Thursday, November 6

Heroes and Zeroes, Week 8

Apparently, Nick can't be bothered to get his patented game summary from the previous game up before tonight's game, so Andy takes over. How hard can it be?

This game sucked pretty bad.

This Week's Zeroes
Do these go first when the Browns lose? I say yes.

Five Demerits: Nick Allburn
For a number of reasons, Nick takes the top spot this week. Not least of these was his inability to complete this column in a timely fashion. Nick also somehow tried to give Edwards a free pass for his epic drop in a postgame conversation he and I had, which was not warranted. This from a guy who routinely criticizes Derek Anderson for completions. Also, Nick made some ridiculous hyperbolic comments during the game. I suggested the Browns not try to go 35 yards for a FG in :29 prior to the end of the 1st half; they ended up doing so and getting three on a Phil Dawson career-long kick. So, from a results-based standpoint, I made the wrong call, though I still think the risk of DA throwing a pick-6 or fumbling was unacceptably high. I wasn't being mean about it, just trying to reason out the best course of action instead of screaming at Crennel for not calling a TO when he in fact already had. So Nick goes on this nasty mocking tirade about how the Browns should never try to advance the ball on offense if the Ravens were so great on defense, which is a non-argument because when you have more than :29 on the clock, offense is a less risky proposition than the scenario we were faced with at the time. Straw man arguments earn demerits, sir.

Four Demerits: Browns CB's
Wright and McDonald both played poorly and were victimized by long TD passes. McDonald got beat deep early in the game for a TD strike, and a missed tackle on the edge by Eazy-E led to an easy Baltimore score later on.

Three Demerits: Browns WR's
You simply cannot drop that long touchdown pass. Cannot. Then Edwards left the locker room without answering questions. Classy guy, Michigan all the way. I don't even care about his TD catch at this point. Steptoe came through with a fumble on his only catch, and Stallworth is pathetic.

Two Demerits: Rob Chudzinski
When you cannot run the ball successfully, stop running the ball. The Browns' last 6 drives:
3 and out
3 and out
3 and out
3 and out
INT returned for TD (on the 3rd play, naturally)
4 and out

Sure, bad blocking, quarterbacking, and Braylon Edwardsing were at play here, but trying bull-headedly to run on 1st and 2nd downs when you knew they couldn't was not helping matters.

One Demerit: Ray Lewis
Because I have to. If not him, it'd be this idiot fan behind us who thought he was the smartest dude ever (he was not) and suggested loudly that the other 70 000 people in the stadium should leave because they weren't as smart as him and his crew.

This Week's Heroes

Five Gold Stars: Josh Cribbs
My favorite player came through big as I sported his jersey in CBS for the first time. There was the 92-yard kickoff score, numerous other solid returns (278 yards on the day), and a punt return prior to what's-his-face's TD catch that was arguably a better effort than the TD. Plus, Cribbs' usual spectacular punt and kickoff coverage.

Four Gold Stars: Phil Dawson
Who knew this guy had a 55-yard FG in him? Nice work, Phil.

Three Gold Stars: Browns TE's
Kellen Winslow and Steve Heiden combined for 89 yards on seven catches, and it would have been more except for a horrible pass interference call against K2 that called back a terrific 20+ yard catch.

Two Gold Stars: Jason Wright
Three catches, including an outstanding effort to get the ball over the pylon for a 7-yard TD in the 3rd quarter.

One Gold Star: Derek Anderson
The interception at game's end was ghastly, but DA played a very good first three quarters and was crippled by 3rd-and-long situations for the whole rest of the game (and Braylon's drop) thanks to our insistence on running for 1 yard at a time.

Up Next: 11/6, Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns Stadium, 8:15
Make no mistake, tonight (and mostly the rest of the season are all about Brady Quinn. Good time to start it off well, at home vs. a lousy Denver defense. Trying to guess exact final scores is fruitless, and I will not participate in such an exercise.
Prediction: BROWNS (-3.5)

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