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Posted by Nov - 25 - 2012 0 Comment

Some quick post-game notes following the Browns 20-14 win over the Steelers:

  • I don’t care what quarterback you are facing. The Browns defense today played a game for the ages. They only gave up 7 points. They held the 4 Steelers RBs to 49 yards rushing combined! The longest run of the day for Pittsburgh belonged to Jonathan Dwyer for 8 yards. As a team they averaged 2.5 ypc. That is as dominating a performance against the run as you will see in the NFL. With Phil Taylor and Ahtyba Rubin back and healthy, this Browns defensive line has the makings of what could potentially be one of the better lines in all of the league.
  • Aside from the Chris Rainey TD run at the end of the first half, the Browns hit hard today, and tackled well. That is something that they haven’t done consistently this season, and needed to do against some Steeler running backs and receivers that can break away for big gains. The Browns play hard each week. That cannot be taken away from them. But I guarantee that there will be a Black Friday-esque line for trainer tables in Pittsburgh tomorrow morning.
  • What does Brandon Weeden now have in common with Troy Smith? They are the only rookie quarterbacks to win the first time they faced Dick LeBeau’s Steeler defense. Weeden had a pedestrian afternoon, but at the end of the day led the Browns on enough scoring drives to win the game. He still has a lot to work on, and this week may be dicey depending on the extent of his concussion. But better, more experienced QBs have fared far worse than he did today.
  • While Pat Shurmur continues to treat a 3 point lead like a 3 touchdown lead with his play calling, he did what a lot of coaches talk about wanting to be able to do, and his team backed him up on it. He ran the ball to eat clock, won the field position battle, and ended the game with his defense snuffing the life out of their opponent. He is still going to be another former Browns coach come season’s end, but today I give credit where it’s due.
  • All that just said. One play action high percentage pass to move the chains would not have sucked on their final drive, regardless who the QB was.
  • Phil Dawson continues to amaze as the games and years go by. Today he tied his own team record of 27 consecutive successful field goal attempts on the season, which also leads the league. If the Browns don’t find their way to a Super Bowl before he is ready to retire, I would bless the trade of him to a team that will get there. If anyone deserves to kick under the bright lights on Super Sunday, it’s Mr. Dawson. He is destined for the Browns Ring of Honor, and maybe Canton some day.
  • Trent Richardson is becoming quite the enigma to watch. His hesitant style behind the line is frustrating. Then, he’ll make one of those slight side steps, and blast through the defense for a big gain. I wonder how much of his running style is due to the healing rib injury he has. For as big as he his and as difficult as he is to tackle, he rarely takes on defenders physically in the open field. Maybe that’s his idea for prolonging his career, as we all know hits are cumulative. Still, it seems that sometimes he leaves plays on the field.
  • For as well as the defense played, unless your name is Joe Haden you had better learn to cover someone mano y mano AND TURN YOUR FREAKING HEAD WHEN THE BALL IS IN THE AIR!!! The Browns apparently do not coach that concept, as no one in the secondary does it regularly.
  • Phil Taylor is a giant of a man that plays hard every play. On Dwyer’s fumble late in the 4th that gave the Browns the ball back with under three minutes left, Taylor continued to pursue the play from his interior line position and recover the fumble about 20 yards away from where he was when the play began. Coaches love that kind of effort, because you can’t teach it. Fans in Cleveland should love it as well.
  • The Browns accomplished two things today that are some of the first steps on the road to respectability. They have won their third game at home, and second in the division. Should they find a way to win either against the Chiefs or Redskins here over the next couple weeks and beat Pittsburgh on the road in the season finale (as unlikely as that may appear), they would end the season .500 at home and .500 in the division. It would be well hidden in a 5-11 record, but its something worth building from.
Categories: Cleveland Browns, Featured

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