For the 2011 Cleveland Browns, they will take a win by any means necessary. The path to it doesn’t matter as long as it shows up in the win column. Sunday’s victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars was just that – an occasionally ugly game in which the Browns did everything in their power to try and lose in the end, only to somehow wind up pulling out the victory.
Colt McCoy was efficient throughout the day, completing 70% of his passes (17 of 24) for 199 yards, a touchdown and one interception. It’s still a learning process for him, but McCoy made some great throws to his receivers throughout the game. While it’s true that a few throws do still get away from him, his receivers aren’t doing him a lot of favors. McCoy continues to be plagued by drops from his receivers
But the real story of this game is the huge sigh of relief Browns fans felt as the clock ran as Blaine Gabbert’s final throw fell harmlessly in the end zone. After Phil Dawson missed a field goal from 38 yards with just over two minutes remaining in the game, the Jaguars promptly marched down the field and, with the help of a few penalties, go to the Browns’ two-yard line with a few seconds left.
At the end of the day, though, the defense held its ground and solidified a win for the team, bringing the Browns’ record to 4-6. It’s a tall order, but if the Browns can go just 3-3 in their final six games, that will give them a final record of 7-9, which is what many people predicted for this team from the start. With the way this season has gone, wouldn’t you be okay with that result?
Here are a few more notes following the Browns’ victory over the Jaguars:
- The most impressive performance for the Browns belongs to running back Chris Ogbonnaya, who rushed 21 times for 115 yards and a touchdown while also adding two catches for 19 yards. What was most impressive was the fact that Ogbonnaya got better as the game went on, making his best runs in the fourth quarter as the Jaguars’ defense wore down.
- Joe Haden is likely going to become an elite cornerback in the NFL, and it never hurts to be physical, but it seems as though his particular style of play is going to continue drawing pass interference penalties for the foreseeable future. It’s hard to be critical, because he makes many great plays, but it’s starting to feel like a pass interference penalty on Haden is an inevitability in each game.
- Jordan Norwood only had one catch in the game, but it was a big one for the young receiver. He had an impressive 51-yard catch in the first half (one 50-yard pass per game appears to be a new trend for the Browns), making the thought of him as a potential slot receiver that much more enticing.
- Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for 87 yards on 21 carries, while adding one touchdown, but the Browns did enough to contain him. But, at the same time, it sure helps that Blaine Gabbert struggled mightily throughout this game, especially on the game’s final drive. It might be nitpicking, but you have to wonder what’s going to happen in this final murderer’s row of games the Browns now face.