The Browns exorcised the demons of a week ago as they finally took the opportunity to build a lead of more than one score. The Browns had a 17-12 lead when Peyton Hillis finally broke through in the fourth quarter for a 24-yard touchdown run with 4:01 remaining in regulation. The Browns added a field goal to stretch their lead to 27-12. They gave up a meaningless touchdown in the two minute drill and end up winning 27-19. That final score was only meaningless because the Browns finally went up by a comfortable margin. It hasn’t happened a whole lot around here recently.
Pat Shurmur gets his first win. Colt McCoy and the Browns get their first win of the season. The Browns defense plays well and forces turnovers against a reeling Indianapolis team that misses Peyton Manning even more than I thought they would. It wasn’t perfect, but it is what the Browns needed to do. They aren’t enough of a known quantity as a team to be considered a “lock” in any game as we (and presumably they) learned last week against Cincinnati.
Far be it for me to feel sorry for the Colts who were without Peyton Manning. You don’t wish injury on anyone, and certainly it is impossible to argue that the NFL is better off with Peyton Manning out of action. That being said, when your team has a chance to take advantage of an injury they simply must to take it. Nobody has ever given the Browns any points when they’ve faced injuries. There are no asterisks on the final NFL standings at the end of the season. Back to the game.
The Browns defense gave the Browns offense a chance to go out and win by forcing field goals and that’s exactly what they did. The offense wasn’t overly efficient as Brad Maynard punted five times (201 yards!) and Peyton Hillis gave a fumble away. In fact, if there is one big negative to this win, the Browns fumbled the ball five times and six if you count Jabal Sheard’s ill-advised pitch even though he was eventually ruled down by contact.
There will be more time later for the negativities that go with constructive criticism. For now, we’ll go with the positives. The Cleveland Browns won as a team. Josh Cribbs, Greg Little, Peyton Hillis, Phil Taylor, Jabal Sheard, Jayme Mitchell, and plenty more deserve recognition in the victory.
For the fans, this means a pleasant week. Monday will be a joy to listen to sports radio and talk about the Browns on this site. Enjoy it. The Browns players deserve it and we fans deserve it too.
Your Cleveland Browns are 1-1 and will welcome a tough Dolphins team to Cleveland next week.