Yeah, it's the preseason. Yeah, it was the Buffalo Bills, who figure to suck this year. But there's still something to be said about going on the road and winning. Especially seeing as how the starters played into the third quarter, and many regulars were still on the field late in the game.
The Browns were far from perfect. The first team offense looked very shaky after an impressive opening drive, dinking and dunking their way to three straight three and outs after the opening strike. The Browns injury ravaged cornerback unit was torched by J.P. Losman, who ended 15-21 for 184 yards and a touchdown. The run defense looked suspect every time Ted Washington was not in the game.
But in the end, I came away very pleased, and felt there were alot of positives to take from this game. And for the second straight preseason game, I felt pretty damn good afterwards. Here's what I liked ...
The First Drive - Poetry in motion. A combination of the power of Droughns and the quicks of Jerome Harrison was on display. Jurevicius, Winslow, and Braylon all on the field at the same time. Effective work from the line. And Charlie Frye, 6-6 for 55 yards, which included several different kinds of throws and a two yard TD strike to Steve Heiden. As impressive as an opening drive that I've seen from this team in at least 10-12 years.
Kamerion Freaking Wimbley - This kid is an absolute beast. He was all over the field. Another sack on a speed edge rush, in which I think I saw him laugh at the pulling guard who was assigned to stop him, before sacking the Bills signal caller and forcing a fumble. He stopped sweeps with his speed. He penetrated, he made tackles. He was everywhere. He is for real, will make an impact this year as a rookie, and the prospects of he and Willie McGinest as the outside backers in this 3-4 make me salivate.
The First Team Run Defense - Again, very impressive. Held Willis McGahee to 29 yards on 11 carries, and Bills runners in total to 37 yards on 14 carries by my count. An improved linebacking corps, and Ted Washington in the middle of the line appear to have made a world of difference to a run defense that has pretty much been porous since 1999.
Braylon Edwards - Caught a tough pass over the middle on the aforementioned opening drive, and dragged three Bills defenders about three yards. Took another hit to his knee later in the game and showed no effects, and no limping whatsoever. If we can keep this kid healthy, he will be a factor at the WR position, and is clearly far more talented than any wideout we've seen in this town in a long time.
Jerome Harrison - Wow. Another 10 carries for 70 yards. Caught two more balls as well. Had a couple huge runs on draw plays. He looks like Eric Metcalf with a little more girth. He looks like an ideal third down back for this team that can also garner 5-7 carries on 1st and 2nd down spelling Droughns. He looks like an absolute steal in the 5th round.
Chaun Thompson - Has seen very little time so far, and was auditioning for the starting ILB spot next to Andra Davis. He had a very, very nice game and was all over the field. He likely secured that starting spot, relegating D'Qwell Jackson to a reserve role. McGinest, Wimbley, Andra, Chaun. I like how that sounds, and I like the depth behind them.
No Turnovers, Three Penalties, NO INJURIES - Quite frankly, even if these were the only three positives to take from this game I would have still came away happy.
We Found Our Backup QB - Despite muffing two snaps, and making a couple of other panicked decisions, Derek Anderson looked pretty good. He entered the game with the score tied 10-10, and led the team on two scoring drives late to secure the win. Anderson showed a strong arm, made a couple real nice throws, and finished 4-7 for 83 yards and a touchdown.