The Atlanta Falcons taught the Cleveland Browns a thing or two about physical football and in the process, came away with a 20-10 victory. The score did not reflect the Falcons total domination in the trenches.
Atlanta rushed for 165 yards while holding the Browns to just 48. Peyton Hillis had 28 yards while playing on one leg most of the game. Hillis did make a great one handed catch on a pass from Seneca Wallace for a 19 yard touchdown.
Cleveland’s offensive line allowed three sacks, two by Joe Thomas, along with heavy pressure all day. Rarely did either Wallace or Jake Delhome have much time to scan the field.
Hillis and Delhomme were both limping noticeably during the game. Wallace suffered an ankle injury late in the first half and did not return. Wallace actually played well and his absence hurt the team.
In one half of play, Wallace was 11 of15 for 139 yards and a touchdown. Delhomme was horrible, throwing two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown, and fumbled twice. To his credit, he shouldn’t have played. I know they don’t want to play Colt McCoy but injuries can change plans.
Defensively the Browns secondary had a decent game, although Sheldon Brown did give up a 45 yard touchdown catch to Roddy White. The Browns were awful against the run as Michael Turner ran for 140 yards on 19 carries.
Atlanta is a good football team but the Browns had their chances to win the game. I was impressed with the Falcons offensive line. In fact their defensive line was just as impressive. Atlanta owned the line of scrimmage all day.
With both Browns quarterbacks hurt, where were all those great Wildcat plays we have been hearing about? This team needs Josh Cribbs now more than ever but the team has no clue how to use him. Cribbs had two carries for 11 yards and one catch for eight yards. He did complete a pass to Lawrence Vickers for ten yards.
Next week the Browns travel to Pittsburgh to face the 3-1 Steelers. It will be interesting to see how many Browns players will be healthy enough to play next week.