I knew it all week long leading up to this one. The Browns had this game. This is also a game I’ve been waiting for to see for a long time, for multiple reasons. The New York Giants are my girlfriend’s team. We went to this game together as she came and visited me from New Jersey.
We spent the day in Muni lot hanging out. It was a good time. It was everything it should of been as we ended up tailgating with old friends from college under the moonlight before entering the stadium. I got to talk to the bone lady. We got our giant steaks stolen. We threw the pigskin. I talked classic Browns moments with a great guy from Youngstown. A guy who knew where he was when the fumble, the drive, and Red Right 88 occurred. It was great build up to what has been my crown jewel as a season ticket holder. It tops the Seattle game from last season.
I knew when Anderson hit Braylon Edwards on that slant–coming towards my end zone–that the Giants were in deep trouble. It confirmed my gut feeling. Buildings in Vegas were built on games like this, folks.
And I told those Giants fans who sat around me, the guy from the Bronx and my girl; that when Derek Anderson looks like he looked in the first half (despite it just being a 17-14 Browns lead) that this game was over. I was right.
Derek Anderson was the biggest story, although Braylon Edwards was a nice caveat. Anderson had the first half the dreams are made of, and hit Edwards on a bomb that you can’t argue about: it was an electrifying throw. The Browns won this game with some big plays through the air, using the high money offensive line to protect the QB; and then pounding it home with the running game for the win. I loved seeing Jerome Harrison lined up as a wideout. I liked the way the secondary made plays and intercepted Eli Manning 3 times. I loved Eric Wright sealing it with a pick down towards my end zone.
You have to give the Cleveland Browns fans big props this game. They were as loud as I’ve ever heard them, by far. Twice as loud as sunday night football against the Pittsburgh Steelers. And the intensity of the crowd lasted the entire ballgame. It was borderline uncomfortable. It was great.
If this was indeed the pinnacle of the Cleveland Browns season, it was a great one.