It was a wild and wacky weekend in the NFL, and college football for that matter. Hopefully it gets a little wackier tonight when the Browns shock the world and beat the overrated New York Giants. We’ll get to the other NFL games in a minute but first let’s talk about the Browns.
I hope my lists from last week got you fired up for the Monday Nighter but if they didn’t, here’s another list. 43-0, 26-21, 26-20, 27-13, 10-7, 34-21, 27-7, 10-6 and 33-13. The first eight are the scores of Browns loses on prime time television. The 33-13 is of course the only Browns when under the lights. History isn’t on Cleveland’s side when the whole country is watching but it’s time to change that.
Do I really think the Browns have a chance? Yes. If for no other reason than it’s the NFL and there’s always a chance (see Rams verse Redskins). The Giants have beat on only one team with a winning record, the Redskins. The other teams they’ve played (St. Louis, Cincy, Seattle) have two wins among them. So as dominate as the Giants have been, it’s like me going to an elementary school and saying I dominated dodge ball. However, there’s no doubt they are a good football team, better than the Browns.
As for the Browns, it’s time to open up the playbook. The only way they are going to win tonight is if they surprise the Giants with some play calls. I’m not sure if the Browns coaching staff knows this or not, but NFL defenses have a tough time figuring out what to do when someone other than the quarterback is taking the snaps. Look at the Dolphins. It’s taken teams three weeks to know that Ronnie Brown is going to take the direct snap 15 times a game. The Browns have an even better playmaker in Josh Cribbs who they need to run this offense for. Cribbs can run and throw. Please let him throw a few times. A couple big plays from this will get the team pumped up and maybe more importantly get the crowd pumped up which in turn will get the players more fired up.
That may be the key to the game: Getting something going early for the Browns. They can’t afford to fall behind in the first quarter. Any bad play from the offense will result in quick booing from the fans, talk of bringing in Brady Quinn, players yelling at each other, possibly quitting on the game and the crowd going home at halftime. However, a couple big plays, maybe grab the lead and the Dawg Pound will be as loud as ever and the players will fed of that, making more big plays and keeping the game close, if not pulling out a win. The game will be won or last in the first quarter.
The first quarter is especially huge for Derek Anderson. If he struggles at all, the team loses confidence, the fans turn on him and he curls up in a ball and shits his pants the rest of the game. Let’s hope the fourth quarter from the Cincy game gave him some of his confidence and swagger back and we see more of that kind of play rather than the what we saw the first three games.
Donte Stallworth is back, barring any incident stemming from the pre-game workout, shaving or changing of the clothes. But just as he is set to play his first game as a Brown, Winslow will miss the game with an undisclosed illness that we can only assume is some form of motorcycle accident or staph infection.
My heart says the Browns will finally put a game together and get a huge win that turns their season around and they finally live up to the expectations they had going into this season. My head says the Giants are too good of a team for the Browns come within 20 points and after the game Browns fans aren’t just saying “my God we suck” but “I can’t believe we have three more prime time games.”
Other quick NFL notes…
Good call on the short squib kick Lovie Smith.
What was TO wearing? It looked like Steve Urkle dressed as a bumble bee.
I think Tom Cable’s days are numbered in Oakland.
Who you got in the last to win a game poll? Detroit or CIncy? Right now I’d take a push. Neither will ever win a game.
Wow, Washington. St. Louis did everything they could to lose the game and they still won. What the hell was that?
Sweet play on the reverse, throw-back, touchdown pass the Dolphins ran for their first score.
Good thing Arizona won that game in overtime since the Cards called a timeout on the first game-tying field goal attempted by the Cowboys that they blocked.
Poor Matt Cassel. I guess Brady really did make that team.
And I really thought Chuck Frye was going to get Seattle a win.
Site Update: New rule to be enforced in the comments section. Remember how no one, especially people outside of your league, care about your fantasy football team and wants to talk to you about it. It goes even double on blog site. No one cares about your team. There will be no fantasy football talk allowed on here unless it has to do with my league since there are five of us in the league. W, Damman, if you want to talk about “who has more guys you would sleep with” on your team or who has the “hotter” team, you can do it through email or phone sex. Don’t bring that shit to the comments ever again. I only have about six readers and I wouldn’t be surprised if I lost half of them b/c of your work in the comment section Friday. Any fantasy football talk will be removed. Any comment about this comment other than and “I’m sorry” or “I understand” will also result in a removal and possible suspension.