The Browns were essentially two different teams on Sunday. The first half showed the promise of a team that was beginning to learn from its past mistakes. The Browns were able to put pressure on Brett Favre, sacking him twice, and were actually able to keep RB Adrian Peterson in check. It was almost unbelievable that the Browns went into halftime with a 13-10 lead, as if every Browns fan was wondering “When is this going to get ugly for us?”
Turns out, it was the second half. The Browns came back after halftime looking like they didn’t learn a thing from Eric Mangini about discipline and the whole concept of, you know, playing football well. Adrian Peterson shook off defenders like high school linebackers were trying to tackle him, as he finished the day with 180 yards on 25 carries with 3 touchdowns. Brady Quinn was shaky but not horrible, except for the time when he attempted a pass only to fumble the ball while reaching back.
As soon as Quinn committed his fumble, coming long after the Browns had begun to come crashing back to Earth, fans everywhere assuredly muttered a response to that play that not only symbolized the day but the constant losing the Browns and its fans have become used to: “Typical.”
Josh Cribbs gets the game ball for the Browns, mainly for his 67-yard punt return for a touchdown that gave the Browns a 13-10 lead in the second quarter. Jamal Lewis comes in a close second for gaining over 100 all-purpose yards (57 yards rushing, 47 yards receiving).
A few other notes about the game:
- Should we count Quinn’s TD pass to Robert Royal as the one that breaks the streak of nearly seven games without an offensive touchdown? After all, it did come in garbage time. To be honest, I’m still waiting for a meaningful touchdown.
- On that note, does anyone else find it bewildering that Quinn somehow ended up with 205 yards passing?
- It’s been an unfortunate couple of days for rookie RB James Davis. He got into a car accident early Saturday morning and sustained a shoulder injury in the second half. Let’s hope he is alright and able to return soon.
- Robert Royal led the team in receiving with 4 catches for 60 yards, but he also dropped a number of balls that a certain tight end that was traded away made regularly.
- Futility stat of the day: the Browns are now 1-10 in season openers, all at home, since 1999.