The Browns won. It moves them to 3-11 on this season and gives them a 2 game win streak! I know what you are thinking, Holy Cow is this a dream! No, it is the reality. But this 41 point out burst gave us a 41-34 win, but it was not all good, and it definitely was not all bad. Joshua Cribbs, PAY THE MAN! exploded for 2 kickoff return touchdowns, of 100 and 103 yards. The first, for 100 yards gave him the career record for kickoff return touchdowns, which he then added to with his 8th. In this amazing effort from Cribbs he also tied the single game record for kickoff return touchdowns, and got 269 return yards on 6 attempts and 4 punt returns for 36 yards. His performance goes down as one of the best ever, he solidifies himself as the best kick returner in the history of the NFL to date and he obviously deserves that new contract he wants, and I hope he plays his entire career in Cleveland.
The other star of the game for the Browns is running back Jerome Harrison. His performance also landed him in the record books, for both the team and the NFL. His 34 carries were 2nd most in Franchise history and his 286 yards shattered Jim Browns previous club record, as well as landed him within 8 of tying Adrian Peterson’s NFL record of 294. He also added 3 touch downs of 71, 8 and 28 yards. Brady Quinn had a 28 yard scramble which set up the winning 28 yard touch down for Harrison, but I really think he should have let Harrison get those yards and the NFL record. 🙂 This day almost doubled his season yards total which was at 301 coming into Sunday’s game and he had only accrued around 70 yards in the last 7 games. This is more then the kind of explosiveness all Browns fans were expecting from Harrison all year, he is finally getting the chance to showcase his abilities now that Jamal Lewis is on the IR and Eric Mangini is forced into playing him. Chris Jennings barely got a chance to show what he was capable of coming off a stellar performance against PIttsburgh, but that is absolutely all right considering the explosion of awesomeness that Jerome Harrison provided.
On the much more negative side of things, the play of Brady Quinn was once again horrible. 10-17 for 66 yards and 2 interceptions. He had a QB rating of 27.7 and really reminded me of Derek Anderson all game long. Josh Cribbs had a better QB rating and he threw one pass, which was incomplete. The passing game was miserable all game long, despite the 300+ yards the team had on the ground. Harrison caught 2 passes for 12 yards and Chansi Stuckey was the only receiver to register any significant numbers with 5 catches for 41 yards. Robert Royal was on the field way too much, and Evan Moore, despite amazing play the last 2 weeks, was barely featured and only registered 1 grab.
But that was not the biggest problem of the day. The defense was abysmal. They came up with some key stops, but they really let the Chiefs offense get in a flow and if it weren’t for Joshua Cribbs this game would have been way out of hand in the first half. His two kickoff returns had us down by only 4 at the half, 24-20, and then Jerome Harrison got his game on and took over the 2nd half. After destroying Pittsburgh and sacking Ben Roethlisberger like 9 times last week, they only came up with 1 this week and Matt Cassel was barely hurried. Jamaal Charles had a career day, 156 yards and a TD, his amazing performance was overshadowed by Harrison’s even bigger break-out day. This has been the trend of the Defense all year long, one week they look good but then the next week it is the exact opposite. This trend is really problematic and disturbing, and I don’t know how much of it is because of the health issues the team has had this year. But I guess we can count on the Defense turning it up a notch next week against the Raiders if the trend is to hold up.
While this was an amazing game, fun to watch and very, very impressive with the performances of Cribbs and Harrison there was those 2 big gaping holes in the Browns today, but as a fan-base we have really no room to be overly critical and we will take wins however we can get them. 3-11 looks a lot better then 2-12, even with the possible sacrifice of draft position, but with the incredible price that comes with drafting high, who really wants to pick #1. I just want to end with a few quick thoughts.
– MIke Holmgren will apparently be giving his answer to the Browns Monday or Tuesday. Which means a few things, we could have that “leadership” that Randy Lerner has been talking about, I have no idea whether or not he wants to coach as well as be GM/Czar or whatever you want to call it, but I think it will be a bad move to let him be the Head Coach as well as the GM. I think him and Mangini might be able to work something out, because they really have many of the same ideas about how their players should be and have a pretty good eye for talent.
– Mangini might very well be coaching for his job right now, and I think he is earning himself at least a chance to see his vision play out. I know most fans really don’t like him and I can’t believe I am saying this because all season long I have been one of those calling for him to be fired at the end of the year. But after thinking about it as rationally as I can, I think that it is only fair to let him have his shot at building a team, and it will really cause more harm then good to have another coaching staff turnover and another influx of completely new players to the roster. Lets see if these guys can continue to gel and play good football.
– Jerome Harrison is awesome.
– Joshua Cribbs is even more awesome.
– I almost have hope for the 2010 season.