The Cleveland Browns did not get the memo on tanking the season with the Trent Richardson trade. The Browns beat the Bengals 17-6 to take their season record to 2-2. They beat an AFC North rival, which is always bonus. They did it at home. Most importantly, they did it on the same day they unveiled Brownie the Elf! What else is there to say?
One thing that shocked me going into the game this week was how little Browns fans and media I heard seemed to embrace how large of an underdog the Browns were. The Browns were coming off a road victory over the Vikings, but the Bengals are not the Vikings. They are the presumed best team in the AFC North and maybe the whole AFC.
Brian Hoyer appeared to be a pretty solid upgrade as a game manager from Brandon Weeden, and Josh Gordon had a monster first game, but the track record of the Bengals was meaningful. Yet it seemed that most fans and media I heard wanted to treat this week’s game like something of a toss-up. Maybe they were right, but I wasn’t buying it pre-game. [Read more...]