Monday, December 31, 2007

It's Over Johnny...Over

It was Murphy's Law time once again for Cleveland. How many chances did the Browns blow this season? You can talk about last week in Cincinnati. Blowing a 21-6 lead in Pittsburgh. The Arizona debacle. Losing to the Raiders. It was all there for them, but a 10-6 record wasn't good enough. The Steelers also finished 10-6, as did San Diego ( OK, I made tha6t up, they went 11 -5). They are both in. The Browns aren't. They only have themselves to blame.

Lets talk about the game for a minute. I once again headed to Big Daddy's in Phoenix again to watch with my fellow Browns fans. Another solid crowd included the great Randy Rash, my father in law, and several westsiders who buried shots of Jameson Whiskey before noon. I had a solid ham, turkey, and cheese melt on grilled rye and a bloody mary in my dad's honor. Oh yeah, we are talking about the game. I'll break it down for you. I'm sure you want to talk Brady Quinn, so we'll indulge.

Finally we got to see the Brady Quinn debut. It came in the fashion it should have. Derek Anderson injured his hand in the second quarter, allowing the savior himself to enter the game. During his one drive, I thought he looked calmed, collected, and excited to be out there. If not for the butterfingers of Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow on back to back plays, Quinn would have led a touchdown drive. Instead, they had to settle for a 23 yard Philly the Groin Field Goal. I'm glad Brady got a taste. With the way Anderson struggled down the stretch, it should make for an interesting offseason and training camp at the QB position.

Speaking of Anderson...Did he really show us anything other than his one spot on pass to Edwards for the TD? The passing game sputtered most of the day in the red zone. He was 11-20 for 152 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT. Nothing spectacular. Though he was the victim of a dropped TD of his own by Jason Wright. That said, the Browns went 10-5 with DA as the starter and he showed the Browns brass and the rest of the leagues execs that he is a legitimate starting QB in this league. He still makes some questionable decisions and has little to no mobility, but I'd take DA over at least 50% of the bad QB's in this league.

Give Jamal Lewis a contract extension today. Again today, Jamal carried the load and wore down the 49ers to the tune of 128 yards on 26 carries. For the season, he rushed for 1304 yards and 11 TD's. In his last four games, he finished with 118, 163, 92, and 128 yards rushing. He was a model citizen and teammate and was a leader in the locker room. He earned a contract extension and is the perfect runner for the AFC North and the December weather in Cleveland. I'll be the first to admit I thought the Lewis signing was a complete joke. I'm glad to say I was way wrong.

Josh Cribbs is the friggin man. Let us give props to the man who was the MVP of this team. I love the national publicity he is finally getting because he deserves it. Again today he returned a punt for a TD and a kick for a TD, which was called back on a b.s. holding penalty by Lennie Friedman. Not only was he great on the returns, but he was all over the field on kick coverage, making for tackles. I don't know what his contract situation is, but lock him up long term now.

The Colts need a backup QB. Jim Sorgi? Are you serious with that guy? They better hope Peyton Manning never gets hurt because what I saw against the Titans was appalling. When we needed the Colts backups to do us a favor, they looked like a high school team on offense. I loved trying to count on Sorgi, Kenton "I can't block" Keith, Craphanso Thrope and Devan Aromashodu. We shouldn't blame them because the Browns had control of their own destiny and couldn't close the deal, but that was pathetic. The good news is we don't have to see the Browns get smoked in San Diego next Sunday.

So the season is over. If you told me at the beginning of the year the Browns would be 10-6 and would I take it, the answer would have been hell yes. Once again, the stars all aligned for one of my teams, and they couldn't close the deal. Just like the Indians. Next year won't be so easy without the fifth place schedule. They won't be able to fly under the radar again. The offense is something to build on, but the horrible defense needs a major makeover, especially the front seven.

p.s. Nice of Carson Palmer to show up for my fantasy playoffs the last two weeks, then throw for over 350 yards and three TD's this week when it meant nothing. Also, Week 17 is like the CFL. The league is such garbage too. Look at the records. 11 of the 32 teams went 7-9 or 8-8. Another two NFC teams went 9-7 and both Made the playoffs, yet the Browns at 10-6 didn't make it. Parity at it its best.

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