Following the Cleveland Browns first test on prime time for the 2008 season where they will find themselves five times this season they looked, well, awful. They were destroyed in every aspect of the game. Offensively they couldn't move the ball. Derek Anderson couldn't hit the side of a barn and when he did the barn dropped it. The offensive line leaked defensive linemen like a sieve. Granted New York has possibly the best defensive line in football this year, but the line was still awful in every facet and Anderson paid the price on his last play in the game. He injured his shoulder, no wait his arm, or wait was it his hand, no I think it was his head. Whatever it was the offensive line ole' got him smashed right out of the game and into the locker room.
He had company in there. Cribbs (ankle) was waiting for him and Brodney Pool (concussion) and Leon Williams (neck) joined the locker room training staff party shortly after. Crennel said after the game that all the injured players would be evaluated Tuesday when the team returned to Cleveland.
Defensively cornerback Eric Wright was beat like he stole something throughout the first quarter. Repeatedly the Giants attacked Wright, and repeatedly he was no where near his man with the exception of his pass interference call early in the game in which he was all over his man, but the ball wasn't even catch-able. While nobody on the defensive side of the ball was all that remarkable, Wright takes the cake for worst performance of the game. Not exactly comforting to all those who are concerned with the lack of depth and experience at cornerback.
Syndric Steptoe whom provided some of the few highlights early on took a kickoff 90 yards to the Giants' 9-yard line. After a pass from Anderson to Charles Ali got the Browns to the 2 yard line, Jamal Lewis was called upon but never got the hand-off from Anderson on the following play. Butler recovered the loose ball, got up and went 95 yards the other way for a touchdown.
After I then vomited in the back of my throat, I continued to watch the debacle of a game stunned, disappointed, and with more concern then I had ever thought a preseason game could create. Awful, terrible, embarrassing.
As bad as it was, there are a few tiny positives. Phil Dawson's 56-yard field goal, was the longest of his career. Quinn finished 7-of-12 for 124 yards and the touchdown. Steptoe produced 222 all-purpose yards and made one hell of a case that he belongs on this roster. It wasn't pretty, though, especially early on.
I am personally going to try to pretend this game never happened. I hope the Browns do not. All off-season it's been nothing but positivity and ass-kissing. I hope this game woke them up! I hope this game makes them realize that just because they won ten games last year, they are going to have to work a lot harder and play a lot better if they intend on being contenders this season.
Ok, deep breath, it will be okay. It better be! I don't think my heart will handle the disappointment of many more games like this one. Well, then again, I'm a Cleveland junky and its been broken before, and will be broken again, it just better not be this year!