Cleveland Browns vs Minnesota Vikings: Notes After the Letdown
I have to say I'm not nearly as disgusted by the Browns as I am by their fans. I'm almost ashamed to call myself one. It's amazing how fast a "fan" can turn on their team. Everyone was calling for Quinn to get his chance, and now are all ready to crucify him for getting off to an undesirable start. Support your team, that includes the ones that have a rough game.
Moving on to the positives and negatives:
Brady Quinn looked rattled in his fourth professional football game. It's a little too early to call for his head on a stake though, so everyone settle down. Anderson played in 10 games last year and threw only nine touchdown passes with eight interceptions, so the way I see it, Quinn is still doing better than our alternative.
If by week six he's still playing like this, then we may have a problem, and Anderson and Ratliff won't be the answer.
Hopefully Jerome Harrison and Cedric Peerman will be back soon and can help out the running game. Besides Lewis with 11 attempts, there wasn't much in the way of a ground game today.
Jamal Lewis showed he still had gas left in the tank. I admit I was one of the biggest opponents of Lewis getting touches this season, but he played a great game against a tough defense. Perhaps all the negative comments got to him, and he stepped up to prove himself. After watching him run through the Williams Wall, I'm comfortable having him another year.
James Davis didn't look too great, but he was just in a car accident the day before the game and played anyways. So my hat's off to his toughness, and I'll chalk the first game up to nerves.
Joe Thomas. Enough said. He was worth the first round pick and shows it week in and week out. Alex Mack held strong at the line against the Williams Wall. If next years draft pans out like this one did, only with a right tackle, we'll be in great shape.
The receivers were non-existent. Besides a touchdown catch that wasn't, by Edwards, there wasn't much to write home about. Robert Royal proved himself to be exactly what the reports said, great blocker, but unreliable hands.
Royal accounted for at least two drops, but may have been three, depending on if it was deemed catchable. Massaquoi came up with a nice catch but the play calling was downright terrible. It was conservative and designed to get five yards at a time.
I understand Brian Daboll is a rookie coordinator himself, but he really needs to let Quinn take some deep shots to open up the run game more. The defense was stacking eight in the box knowing they could roll the dice on it. The minute drill at the end of the second half was atrocious, and the 1st and goal situation was absolutely sickening. They didn't even give Lewis a chance.
The Browns' defense was a pleasant surprise. Holding Peterson and Favre in the first half was downright impressive. Unfortunately in the second half, the best back in the NFL found his rhythm and outmatched them in every aspect. But this IS Adrian Peterson, and I guarantee there wasn't a single person out there who thought he would be kept under 100 yards.
Ladies and gentleman, we DO have a pass rush. Favre was pressured all game and was sacked four times. One each from Rogers, Wimbley, Pool, and Elam.
The secondary played better than expectations by far, McDonald and Wright kept Harvin to 3 receptions. Pool had tight coverage all day while Elam proved to everyone he has the ability to be a starting safety in this league.
Special Teams proved they aren't a joke, like they did all preseason, and Josh Cribbs continues to put the team on his back game after game. If they don't give him a bigger contract, somebody needs fired over it.
Check out the Vikings stats from last season, they put up 34.0 points per game, and their defense gave up 20.0...ironic? Yes it is.
It shows in our first game back though, we were average. And average is a good start compared to what we were last season. A saw a lot of positives, and the improvement will come. Hey, the offensive touchdown drought is over, the wall's been broken down, now it's time to play some football.
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