Let’s put this 20-10 loss in perspective a little bit. All-world left tackle Joe Thomas had an awful game at the hands of John Abraham. Thomas gave up a sack. He gave up the injury to Seneca Wallace’s right ankle that knocked him out of the game. Lastly, he got housed by Abraham on Jake Delhomme’s final interception. The loss isn’t Joe Thomas’ fault alone, but you just can’t expect to win a game like this when your very best, most consistent players fail so miserably. This was like a bizarro injury-riddled Browns game.
Mohamed Massaquoi had a decent game. That statement in and of itself should leave you shaking your head. In a game where Seneca Wallace gets hurt and a still hobbled Jake Delhomme takes over, Massaquoi “explodes” for 5 catches and over 50 yards receiving. As I said, it was a bizarro game.
If the QB injuries threatening to let us see Colt McCoy weren’t scary enough, Peyton Hillis’ injuries were worse during this game than I thought coming into it. He played admirably catching a touchdown pass and coming in the game hurt multiple times, but ultimately the one-man Browns offense just couldn’t contribute the way he has been so far this season.
And speaking of QBs, let me say that the performance wasn’t good enough today. The Browns were doing fine until Wallace got injured. I know that Browns fans everywhere (and Bill Simmons on twitter) want to throw the last shovel of dirt on Jake Delhomme’s career. Let me say that they might not be wrong to do so. Delhomme might seriously not have a single thing left in the tank. Still, I wouldn’t be honest, if I didn’t say that Jake Delhomme hasn’t been healthy since the first half of the first game of the season. I don’t want to be in the business of defending Jake Delhomme, because more and more it appears that dog won’t hunt. The two interceptions today don’t help his cause even if Joe Thomas collapsed into him on the last one. Delhomme still must not throw that ball into a defender or his own linemen. Can’t do it.
ALL THAT BEING SAID, A little perspective though. We all saw him run this team better in the pre-season. We know that he hasn’t been healthy. We know that he wasn’t healthy enough to play today until he got thrust into action against the will of the team. Even after a day like today, there is no QB controversy. Let’s all just hope that either Delhomme or preferably Wallace is healthy enough to go next week so Colt McCoy isn’t indoctrinated to the NFL by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
That is the story of the game here. There are no excuses in the NFL. The Browns are a deeper better team than they were a year ago, but a week with seven penalties from the Browns should be an oddity. A week of injuries like this lets us know just how much better they need to get, top to bottom, before they are a legitimate threat to win every week in the NFL.
One more thing. Be afraid of next week Browns. If you have a time machine, just jump ahead and skip next week altogether. If I had that flashing device from the Men in Black movies I would ready it for this time next week. The Browns are banged up from Wallace and Hillis to Delhomme. They are playing a Pittsburgh team that is 3-1 despite missing their starting QB due to suspension. The Browns defense has played pretty well this year, but they could be facing a serious time of possession deficit next week.
As always, we will have more this week about this game whether you like it or not!