Brady Quinn played above expectations last night against the Denver Broncos, however, history was against the Cleveland Browns last night. Denver had beaten Cleveland 18 out of the last 20, and nine out of 10 IN CLEVELAND! Go figure.
The ghosts of John Elway and Bernie Kosar must still be lurking in the Dawg Pound...I don't understand what happened to Cleveland in the second half.
Quinn played solid in the first half, connecting on 11/15 for two touchdowns to oft disillusioned TE Kellen Winslow. Both Jamal Lewis and Jerome Harrison were productive in the first half with Lewis running for 49 yards on and Harrison for 44 yards on four carries, that's almost 100 total yards rushing in the first half!
It appears that Cleveland got a bit pass happy in the second half and got away from the run. Lewis finished with 60 yards on 19 carries and Harrison getting only one carry in the second half. Granted, Quinn did not throw any INTs, but it appears that Denver CONTROLLED THE TEMPO in the second half of this game.
The Broncos scored 21 fourth quarter points, with Jay Cutler having a huge night, 24-42 with 447 yards, three TDs, one INT. I did not expect Quinn to throw more than 25-27 times in this game, and I projected Jamal Lewis would have to rush for at least 90 yards in order for Cleveland to win this game. Neither of those things happened.
Quinn was 23/35, 239 yards, two TDs, no INTs. Lewis finished with 60 yards rushing on 19 carries. I was looking for Lewis to get at least 25 carries on the ground so Cleveland could keep Denver's offense off the field and control the clock. THIS DID NOT HAPPEN!
In conclusion, the BROWNS appear to be in an identity crisis. Quinn played well at QB, but the Browns have not established a solid defense this season and were exposed last night. Also, when it came time to control the tempo of this game, it appeared that Cleveland abandoned the running game, which does not say much for their offensive line.
All in all, the Browns appear exposed on both offensive and defensive fronts. Also, the coaching staff has to prioritize where this team is going. I would suggest that Crennel adopt a "smash mouth" Bill Parcells style of ball control, game management style of play. After all, the Browns DO NOT appear to be one of the most talented teams in the NFL this year, and every win will come as a result of executing a well thought out game plan.
It looks like NEXT YEAR has arrived already in Cleveland.