But they simply got the job done.
It appears, despite double digit losses and a season Stephen King could turn into a novella, that I overestimated the Browns resolve, talent, pride and coaching. They were never in any danger of winning on Sunday. In fact, they were never in danger of even getting on the score board.
The 7th pick in the 2009 NFL draft appears to be quite secure.
What kind of game were the 40,000 or so fans that actually showed up treated to? Well, Dave Zastudil punted 5 times on the day. One of his punts went for 58 yards. That's 13 more yards than the Browns passed for on the day. That's not a typo. The Browns net passing on the day, when you deduct the yardage lost from 3 Bengals sacks, was 45 yards. Ken Dorsey and Bruce Gradkowski, who replaced Dorsey late in the game after the 3rd stringer's ribs were bruised on hit, threw a total of 22 times for an average of 2 yards per attempt.
Braylon Edwards ‘led' Browns receivers with 35 yards receiving. There are rumors that the companies who make Cialis and Viagara are in a spirited bidding war for the rights to sponsor all Browns offensive drives next fall.
The good news is that it all ends in a week. The Browns will go into Pittsburgh and face a team that has nothing to play for after locking up the #2 seed in the AFC playoffs and they will likely get their faces rubbed in the dirt and beaten badly by a team that plays hard every week because they're supposed to.
And there's still the possibility that the Browns could move up another slot or two in next spring's draft if the Bengals can beat the Kansas City Chiefs and/or if Oakland shocks Tampa Bay or Seattle beats Arizona.
So there are some meaningful football games to watch next weekend if you're a fan of the 2009 Browns. It's just that, for the umpteenth week in a row, the 2008 Browns aren't playing in one.
The Heartland Roker Tour
The city of Cleveland should petition the NBA to have the Cavs scheduled to play on all NFL Sundays next season. Because at least watching the Cavs play inspired basketball is a salve on the wounds that are opened up watching the football team go through the motions.
The Cavs went on a little three game trip this past week that took them to Minnesota, Denver and Oklahoma City. There wasn't a loss or a single-digit victory in the lot.
After completely wiping out a strong Denver team in Denver on Friday night the Cavs took care of business efficiently and effectively Sunday night in Oklahoma City. And that's how you handle your business against a team like the Thunder that is now 3-25 on the season.
The Cavs are now 23-4 and have bounced back nicely after their loss in Atlanta last weekend. And the league and the people who make a living talking about it are taking notice. During Friday night's nationally televised destruction of Denver both ESPN studio host Bill Walton and ESPN analyst Hubie Brown spoke glowingly about the professionalism, dedication to defense and effort displayed the Cavs. Walton opined that these Cavs "are for real and a legitimate title contender." Brown marveled at the defensive rotations and the ability of the Cavs to take away the strengths of the teams they play.
‘Tis the season to count your blessings people. Count the 12 guys who wear the Wine & Gold amongst them.
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