Saturday, October 20, 2012
So the Brownies are fourth in the AFC North, have a 29-year old rookie quarterback, winter is coming, and their helmets are still logo-less. (Nothing against Paul Brown, but it's probably just as well).
But there's something about these guys. Five things, actually.
1) They're plucky. I mean they made Andy Dalton---the NFL's hottest of hot shots a year ago---look as potent as Gus Ferrotte during his all too brief Bengals era. Remember the infamous left-handed delivery against Cleveland in 2002? Oh, Gus.
2) Coming full-circle, Dalton threw equally awful picks of his own against the Browns in Week 6 of this season, and that's because Cleveland's defense was opportunistic, if not always on pace with Cincy's wideouts. They were excitable and it showed. The Dog Pound was pretty chuffed too.
3) The the Browns offensive line protected their ageing signal-caller, too, allowing him enough time to slap in his dentures, and launch a few. Brandon Weeden catapulted some beauties, in fact, especially the 71-yard score to fellow rookie Josh Gordon over the middle, and suddenly the Browns attack looked formidable.
4) In reality, they haven't been bettered by much over this early phase of the season: The Magnificent Eagles escaped with a single point win, and it's not like Buffalo and Cincinnati were resounding in their victories over the Browns. Let's keep things in perspective. The Browns are decent, and therefore beaming like their namesake for a moment.
5) "This was my best victory," Paul Brown told the Associated Press in 1970, after his Bengals defeated the Browns in the season's rematch. For Cleveland, this rematch win may end up being one of their best for 2012, and a genuine confidence booster in a season of incredible parity.