They also likely lost beleaguered quarterback Derek Anderson for the season with a sprained MCL. Two weeks, two crappy performances, two quarterbacks done for the season.
Let the Ken Dorsey experience begin. Dorsey will be taking the snaps next week against the Tennessee Titans and for the foreseeable future unless Anderson has a miraculous recovery.
As is with the 2008 the Browns their basic strategy was good but their implementation was awful. Run the ball, possess the ball and keep the potent Colts’ offense off the field. The Browns were able to do just that but whenever they got into the red zone they got ultra conservative and settled for field goals instead of touchdowns.
That philosophy had a chance to work with the normally porous Browns defense holding the Colts at bay, and without an offensive touchdown, but it was the offense that allowed the defense’s effort to be for naught.
With the Browns leading 6-3 midway through the fourth quarter Dwight Freeney beat Browns’ left tackle Joe Thomas on a bull rush and knocked the ball free from Anderson’s hands. Robert Mathis then scooped the ball up and rumbled 37 yards for the decisive score and a 10-6 Indianapolis victory.
The loss did spoil what was a good day for a Browns defense that held the Colts to just three points on offense. It was the first time since 2002, once again versus the Browns, that the Peyton Manning led Colts were held without an offensive touchdown.
Manning was 15-for-21 on the afternoon, but on for 125 yards and two interceptions. Joseph Addai and Dominick Rhodes were held to 92 yards on 26 carries. Struggling Browns’ corners Eric Wright and Brandon McDonald held their own against Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison whom totaled only seven catches on the afternoon.
Wright recovered an Addai fumble on the opening play of the game. Sean Jones picked Manning on the final play of the first half, and McDonald picked off Manning on the Colts opening series of the second half.
But in the end it didn’t matter much as on a day that the defense showed up to play, the offense did not. The plays the offense ran were designed more not to lose the game than try and win it. That is what losing teams do, par for the course for the 2008 Cleveland Browns.