Monday, December 31

Big it up for the Brownies

Andy, and I'm assuming Nick, would like to congratulate the Browns on a 10-6 season, one of their more successful campaigns in many years and a high-water mark for victories in the New Browns era. What's more, they gave the faithful something to smile about, claiming a club-record seven home wins in Cleveland Browns Stadium. Sure, they didn't get the help they needed this weekend and became one of those rare 10-win clubs not to qualify for postseason play, but considering that they had no business making the 2002 playoffs at 9-7, we'll call it even.

I still recall reading a Sports Illustrated preview piece on the 2007 Browns where they wrote that the Browns' worst-case scenario for 2007 was 2-14 and the team's best-case scenario was 6-10. Considering the low expectations fans and pundits had for the club, the 10-win season was an absolute delight. Hell, it usually takes our Browns about two years to post that many W's.

Browns fans, including myself, have lots of good memories from the season. I'd like to give a shout-out to the Capital District Browns Backers (Albany, NY) for being such fun people and devoted fans and making the games something worth looking forward to each week. Here are my top 6 Browns moments of 2007, off the top of my head (not including anything from the Cincy shootout because that was the game I missed due to illness):

6) Kellen Winslow's game-winning TD catch against Arizona
The dude catches about a million passes this year and I pick one that doesn't count? You bet. That was a spectacular catch with the game on the line and it should have given the Browns a win, if not for some timid officiating. K2 is a tremendous pass-catching asset for the brown and orange and this was the most remarkable demonstration of his ability and effort.

5) Phil Dawson's snow kick
Seriously, Philly Phil knocking one through from 48? In a blizzard? That was a really fun game and this its signature moment.

4) Braylon burns the Ravens
Early in the teams' first meeting, with Cleveland already up 7-0, Edwards made a sweet double move to get way behind the Ravens' secondary and Derek Anderson put one on the money for (I think) the Browns' longest TD play of the year, a play that essentially put the game out of the hapless Ravens' reach. After a couple of wins over the league's weak sisters, Baltimore would then go on to lose nine straight before OSU's Troy Smith got them a W in the finale against Pittsburgh.

3) Jamal's rumble in the Meadowlands
Yeah, yeah, maybe it would have been better from a clock perspective for J-Lew to fall down at the 1, but didn't you love watching him throw off about 26 would-be tacklers on his way to the end zone at the end of the victory over the Jets? I sure as hell did.

2) Josh Cribbs' KR for a TD in Pittsburgh
Cribbs was flat out awesome this year - one of the NFL's most exciting players and by far its best return man. Having already taken a kick 90 yards to set up a Cleveland TD, Cribbs initially booted this ground-ball kickoff back to near the Browns' goal line before starting a 100-yard tightrope act along the sideline and somehow ending up in the Steelers' end zone with six freshly-minted points. Tremendous.

1) Phil Dawson's kick to beat Baltimore
Everything about this was fantastic; the comeback the Browns had to mount to get in position for the kick, the fact that it made possible a victory over the hated Ravens in Baltimore, and...was there something else? Oh yeah, the fact that it banked in off the upright, hit the goal support, somehow bounced back into the field of play, and was eventually (correctly) ruled good. Take that, Brian Billick.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

we had a great year. im tired of browns fans complaining about how we didnt make the playoffs at 10-6. we had our chance, and we blew it by losing to pittsburgh twice. hats off to the browns on a very good and as always entertaining season. oh yeah, and dawson's kick was definitly the number one moment in my book too. especially after reading that plain dealer article about his wife and kids. heres to the playoffs in 08!