Here’s something that may or may not surprise you: Cleveland sports teams have been known to disappoint their fans, leaving them with some sort of inferiority complex. It is difficult to maintain excitement over a team’s success, because the threat of a disappointment looms. Such is the case this Sunday, when the Browns take on the Redskins (4:15 p.m. on CBS). The Browns are on a two-game winning streak and are coming off a huge win against the defending Super Bowl champions. With the team riding high, and getting noticeable attention from the national media, which appears to once again be interested in the Browns, there is a reason to build up some confidence.
But, as recent history shows, it would appear to be all too easy for the Browns to turn a little bit of confidence into overconfidence and, subsequently, a letdown. Remember the Raiders game last year after that epic offensive onslaught against the Bengals the week before? Nevertheless, I can’t help but get excited for this week’s match-up. I want to reserve talking about how I think the team has turned the corner and is ready to make a run because, to be honest, I don’t know if that is going to happen. What I can say, however, is that there was no better way for the team to win that game on Monday. They needed that win in the worst way and they did so in such a convincing, dominating fashion that one can’t help but feel excited, at least for this week. After all, they were only the fourth team since 1963 to go through an entire game without committing a turnover, giving up a sack, or punting the ball.
Another reason to expect a competitive game this weekend? The secondary is coming on strong, third in the league in interceptions with nine. Jason Campbell, quarterback for the Redskins, is no Eli Manning and the Redskins are bound to come back to Earth. With the defensive line finally getting pressure on the quarterback, the secondary is able to show off what it can do and that, hopefully, will result in a strong defensive effort. I do not believe the offense is something to worry about, because it is beginning to fire on all cylinders. Maybe Derek Anderson, the bane of my existence every so often, just needed that one great game to get on track. Even if Kellen Winslow can’t make a return (he is at home, recovering), I think the rest of the tight ends can more than make up for his absence yet again.
So, can we as Browns fans realistically expect a Browns win on Sunday? To be honest, I think the answer is yes, because I want to believe the team has learned from its past. They have had success before and crapped it away against a team that they easily could have beaten. The Redskins are a team that can be beat, even with the Browns on the road. It would seem that these two teams are about to be headed in two different directions, so this is no better time for these two to match up (at least for the Browns).