Thursday, September 3

Ten Points: Titans/Browns

With Nick sidelined by laziness and basking in the glow of his triathlon success, I'm taking over his popular "10 Points" series to recap the Browns' 23-17 win over the Titans, which I attended along with Nick and his Dad. Needless to say, my style is a bit different.

1) Living in the past
At Cleveland Browns Stadium, Nick was sporting a Kosar jersey and his Dad a Garcia. Neither Kosar nor Garcia currently plays for the Cleveland Browns. Yet these gentlemen had the nerve to mock a fellow wearing a jersey of current Brown and PRO BOWL QUARTERBACK Derek Anderson.

2) Speaking of quarterbacks currently on the roster
The notion that Quinn "moved ahead" of Anderson because he threw a TD pass in this game is ridiculous. Mangini and the coaching staff have two years of Anderson at the helm, Quinn's college career and brief pro output, financial and roster considerations, and hundreds of practice reps on which to base a decision, and you think this competition is decided by one slant pass just because you happened to see it? Come on. Quinn's been the guy for months and this QB competition thing is a sham. But if you want to think that one pass was the clincher, be my guest.

3) Vince Young's interception returned for a TD by Alex Hall

4) Block that kick!
I'll never stop wondering how much teasing he gets for being named "Robaire," but considering his size I suppose it wasn't too much. Nice extension on the block there.

5) Your receivers
Suddenly, this situation doesn't look as dire as it once did. If Braylon can actually catch a few passes that hit him on his hands, Cribbs continues to develop, and Furrey is the 3rd-down possession guy he appears to be, you've got at least a semblance of a receiving corps. Have you noticed how Cribbs uses his hands to catch the football and doesn't jump for chest-level balls? Plus, you've got Massaquoi and Robiskie to step in as well.

6) Your defense
Still not good. We didn't get pushed around like against the Packers, even without Shaun Rogers, but don't forget that these guys are going to give up a lot of points this season. They just are.

7) The Stadium
It was surprisingly fun to attend a pre-season game, even though it was super-windy and the clouds looked like they did during Morpheus' "scorched the sky" speech in The Matrix. Sitting there in some unusually chilly August wind, I wondered: has anyone thought to turn a home field with adverse winter conditions into an advantage by employing a strong defense and a mistake-free offense with a strong rushing attack? Oh, right, everyone in the Northeast has already done that except for the clubs in Ohio.

8) James Davis
Where do I sign up?

9) Rod Hood.
Say goodbye to the newest Chicago Bear. Too bad he couldn't take Abram Elam with him.

10) You play to win the game!
I know, I know, preseason results don't matter, the Lions went 4-0 last year, blah blah blah.

But it does matter, as I wrote last year, at least a bit. You have to win at least one preseason game, otherwise history suggests your odds of making the playoffs are very slim. The Browns took a donut in last year's preseason and ended up 4-12; they went 3-1 in exhibition in 2007 and posted a 10-6. This isn't a strong correlation league-wide, but it is a correlation nonetheless. The Browns, for their part, have typically won a couple of preseason games and sucked in the regular season the past few seasons, but what I'm saying is that a degree of preseason success is necessary, not sufficient.

Most important in the preseason is avoiding injuries; second-most important is looking professional. I think in the past two games we can say the Browns have made strides in that latter department. I can live with it if Cleveland has another crummy season simply because our talent level is low, as long as beer and TV's continue to exist. But if we go 4-12 again because of cheap penalties, inept clock management, needless turnovers, and other foolishness, my patience as a fan will be stretched to the limit once again.

These past two games have given me some hope that our only real problem will be the low level of talent currently on the Cleveland roster, and bad teams that play smart have been known to win a couple of games here and there.

1 comment:

Nick said...

"Ten Points: Trying to Bait Nick Edition"