So after two games, I’m alternately impressed and not impressed with the Browns. Impressed because they played the Steelers really tough (honestly, if that fumble hadn’t gone out of bounds, that was probably a W if not OT for Cleveland), not impressed because they should have fought a hell of a lot more in the first half and because Dallas destroyed them.
I was really pleased with Cleveland’s pass rush Sunday. Yes, Ben got decent protection, but he also got sacked three times and took some pretty nasty hits. Yet all the announcers could do was trumpet how freakin’ sweet Pittsburgh line was (I’ve seen better) and spooge over how awesome Cleveland’s unbalanced line idea is.
(To recap, the unbalanced line is TE – LG – C – RG – RT – LT)
The only lineman mentioned by name was Joe Thomas for Cleveland, whereas it seems like Madden was singing the praises of every Steeler lineman, their dogs, and their favorite colors. That’s the dogs’ favorite colors, not the Steelers’, which I can only assume are black and gold.
Pittsburgh’s awesome defense is no more. Yeah, the Browns scored six points, but most of that was weather and Derek Anderson being an idiot. Cleveland’s defense was pretty impressive. The secondary still sucks, but blitzing helped cover for that, and for one Slick Willie didn’t get like 10,000 yards.
It was good to see Cribbs return, even if it wasn’t effective. I expect better things with no 60 mph wind. I’d be shocked if Pittsburgh doesn’t get a new kick returner after theirs had a hard time with catching the ball.
A couple more side notes on the Browns:
— I’m not mentioning the Dallas game because I don’t think there’s much to say. They couldn’t touch Tony Romo and got shredded for it. I’m thrilled the D only gave up 28.
— Romeo Crennel has me honestly worried. He HUGELY bungled the clock management in yesterday’s game. He manned up, said he screwed up in the first half, but then proceeded to burn through timeouts like they were coupons for a Thai hooker.
— Braylon Edwards has had some serious issues these first two games. Yes, he was injured in camp, and yes, there was crazy weather on Sunday, but he simply drops passes he should have caught, which reduces Derek’s confidence in him. This in turn makes Kellen Winslow ask for more catches, but they triple cover him, so Derek won’t throw him the ball enough to make up for the difference. The best receiver yesterday, apart from Winslow, was Jamal Lewis, and that’s kind of sad. I’m hoping Donte’ comes back soon.
— Speaking of Jamal Lewis… his running is getting old, and that’s the biggest reason why we lost. It’s crash into the line; gain three yards. Crash into the line, gain two yards. He doesn’t have the speed to go outside, so we need a change of pace back. Harrison looked decent, and I hear Tatum Bell’s available…