They were close to claiming victory all by themselves, but Red Bryant sealed the victory for the Cleveland Browns with a head-butting ejection personal foul. Victory formation ensued for Colt McCoy and the banged up Browns. I’ll need a shower to wash off all the negativity that surrounded this Cleveland Browns victory, but it was a victory. The only thing worse than winning ugly after a tumultuous week is to lose. Thankfully the Browns and their fans don’t face that prospect after securing a 6-3 victory at home.
Injuries were the story of the day for both teams. Marshawn Lynch was a late scratch for a Seahawks team that was starting Charlie Whitehurst at QB in place of Tarvaris Jackson. By the way, I don’t think there will be any QB controversy forthcoming in Seattle. The Browns were without Hillis and Fujita before the game and lost Mohamed Massaquoi, Shawn Lauvao, and Ben Watson during it. Not great news for a team that is looking to improve as a young offensive unit.
Let’s get the ultra-negatives out of the way. This Browns team is officially abysmal on special teams. I can even forgive a nine yard punt by Brad Maynard because he has been mostly solid since joining the Browns. The Browns allowed two blocked field goals – one of which that was only a 24 yard attempt. The Browns were gifted a block in the back call by the referees that called back a punt return touchdown. The word inexcusable comes to mind. You won’t win many games with plays like these.
So let’s talk about the Browns’ defense. They played exactly as they should have considering they were facing Charlie Whitehurst and a rushing attack without Marshawn Lynch. Don’t take it for granted though. The Browns’ defense forced a fumble on a T.J. Ward blitz. They had an interception thanks to Sheldon Brown. Joe Haden read and blew up a screen pass that was simply beautiful to watch. The Browns had three sacks on the day and held the Seahawks to 137 total yards.
The Browns won the time of possession battle with nearly 43 minutes of possession to 17 minutes.
Which brings me to the offense. It wasn’t good, really. The Browns could not score, as the scoreboard indicates. That being said, they did some smart things. They gave Hardesty 33 carries to try and take some pressure off a struggling passing game. The Browns were 50% on third down going 12 for 24. They ran the screen passes pretty effectively with newcomer Chris Ogbonnaya and Montario Hardesty. Evan Moore was a part of the gameplan and had four catches. Greg Little powered through some defenders for an impressive first down even though he only had five catches for 31 yards. Colt McCoy struggled again, but had a gutsy run for about 13 yards and a first down when he needed 12 to keep the drive alive.
Look. It was ugly. It wasn’t fun. The negativity on Twitter finally got to me to the point that I just quit tweeting. But they won. The Browns somehow did it. They faced inconsistency of their own doing on offense, weathered the injuries pre-game and in-game, and somehow got it done.
I don’t think there are signs of progress to be gleaned from the victory in terms of the Cleveland Browns’ offense. Still, you never know where a team can gain some momentum or confidence. Maybe when reviewing this tape they can get more out of it knowing that they won the game? I am desperately looking for a way to call this with the glass half full, people. Can you tell?
They won. How bad could it be?
(Don’t answer that.)
(Photo – The Official Cleveland Browns on Facebook)