Return to Glory: How to Beat Pittsburgh and Win The Division

Aaron StevensonContributor IAugust 2, 2009

First bit of analysis, never take advice on a QB issue from someone named "Believeland Clowns."

Winning the AFC North is simple, however a difficult task.  Each team has a 25% chance of making it, yet since Cleveland got its Browns back, it's been a 100% failure rate.  Why?  Well they have no identity.  No continuity of coaching.  Simple minded offense and weak, weak defense.  Oh, and the Steelers.  Ugh, those Steelers. 

Now, we've been close.  Wild Card in 2002, Bottle Gate, 10-6 2007...but we aren't there.  The Browns need to either win a playoff game or host a playoff game for the city to truly believe in them.  But first we must beat Pittsburgh, and then we can win the AFC North.  But how?

Create a dominant, game changing, and turnover-creating defense.  On the "O's" side, run the ball behind a hog of a line and don't turn the ball over.  This year and next decade we can do just that.

The AFC North isn't really known for its offense.  Hard-nosed defense and effective/efficient offense belongs to this division.  In a division that features four cold weather teams that do not play in domes, why would a rocket-armed QB be the answer?  It wasn't for the 2005 Bengals or the 2007 Browns/Steelers.  But the 2000 Ravens, 2005/2008 Steelers it seemed to be enough.

Derek Anderson is NFL caliber, however he will not win this division.  Even as a back-up for the Browns, it won't work because it creates diversion.  Playing in a dome environment could suit him well, IE Minnesota.  If that's not enough, look at his track record against the AFC North.  He'll beat -.500 teams, but not the +.500 teams in our division.

Brady Quinn is NFL caliber and can win in this division.  In a "pass attack" environment probably not until at least further development.  But he does have all the traits to actually put Cleveland in a position to beat Pittsburgh.  And despite all those stories that he doesn't have an arm, he does.  Blame Chud for dialing up screens and slants in his first three NFL games.

We run the ball first and throw it to exploit the defense or when given the opportunity.  After all, whom can we expect to play well in the Mangini/Daboll led offense?  Derek Anderson or Brady Quinn?

Whoever it is, we can't have both.  We need to trade away the loser so we can build our team via the draft and become winners.  We don't need two QBs making boatloads of money killing our cap space just so we can have a "safety switch" at QB.  Make a decision and tailor your offense.  Ratliff is about good enough a back-up as Billy Volek, which is good enough.

So, let's hear your thoughts.  Which QB can lead our offense in the AFC North and why?  What should we do with the "other" QB?