San Francisco 49ers at Cleveland Browns

*Note: I’ll allow the above blogger to make fun of Brady Quinn and call him ‘schmuck’ because he’s not our starting QB and we’re going to use your team as a shit wipe sunday.

This is the final game of 2007 for the Cleveland Browns. It is the swan-song of an exciting season in which the Browns fought the good fight more often then not. I don’t yet know how this season will be defined but the Browns enter sunday with the opportunity to achieve several franchise accolades:

-They can win their franchise record 7th game at home, and 7th in a row.
-Derek Anderson can surpass such benchmark statistical records such as 4,000 yards passing (3,635 now–needs 265) and 30 touchdowns (at 28, needs 2). If Anderson could get to 31 Touchdowns passing, it would break the franchise record of 30 set by Brian Sipe in 1980.
It’s tough not to root for Anderson or to call for anyone but him to start this game; he has been the finest Browns QB by far since the return. Hopefully he comes out, looks great, gets the Browns a win and begins to write a legacy of what could be looked at as a Hall of Fame beginning here in Cleveland.
Jamal Lewis comes into this game highly motivated. This is a player that theoretically could be playing in his last game in Cleveland although I think that is unlikely. Lewis is without a contract and stuck on 9 touchdowns for the season.
Lewis is another Brown who has had a strong season. He’s 7th in the league in rushing with 1,176 yards on the ground. A substantial day in the finale could yield him 1,300 yards for the season and would rank as the most noteworthy rushing total since the days of Jim Brown.
-I remember the Browns playing the 49ers once since the return. Jeff Garcia vs. Kelly Holcomb (2nd start in 2003 after beating out Tim Couch). Browns won by a score of like 13-12 out in Candlestick, Holcomb gets a minor fracture to his fibula but finishes the game on a leg. Late TD strike to Andre Davis puts us up and we outlast Garcia’s late charge.
I don’t think this is going to be that kind of game. The 49ers of 2007 are banged up and not built for any type of slugfest. Despite the recent strong play of Shaun Hill (who is 2-0 as a starter but now hurt); the 49ers will struggle to get in rhythm and put points on the board. Frank Gore hasn’t looked like the dominant runner of 2006. The defense is a shell. The Browns should be able to pretty much do what they want with this team.
There are games in which you wonder what will happen between the hashmarks on sundays; and every once in a while there is a game where you know your team is going to go out and have some absolute fun at the expense of the opponent, duress free. This would be one of those rare sundays.
-This game however has no bearing on whether or not the Browns will play one more game; which would be a postseason game. Even if the Browns lose, they still make the playoffs if Tennesee loses in Indianpolis. All of the interest of Browns fans is geared towards that game in prime time at 8:00 PM ET. It would be nice for the Browns to win their 10th game of the season; which would be a franchise high since the return in 1999, and be sitting pretty in the clubhouse waiting for Tennesee to play with all the pressure on them.
10 wins in this league is 10 wins. This team never appeared to me as a team that could truly do that in this league. Although the playoffs became the goal, to win that many games in an NFL season is something special. It would be an excellent accolade for this young team to reach no matter how the playoffs end up.
-There has been much speculation this week on if this is the week that we see Brady Quinn make his regular season debut as a professional. I have to say, with what I see happening in this ballgame, that is very possible. I don’t know how I feel on the subject as a whole. Anderson has been so strong at times; but a year of Quinn’s development has been wasted on a guy who might not be here next season. At the same time, a high level of chemistry seems to have developed with the offensive line, receivers, and Anderson. The team buys into him as their leader. Could Quinn do his job better? I think in time Quinn would be the stronger quarterback.

I do think we’ll get an opportunity to see Quinn get his feet wet this week, possibly in the second half. If this does not happen it’s a shame, or understandable because the Browns will be in a tight ballgame. That said, I don’t expect a tight ballgame, and I think Brady will get the opportunity to play.

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