This game was not on at my mother’s house where I was parked all sunday afternoon recovering from a wicked hangover. I haven’t been shittin’ right since saturday night. I did watch most of the game on ESPN Gamecast, and saw some on streaming video on some internet feed.
Here’s my thoughts and observations:
Braylon Edwards is becoming a superstar in front of our very eyes. But he’s not in the mold of the brash, loud-mouthed, eccentric, asshole types that have gone before him. This guy is a class act. We’ve already talked about some of the classy things he has done, but it’s time to tell some more people to what level he has reached in terms of being a first rate superstar.
Edwards had befriended a dying fan of his, 15 year old Denzel Douglas, earlier in the year when the kid’s failed heart transplant caused his health to decline. After being contacted by one of the boy’s family members, Edwards made a point to meet the kid and then became friends with him. Douglas died in the week leading up to this sunday’s Rams game, and Edwards let the family of the boy know that this game was dedicated to his memory. 8 catches, 117 yards and 2 TD’s later, Edwards had put together one of the better performances of his career together–in something that is becoming a weekly tradition for him.
“Everything I do was going to be for him. I felt like he was out there with me helping me do some of the things I was able to do,” Edwards said.
The guy is clearly playing at the level that everyone wanted to see when he was drafted #3 overall a couple years back. He’s looking like the most dominating receiver in the NFL and I think he’s the biggest reason for Derek Anderson’s success. Which leads me to my next point….
How about that Derek Anderson? I won’t hate here and it’s hard to. Anderson was nearly flawless again, and he simply would not allow the Browns to fail. His numbers: 18/25, 248 yards, and 3 TD’s tell the story. He’s 2nd in the league to Tom Brady with 17 TD passes. The guy has surprised everyone in America and America is starting to catch on. Anyone who’s read this blog much knows I am a huge Brady Quinn guy. I know now that this can’t mean ANYTHING good for Brady’s development. It’s great for the Browns, I suppose. It’s a problem in my opinion. It will be interesting to see how Anderson does in my opinion in what will be the toughest 3 game stretch of the season (SEA, at Pitt, at Bal). If he continues this the rest of the season, Browns fans and maybe even the front office will never let Quinn have a fair shot.
The Defense. It’s far from fixed, as it allowed for over 300 passing yards from Mark Bulger, but it held when it had to. Early in the game we were trailing by 2 scores and they forced the Rams to turn the ball over on downs after holding on a 4th down. That was the momentum swing that turned the game. In the game’s final drive, Leigh Bodden’s interception saved the Rams comeback attempt that was getting a bit scary.
Crennel is supposed to be a defensive wizard. If he is here next season, he must fix this. If this team isn’t playing in January, the defense will be the reason why.
Oh, it also probably helped that Steven Jackson left the game (doh–fantasy team!) after 8 carries for 41 yards and the game’s opening touchdown.
-Phil Dawson hit two more clutch field goals. After a really shaky preseason in which some were calling for the longest tenured Brown’s head, he’s having another great year.
-Ethan Kelley had the Browns lone sack of the game. Do you know who Ethan Kelley is? Be honest.
-Jamal Lewis returned to action and ran hard. 17 carries for 61 yards. This has become the type of performance that at the very least the Browns get from their running game this year. This is another huge part of why the offense is working. The Browns finally are getting something from the running game. Oh yeah, and my boy Jerome “The Ghost” Harrison had 32 big yards on only 5 carries. I think Harrison is better than Jason Wright.
-Kamerion Wimbley: 2 tackles. That’s all. I love this guy but if he doesn’t watch it, he’s going to just end up a situational pass rusher in this league.