pro football world n'at.

Uh, yeah....