Browns 31 Vikings 27
It’s a beautiful Victory Monday here in Clevelandâ€¦ The alarm clock wasn’t quite as irritating at 0600, my coffee tastes yummier, the traffic was not so badâ€¦ It’s all relative in a town where wins have been few, but fans still find reasons to believe. And today, fans will continue celebrating the first win of the season by the Browns. After an incredibly crazy week of roster activity, we desperately needed a win to boost both team and fan morale.
With the injury to Brandon Weeden’s thumb near the end of the Ravens game last week, Wednesday morning bought the announcement that 3rd string QB Hoyer would get the start. Huh? What happened to Jason Campbell? But before the fans got too worked up about that, the trade of RB Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts was announced, and we all forgot about who should be starting at QB.
I did not take the news of the trade very well (understatement of the year). I vented my frustration in a very public way on Wednesday night, and it wasn’t very nice or classy. I’m not proud of my failure to control my emotions when I heard the news, but I’m passionate about my team, and I can’t apologize for that. I’ve had time to calm down, I’ve received a lot of “hugs” from friends on Twitter and here at NFLFemale.com, and oh yeah, we WON yesterday! Winning really does make things a little better!
Kate’s 5 Takes:
Josh Gordon is the Offensive Weapon we were promised! Browns fans hoped that the ability and production we got from “Flash” in 2012 wasn’t a fluke. With his suspension taking him out for weeks 1 and 2, Browns fans were almost afraid to hope that his return would change anything, but boy did it ever! He had 10 catches for 146 years and 1 TDâ€¦ The kind of passing stats we’ve missed this year. Josh is a certified #1 wide receiver. His presence makes everyone else better, and forces defenses to account for him, freeing up others like Davone Bess (7/67), Chris Ogbonnaya (4/30), and Greg Little (3/1). The Browns’ vertical passing game is back and looking good!
Jordan Cameron is a football player. JC is one of those guys you see a lot of in the NFL now; former basketball players with the athleticism and body size to make a good Tight End. The problem is, most of these guys don’t look comfortable on the football field, and JC was one of them. To me, he looked like a basketball player trying to avoid a crushing hit; he’d fly around the field like he was under the hoop, but not anymore. Yesterday, JC made the transition from Basketball Guy to Football Player. It was evident that something clicked in his head. His blocking was better, his routes were cleaner, and his 6 catches for 66 yards and 3 TDs, well, heck, that was just pretty to watch!
The Nastiest 7-Man Front in the NFL? Maybe I’m too much of a homer, but dang, my defense looks good! For once, the Browns have a run defense that must be respected. Lamar Miller MIA 20 yards, Ray Rice BALT 37 yards, Adrian Petersen MN 88 yards. That’s right – the great AP gained only 88 yards. I’m betting these guys don’t allow a 100-yard rusher this season. They are that good. Paul Kruger, Dez Bryant, Mingo, Billy Winn; these are the names that QBs will learn to fear in the weeks to come – 6 sacks this week, 12 on the season.
Head Coach Rob Chudzinski. What can I say? He surprised the heck out of all the fans with fake punts, fake field goals, and a team that looked unified and ready to play this week. None of us would have blamed him if the trials and tribulation of the past five days just took a toll and left him with a hot mess on the field. But somehow, this rookie earned the respect of every Browns fan out there by throwing out the playbook and taking chances to get a win; showing faith in his team; telling them with every call that he believed in them, and by God, by the end of the game you could see they believed in themselves as well. I’m incredibly impressed that he was able to keep these guys together.
QB Brian Hoyer. The local boy gets the win! Born and raised in Northeast Ohio, many of us watched Brian play college football at Michigan State. Yes, it’s a nice story, but I don’t care how connected you are to the fans, you need to put up numbers to get a job in the NFL. Woo Hoo did Brian put up some numbers! He went 30/54 for 321 yards and 3 TDs. Oh My! He threw 3 interceptions, but the defense came up big with stops on two of them so that they didn’t hurt quite as much. I’m not sure why fans weren’t completely freaking out about the INTs, but they seemed ready to let the kid play and see how it would end.
I’m not one of those crazy folks who thinks Hoyer is bound for the HOF, or is the next great franchise QB, but I do think he did enough things differently from Brandon that he should remain the starter for week 4. Yes, the return of Flash Gordon was huge, but I saw little things, like decisions in the pocket, throwing passes in front of receivers, leading them down the field, much better ball placementâ€¦ These things are not about the personnel on the field, but about the voice in the QB’s head. Right now, Brian Hoyer’s inner voice is telling him all the right things. We call it the ‘hot hand,’ and I think Chud will stay with it for now.
Coming up, we have a division game at home versus the Cincinnati Bengals who, at 2-1, are looking like a serious playoff team, and a force to be reckoned with. But I know my guys are up for the challenge.
After last week, there is one clear lesson to be learned by other teams in the NFL: Never Count the Dawgs Out!
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