The Cleveland Browns have played in plenty of ugly games since their return to the league, but rarely do they find themselves on the winning end of those contests. On Sunday, they were able to enjoy one of those rare victories, defeating the San Diego Chargers 7-6 in a rainy, one-mistake-could-lose-this kind of game.
Running back Trent Richardson had his best day as a pro, totaling 122 yards rushing and a touchdown on 24 carries. He also added a catch for 12 yards. Other than that, there wasn’t much going for the Browns’ offense on Sunday, as quarterback Brandon Weeden completed only 11 of 27 passes for 129 yards. Of course, Weeden did not serve up any costly turnovers (neither did any other Browns players, for that matter), which helped make the difference.
Had the Browns lost, much more of the focus would have been on the anemic offense sans Richardson. Instead, the focus gets to be on the dominance of Richardson, showing off exactly why the Browns drafted him this past April.
Much of the credit in this game, though, has to be given to the defense. With the Chargers looking to rebound from a devastating loss to the Denver Broncos, the Browns shut down – with a little help from the weather, of course – quarterback Philip Rivers and what is usually a high-powered offense.
Brandon Weeden certainly acknowledged that.
“Our defense, let’s not kid anybody here, our defense won us that football game,” Weeden said. “You know field position was a struggle, the weather was a struggle, but games like that in those conditions to have our defense play like they did, they won the football game for us. If I had a game ball I’d give it to those guys. They played their tails off and made play after play against a really good offense.” (Source: Cleveland.com)
As always, a win is truly a win, no matter how it is achieved. The Browns were certainly on the receiving end of plenty of luck, including a Josh Gordon-like drop by Chargers wide receiver Robert Meachem in the fourth quarter that surely would have been a touchdown. But the Browns also did just enough to win on their own, and that works too.
The fate of the coaching staff may be in serious doubt, but for now, the Browns continue to improve by getting a win that, in the past, likely would have been just another disappointment.