Tennessee is in due to the play of Kerry Collins. The Browns are out due to the play last week of Derek Anderson. How’s that for some harsh reality?
The Browns will pack up their gear, go through their exit interviews and begin their off-season on Monday rather than prepare for a wildcard game against San Diego. The good feelings created by this surprise season will last about 7 days before the Brady Quinn-Derek Anderson controversy heats up all over again.
Anderson, obviously motivated by his pathetic performance last week, came out on Sunday and wasted a 53 yard punt return by Josh Cribbs by throwing his first pass of the game directly into the hands of 49er DB Walt Harris, thus ending another promising scoring drive with a terrible throw.
Anderson did hit Braylon Edwards on a pretty throw and catch for a TD later in the 1st half. Which is also when things got interesting down at Browns Stadium. Anderson hit his hand on a 49er helmet and was forced to the sideline for x-rays. Brady Quinn entered the game and promptly led the Browns in the two-minute drill to a field goal.
Quinn was sharp but finished 3-8 on the drive in his first action of the season. He should have been 6-8 with a TD pass but apparently Edwards and Kellen Winslow were stunned by throws that arrived on target and on time and each dropped a TD pass from Quinn. The ball to Winslow hit K2 square in the breadbasket before it fell to the turf.
But Romeo Crennel must be of the belief that you can avoid a QB controversy if you just don’t talk about one. Quinn was back on the bench at the start of the 2nd half despite the game being in hand and fans clamoring to see more of him. Not to mention the fact that the result of the Browns game was meaningless given the need for an Indianapolis win.
Quinn should have been given the 2nd half.
If not because he earned it at least because it would have been wise to have your backup playoff QB with some experience heading into a wildcard game. Romeo is foolish for pulling the plug on Quinn so as not to “create” a QB controversy. It’s already there Slim. You would have been covering your bases had DA gone down next week in San Diego and you’d have been forced to go to an untested backup with 10 regular season snaps to carry the day.
Either way, the point is now moot. It wasn’t yesterday that mattered. And it wasn’t Jim Sorgi or Indy coach Tony Dungy who cost the Browns the playoffs. It was the Browns themselves who did that with miserable performances against Arizona, Oakland and Cincinnati.
The common denominator in those costly games? Hey, I don’t want to start a QB controversy by naming names.
Put your hands together for the Browns 2007 MVP.
It’s not Derek Anderson, Jamal Lewis or Braylon Edwards, though the argument could be made for all three. The Browns MVP is unquestionably Josh Cribbs.
Yesterday all Cribbs did was return his first punt 53 yards, his second punt 76 yards for a TD and then he returned a kickoff 94 yards for another TD that was called back because of a horrible holding call. Cribbs also had 4 tackles on the day in his role as gunner on the punt coverage team. That’s two more tackles than Andra Davis or Kamerion Wimbley had on the day.
On the season Cribbs took 2 kickoffs and a punt back for TDs, had a couple more called back and finished the season with more tackles than LB Antwan Peek. That is some serious value attached to the kid from Kent State.
Cribbs plays with an all out, wide-open style and carries a big chip on his shoulder. An undrafted free agent out of Kent State, the kid looks to show he’s a legitimate football player every time he’s on the field.
This season he did more than that. He energized an entire team and a city each time he went back deep to receive a kick. In the process he made himself a Pro Bowl game. Hard to find anyone more deserving of that honor or more deserving of the love he gets from the fans.
They’ve also been relegated to this section of the Wrap. That should tell you about where they stand in regard to the fans collective conscience.
Todd Boeckman is the key. If Boeckman is the QB who played the first eight games this team has a legit chance to knock of the Tigers of LSU. If it’s the Boeckman we saw against Illinois and Michigan, the guy who looked unsteady and unsure and prone to making mistakes, the Buckeyes are in a world of hurt.
We’re wrapping another week as well as another year as we speak. It’s been a pleasure being with you all for the last 6 months or so. I appreciate all the feedback and responses you provide and I hope each of you has a healthy and happy 2008.