When the 3-11 Cleveland Browns host the 5-9 Oakland Raiders this week, they will do it without a valuable piece of their offense, their quarterback. While he hasn’t put the team on his shoulders, Brady Quinn has done a nice job running the offense. In other word, he’s been managing the games.
With Quinn being placed on IR for the second straight season, the Browns will be lining up with Derek Anderson at quarterback this Sunday. Quinn loses out on a golden opportunity to impress Mike Holmgren as his play so far may not be enough. While he has shown improvement since the bye week, inconsistency still plagues the third year QB.
Eric Mangini has said Anderson will now assume the starting job at QB. If I’m Mangini and I need to win these last two games, my plan is simple. Run the ball. There is absolutely no way I’d let Anderson throw the ball all over the field. Just manage the game DA. Oakland is giving up almost 149 yards a game on the ground. Josh Cribbs and Jerome Harrison better get a good nights sleep, you’re going to need it.
Last week the Browns ran the ball on 47 plays. With the success they were having against the Chief’s defense, it was smart football. This week against the Raiders, running 57 times may be what it takes. I’d put the game in the hands of my running game and my defense.
Oakland will either start Jamarcus Russell or Charlie Frye at QB. Both are prone to bad decisions and turnovers. Cleveland will also have to stop the run, something they didn’t do very well last week or for most of the season. Rob Ryan better have his guys ready.
Who knows, even if the Browns finish the season on a four game win streak, if it will be enough to save Mangini’s job but it would sure make for a better argument. While Cleveland needs to add some play makers on both sides of the ball this off season, there are a couple on the team right now. Cribbs and Harrison, the games in your hands.