August 1, 2014

Browns end ugly road losing streak against Raiders 20-17

“Just win baby!” The famous words of deceased Raiders head honcho Al Davis rang so very true in Oakland today as the Browns faced the silver and black. It wasn’t a pretty game. The rain held off, but the field was mucky just the same. The Browns had some big plays including long passes to Mohamed Massaquoi and a 44-yard TD to Josh Gordon. The Browns also turned the ball over via two ugly, early rising fastballs from Brandon Weeden who was wild early. On the Raiders side, I couldn’t tell you how many balls were dropped by Raider receivers, but it was a noticeably high amount. In the end, the Browns had what felt like one of their better offensive games of the season as they won 20-17.

The Browns ended an ugly 12-game road losing streak. Phil Dawson also ended a not-so-ugly streak as he couldn’t escape the ugly Oakland turf. His impressive consecutive field goal streak was ended at 29. Rather than bemoan the end of the streak, it’s much more important to realize just how impressive Dawson has been. The field goal attempt that ultimately missed was a high snap on bad turf and was ultimately blocked as well. Even in missing his first out of thirty attempts, Dawson didn’t go down easily with a common shank.

The game wasn’t even really as close as the final three point margin. The Raiders had one big play to score a touchdown for 64-yards to Rob Streater over Buster Skrine. The Raiders added a 17-yarder to tight end Brandon Meyers with one second on the game clock, but it was already pretty much over, although not before some tense moments. [Read more...]

McCoy vs. Weeden makes for a good history lesson

One of the things we talked about most last year at this time was the maturity of Colt McCoy. He got the team together for “Camp Colt” down in Texas. He spent a weekend throwing with Brett Favre to try and improve his game. He had the support of his teammates in camp and did all the big interviews with the national writers that came through town. That was last year. This year, Brandon Weeden has filled that role.

Even as Pat Shurmur hasn’t named a starter, there’s no questioning it. Weeden, not McCoy, was the first to head out to the crowd to sign autographs after practice. McCoy went out later to big applause, but only after Weeden had finished. While McCoy was making fans smile, Weeden was smiling into a host of cameras and microphones. And as Colt McCoy headed in for the day, Weeden wolfed down an Uncrustables before sitting down with ESPN’s John Clayton for a one-on-one interview.

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Carson Palmer to the Raiders: Bad For The Browns

As you know, the Cincinnati Bengals sent QB Carson Palmer to the Oakland Raiders for a 2012 first round pick and a conditional second round pick in 2013, which could become a first rounder. Essentially, Browns Scott Fujita’s tackle of Raiders QB Jason Campbell on a scramble on Sunday changed the fortunes of two teams.

Think about it. Campbell, a free agent at the end of the season who has been playing well in leading the Raiders to 4-2 record, broke his collarbone and because of it, Oakland became desperate for a quick fix. They see a window to capture a playoff spot in the suddenly not so deep AFC, and their depth chart at QB read “Kyle Boller, Terrelle Pryor.”  [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting…Indians Land Ubaldo Jimenez, Colt McCoy in the AFC North

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com

Going all in: “To question how Ubaldo fits into the Tribe’s rotation (or any rotation) is akin to insanity, but it doesn’t dismiss the idea that there are very real reasons to be wary of Jimenez – from Colorado’s still-unknown reasons for making a 27-year-old “ace” available, to reports that the Yankees backed away from the Ubaldo sweepstakes when they were allegedly stonewalled in their attempts to obtain medical reports.

That said, the Indians’ Front Office – oft-maligned for their inactivity, their proclivity to sell “tomorrow” instead of “today”, and crucified for “unmet” promises – weighed the risks in acquiring Ubaldo (and there are many) and parted with their two prized arms, with one having already contributed to the parent club and with the other one following the same fast track. In giving up Pomeranz and White, the Indians are gambling that the performance of Jimenez over the next 2+ years is enough to balance out the club control that they held over Pomz and White, and the potential that each arm contained.” [Paul Cousineau/The DiaTribe]

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The Value of Seneca Wallace

Talking about Seneca Wallace almost always involves talking about qualifiers.  When you talk about Wallace, phrases usually end with, “for a backup,” or “for a journeyman.”  Wallace hasn’t been through a bunch of different cities, but for whatever reason he still feels like a journeyman to me.  I don’t mean it as an insult either.  I think Seneca Wallace is extremely valuable to the Cleveland Browns.  I felt that way last year, and I think his value is only increased this year.

Can we all agree that Seneca Wallace had a very good year last year for a backup?  I know he only participated in one win as a starter –  a 23-20 victory over the Bengals in week four.  For the season, Wallace stepped in when called upon to complete 63.4% of his passes.  He threw for four touchdowns and two interceptions.  His QB rating for the season was 88.5.  If he had done that for an entire season, he would have finished between Kyle Orton and Jon Kitna.  He would have finished higher than Eli Manning, Carson Palmer and Donovan McNabb. [Read more...]

Potential NFL Trades To Shake Up The Draft

First, a word of introduction. This is a guest post by Mark Leonard. Mark is an experienced journalist and educator that we asked to lend some insight into the Cleveland sports scene. An alum of Ohio State, Mark grew up in Lorain and has seen plenty of Cleveland sports turmoil, and even the last championship.

Fans of the NFL don’t need to be reminded this is a very atypical off-season. Typically, each team is well on its way to reconfiguring itself where needed, through presently-prohibited methods such as releases, trades and free-agent signings.

The absence of such activity has not only deprived the league’s fans of early-spring re-energizing and characteristically unbridled enthusiasm, but it has left its teams to depend exclusively on productive draft classes for needed enhancements. That has, understandably, placed an uncommon burden on those within each personnel department.

What is more, those drafted cannot be signed, brought into town for press-conferences, coached-up or introduced to his new professional environments—unless, of course, the dispute between ownership and athletes is resolved by that April 28 selection process. [Read more...]

Browns Notes – Mangini Moratorium, O-Line Woes and How Many Players Away?

As you know from yesterday, I will not be discussing Mangini’s future for another two games.  That doesn’t mean I won’t talk about the season that is still going on.  And just to clear a couple things up because some people took umbrage with my Mangini Moratorium.  Let me just explain why it doesn’t make any sense to engage in this conversation now.  It is premature.  That isn’t to say that Mangini doesn’t deserve to be fired.  Someone can certainly make that case after the last two weeks.

The problem is that by burying Mangini now, you might as well write off talking about the last two games of this season.  They are important divisional games.  The culture of this team better be to compete hardest in divisional contests even when there is no longer anything meaningful on the line.  Anyone who is talking about something that won’t take place until after the season is over (like potentially firing a coaching staff) is, in my mind, rendering the last two contests meaningless.  I refuse to call any matchups against Baltimore and Pittsburgh meaningless.  This isn’t to say the Mangini haters are necessarily wrong or right.  Just save it for two more weeks after you see the complete portfolio of work.  Make sense?  Maybe I am wrong.  I am sure you will tell me.

As for what we saw yesterday… [Read more...]

Game 14 Open Thread – Browns vs. Bengals

It is game time.  The Battle for Ohio commences yet again.  The weather should be cold and clear with temperatures in the 20s.  Colt McCoy is back from injury and many of you will finally be excited about a Browns game for the first time since he has been out.  Before the game starts, be sure to check out all the coverage WFNY has done prior to the game.

Colt McCoy Eric Mangini and more were discussed in the weekly WFNY podcast with Cleveland.com

All the writers weighed in on how the Browns can defeat the Bengals with BWWI

Of course you can also check out Pre-Game Intel which is just below this article as you look at it on the front page.  Enjoy the game, and go Browns!

Pre-Game Intel – Browns vs. Bengals

When and Where: Sunday December 19th, 2010 – 1:00 PM – Paul Brown Stadium – Cincinnati, OH

Overview: I thought maybe we would do something different this week now that the Browns are down to playing divisional opponents for the second time.  We already have had one “Pre-Game Intel” article for the Bengals.  A lot of time has passed since then.  The Bengals were 2-1 coming into the first game with the Browns.  They had lost their first game to New England before beating Baltimore 15-10 and beating Carolina 20-7.  Then, the Bengals faced mighty Seneca Wallace and the Browns.  That was the first of ten straight losses for the Bengals.  Their eleventh game of the season will be their opportunity to break the streak against the team that started it so so many weeks ago.  I will use the same picture that I used the first time just in case that was the reason the Browns won the game, though. As I say so frequently, I don’t believe in superstition except when I do.

As the Bengals now sit 2-11, what were we saying back in October when the Browns were set to face these Bengals the first time?

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The Browns Will Win If…

Regardless of whether you believe any or all of the rumors swirling around Berea regarding Eric Mangini’s future, you have to think that this game—the last one this year in which the Browns are even going to be close to expected to win—is one he really has to have. The Bengals are on a 10-game winning (wow! whoops!) losing streak, which was started all the way back in September in Cleveland against the Browns. Can Cleveland push it to 11 and cement a non-last-place finish for the first time since 2007?

brownsbengals

It hasn’t been a good year on offense for the orange helmets of the NFL. Cincinnati and Cleveland are 24th and 29th respectively in yards for the year, and 20th and 28th in points scored. The biggest different for the Bengals this year, however, is their rushing offense. They are 30th in the league in rushing yards per game. The biggest reason for this losing streak for the Kitties, though? The defense. What was a strength for them last year has been a weakness this year, as they’re allowing 26.5 points a game. The Browns, by comparison, are allowing just 19.4. Colt McCoy gets the nod this weekend for the Browns, which many consider to be good news after the anemic offensive performances the past three weeks under Jake Delhomme. But, let’s not forget the second half against Jacksonville… not much offense there, either. Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…

Browns Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan Accuses Bengals of Cheap Shots

This week’s football story of interest across the state of Ohio has been the T.J. Ward hit on Jordan Shipley from Sunday’s Browns-Bengals game. With the rookie receiver out this week for Cincinnati, it continues to leave those from both parties talking about the incident.

According to Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan however, that wasn’t even the most outlandish play in last week’s surprising Cleveland victory. Flipping the tables on the national media and the Bengals, Ryan utilized his new conference yesterday to discuss another important cheap shot, according to the Plain Dealer:
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Mangini Doesn’t Want TJ Ward to Change His “Aggressiveness”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfoPYpC4pyY]

Though the Cleveland Browns notched their first victory of the 2010 NFL season, it is not without auxillary discussion after rookie safety TJ Ward gave fellow rookie Jordan Shipley a heaping order of KTFO.  It’s a play that would ultimately cost the Browns a down and one that subsequently ended in a touchdown for the Bengals.

It’s also one that the Cincinnati players deemed as a “cheap shot.”  Carson Palmer and company gave Ward an ear full as Shipley was attempting to figure out what day it was.  And while the merits of Palmer’s arguments can be debated, head coach Eric Mangini stands by his rookie hitting machine – the same one that just so happens to lead the Browns in tackles to this point. [Read more...]

Pre-Game Intel – Bengals vs. Browns

When and Where: Sunday October 3rd, 2010 – 1:00 PM – Cleveland Browns’ Stadium

Overview: The Battle for Ohio is on.  If this was a real battle for Ohio shouldn’t it still be Akili Smith vs. Tim Couch?  I kid.  The Bengals made the playoffs a year ago.  They swept the AFC North.  In the off-season they added Terrell Owens to the roster.  They also drafted Colt McCoy’s favorite college target Jordan Shipley who has been their third receiver all year.

The Bengals come into Sunday’s matchup with the Browns a very shaky 2-1.  Browns fans would love to see even a shaky 2-1, but people in Cincy are nervous.  Carson Palmer and the passing game aren’t working even with the additions.  Marvin Lewis is shaking his head at criticism for not winning pretty, but hopefully that means there is a possibility the Browns can win on Sunday. [Read more...]

Browns Drop Another to Go 1-10

AP / Tony Tribble

AP / Tony Tribble

So often when I am writing things about the Browns it is heavily influenced by conversations with my brother.  This morning, his statement was especially telling as a season ticket holder.  He just can’t wait for this all to be over.  That, my friends is the Lerners worst nightmare.  When those who love to head down and tailgate and make a day of Browns football are ready for the season to be over after 11 games, it is very telling.  Can you blame any of them when the Browns are 1-10, the opposing teams won’t give Josh Cribbs the ball, and now Shaun Rogers is hurt?  OK. Let’s talk about the game.

First, on Brady Quinn.  Don’t confuse this as the text you got from your buddy during the game yesterday that simply said “BQ sux!”  I am not going to say that just yet.  Then again, I think it is impossible to not notice that the Browns don’t have a bona fide, guaranteed quarterback of the future on their roster right now.  I am happy that BQ is playing right now and getting an opportunity to develop.  But, it would be wrong to say that I feel comfortable right now based on what I have seen with Brady Quinn running this team’s offense.  Yesterday, Brady was 15-34 for 100 yards.  He scored a rushing touchdown on a QB draw.  He also caught a pass from Josh Cribbs on a gimmick play.  Too often, even when he had sufficient time and guys were somewhat open, Quinn struggled mightily with his accuracy.  His deep balls were inaccurate, and the intermediate passes were inaccurate.  If he consistently throws behind his receivers, the rhythm will never get going with this offense. [Read more...]

Browns Bullet Points – Week 4 – Cincinnati Bengals

Baby Steps?

Baby Steps?

So, I always say that there is no such thing as a moral victory in the NFL.  I might actually take that back for once.  I will say that there is no such thing as a moral victory for an NFL fan.  Still, the way the Browns played today in defeat was admirable compared to the first three weeks.  The defense stepped up on third down.  The offense scored two touchdowns.  Josh Cribbs returned his butt off.  The Browns now have two new emerging offensive threats in Jerome Harrison and Mohamed Massoquai.  Things still look bad in Cleveland, but you get a sense that the team could finally take a bit of a positive feel out of this game where their hard work paid off in some actual semblance of success on the field.  As Browns fans, we know what kinds of things to expect from the Derek Anderson experience.  For one day, though, it wasn’t really that bad.

We will have more on this game on Monday at 10:00 AM, but for now, here are the raw notes from the game today by quarter.  I am sure there are a lot of dejected fans out there right now, but I am slightly more encouraged than I was following any of the games the first three weeks.  It still doesn’t amount to a win in the standings, but we need some baby steps here. [Read more...]

Just Because: AFC North Advertising

afc-north-ads_med

If only lack of embarrassing advertisements counted towards wins…

To Make You Feel Better…

Typically, we see players leave Cleveland and flourish.  But thanks to Field Gulls, we get this amazing grab of the wonder that is Brian Russell’s open field tackling.

Apparently, there aren’t too many Seattle fans that have been overwhelmed by Russell’s play this season.  I’m sure this “tackle” of the 170-pound DeSean Jackson will make things that much better.  Not sure we can blame this one on the Staph…

But is it as good as Carson Palmer owning the QB Challenge?  Possibly my favorite clip ever, after the jump… [Read more...]

The Intriguing and Injured AFC North

There is no denying the bevy of injuries that the Browns have endured since the start of the season.  Heck, we have not even seen our prized free agent wide receiver (unless you consider street clothes and aviator sunglasses, that is).  Outside linebackers dropping like flies, concussions galore, you name it. 

But while we sometimes live in a silo, focusing more on our team than others, the rest of the division is beating the living heck out of each other. 

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Open Thread: Browns at Cincinnati Bengals

Week 4: Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals

Time: 1 PM, EDT | TV/Radio: WOIO Channel 19, 100.7 FM/WMMS | Weather: 75 degrees, winds 9 mph (N) | Line: Cincinnati (-3.5)

Injuries:

CIN - Out: Dexter Jackson, S; Doubtful: Herana-Daze Jones, S; Johnathan Joseph, CB; Questionable: Kenny Watson, RB; David Jones, CB; Ben Utecht, TE; Carson Palmer, QB; Probable: Levi Jones, T; Jamar Fletcher, CB; Nedu Ndukwe, S; John Thornton, DT

CLE - Out: Sean Jones, S; Martin Rucker, TE; Doubtful: Willie McGinest, LB; Donte Stallworth, WR; Questionable: Ryan Tucker, G; Kris Griffin, LB; Eric Steinbach, G; Kamerion Wimbley, LB; Probable: Braylon Edwards, WR; Shaun Rogers, DT; Kevin Shaffer, T; Shaun Smith, DT

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Ohio QB’s- The Anti-Vicks?

Leave it to WFNY’s good friend Vince Grzegorek to uncover the real ‘game within the game’. It seems that Cleveland QB Derek “this could be my swan song” Anderson, and Cincinnati QB Carson “Yeah, well USC still beat Ohio State” Palmer will be battling it out for pet food supremecy on Sunday, and the real loser could be fido and fluffy.

Rather than link a lengthy quote here, go check out the article for yourself. It appears on the Sporting Blog today. Vince also writes for Cleveland Scene magazine.