Cleveland Browns Week 8 MVPs: Trent Richardson Earns Top Dawg Bone
A win is a win is a win and the Browns will take one any way possible as they improve to 2-6, while the Chargers stumble to a 3-4 record.
Let's take a look at who earned a "Dawg Bone" for outstanding performance and who ends up in the "Dawg House" for Week 8.
DAWG BONE: Offense
The obvious choice to receive the '"Dawg Bone" on offense is the only player who put up any significant statistical numbers.
Of course, it is the third overall selection in this year's entry draft, Trent Richardson.
In a sloppy afternoon that had the punters receive plenty of camera time, Richardson rebounded from his disappointing outing in a loss at Indianapolis in a huge way.
Still nursing a rib/chest injury, the former Alabama rusher exploded with a career high 122-yard performance on 24 carries to lead the Browns to their second straight home win. He also topped his season yards per carry average by 50 percent, finishing up with an average of 5.1.
More importantly Richardson scored the game's only touchdown. However, it was the way he scored that should give Cleveland fans reason to smile.
On what turned out to be a 26-yard burst, T-Rich broke a pair of tackles and was pushed to freedom by his linemen. This was the bruising, cutting, ferocious back that the Browns expected.
Imagine when he finally becomes injury free.
In his postgame press conference, Richardson commented on how being sat a week ago gave him extra motivation coming in and that he needed to play better.
Another six days to heal further and a growing confidence means bad news for next Sunday's opponents, the Baltimore Ravens.
*Fist Bump goes to guard Shawn Lauvao.
Offensive linemen often don't get the love they deserve and Lauvao's effort certainly warrants a mention.
He was the big body shoving Trent Richardson out of traffic to clear to the endzone and yelling "GO GO!" on his TD gallop.
The Hawaii native used his running back as a battering ram again later in the matchup as he bulldozed Richardson to an important first down.
DAWG BONE: Defense
The entire Browns defense deserves a "Dawg Bone" for not allowing a touchdown to one of the league's most explosive attacks.
However, it is standout rookie defensive lineman Billy Winn who gets the nod and collects his second bone of the season.
Following a loss to the Colts, where he and fellow first-year player John Hughes were exposed, Winn bounced back and made a mighty impact.
The 6'3", 295-lb 2012 sixth-round pick owned the opening half.
A sack and recovered fumble, while creating consistent chaos for Chargers QB Philip Rivers, was incredibly important to set the tone early.
Winn continues to show that he is a primetime performer who can deliver in clutch situations. Once those rookie kinks get worked out we will see No. 90 become a multiple time Pro Bowler.
*Fist Bump goes to Buster Skrine.
The often overmatched speedy cornerback was as usual solid on special teams, but it was during the final drive for San Diego where he shined today.
With the Chargers pressing to get into field goal range and time ticking away, Rivers threw to his left where Skrine got vertical and swatted down the threat.
Skrine showed poise, read the quarterback's eyes, and reacted. If he does not execute then the Chargers get into three-point territory and Cleveland would be wallowing in loss number seven.
Who's in the DAWG HOUSE
Poor punter Reggie Hodges remains in the "Dawg House" for a second consecutive week.
Yes it was raining and there were swirling winds off of Lake Erie, but the fact remains that Hodges was more helpful to the opposition than to his own team once again.
Averaging a lowly 32.2 yards on nine punts, the sixth-year kicker never found his groove and has been sporadic for all of 2012.
At least he held the ball properly for the extra point.
Compare his numbers to that of San Diego's Mike Scifres, who punted on six occasions with a long of 60 and an average of 46.5 yards. Same wind, same conditions.
The question now is whether the Browns would replace Hodges if a viable alternative presented itself. At this rate he certainly will not be returning next season.
I wonder if the Cleveland faithful will start showing up to games holding "Bring Back Brad Maynard" signs any time soon?
The Browns remain at home and get set to welcome division rival Baltimore next Sunday
- Follow Andy on Twitter @AndyMc81
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