NFL Predictions for 2010 Season: Can Jake Delhomme Get Hot in Cleveland?

J.P. PelosiContributor IISeptember 7, 2010

NFL Predictions for 2010 Season: Can Jake Delhomme Get Hot In Cleveland?

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    CLEVELAND - AUGUST 21:  Jake Delhomme #17 of the Cleveland Browns throws to a receiver against the St. Louis Rams at Cleveland Browns Stadium on August 21, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
    Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

    The stats, as they say, don’t lie.

    Jake Delhomme had a tough 2009 that saw just eight touchdowns and a confidence-crushing 19 picks. He also fumbled six times and took 23 sacks. Not even Peyton Manning—the Godzilla of NFL quarterbacks—was dropped that often.

    But then again, he had pass protection the size of the Tokyo skyline by comparison.

    Delhomme’s behind a new line now, and more importantly, has a fresh start in Cleveland. He'll be aided by run-heavy football, an improved defense, and Josh Cribbs hauling in anything sent his way. It’s a chance for Delhomme to find his 2004 persona, when he tallied close to 4,000 yards with 29 touchdowns. 

    So here are three reasons why Delhomme can get hot in Cleveland.

Preseason Prowess

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    DETROIT - AUGUST 28: Jake Delhomme #17 of the Cleveland Browns rolls out and throws a pass as Ndamukong Suh #90 of the Detroit Lions pursues during the second quarter of the preseason game at Ford Field on August 28, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions d
    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    If we base Delhomme's potential to get hot on warm-up games alone, the Browns' winter might be milder than most expect.

    In Week 2 of the preseason, for example, Delhomme was 12-of-16 balls for 127 yards and one touchdown.

    Yes, it was against the Rams, but it was also in the face of steady rain and thousands of expecting Browns fans. Not an easy gig after experiencing the worst playoff meltdown in years. Delhomme completed 38-of-48 this preseason—79 percent of his passes.

    Who said the dream was over?

His Accurate Ball Is Very Accurate

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    GREEN BAY - AUGUST 14: Jake Delhomme #17 of the Cleveland Browns passes during the NFL preseason game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field August 14, 2010 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Tom Dahlin/Getty Images)
    Tom Dahlin/Getty Images

    Despite having Tommy John surgery in 2007, Delhomme can still launch it.

    In the first half against the Lions this August, he tossed several deep balls with poise and accuracy. One to Evan Moore went for a 22-yard gain, while another, a gorgeous looping delivery to Josh Cribbs along the sideline, nabbed 30 yards.

    These weren't easy throws, especially when you have an unproven receiving corps.

The Only Way Is Up

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    GREEN BAY - AUGUST 14: Jake Delhomme #17 of the Cleveland Browns calls out a play during the NFL preseason game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field August 14, 2010 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Tom Dahlin/Getty Images)
    Tom Dahlin/Getty Images

    Look at it this way: It can't get any worse for either the Browns or Delhomme.

    Cleveland was fortunate to finish with five wins in '09, while Delhomme was fortunate to escape Carolina without being strung up. So, by virtue of the fact he's hitched to a non-contender, and that writers like ESPN's John Clayton rank him as the worst starting QB in the league, Delhomme could become an instant hero.

    Seriously. Brady Quinn found it uphill completing just 50 percent of his passes in Cleveland. Delhomme's recent 20-of-25 for 152 yards against Detroit is making him look like Joe Montana right now.