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Browns Didn't Lose!

November 9, 2009

Do you realize we just had a Sunday where the Browns didn't lose??? Wait, that's not all. We're guaranteed two Sundays in a row without a Browns loss! Incredible! Here are some things you may have noticed this past Sunday...

The Browns offense was a whole lot more productive than usual. Yes, the 2009 Browns are more productive on offense by not playing. I'm not even joking a little.

Derek Anderson didn't miss a five yard crossing route by throwing it at the ground ten yards behind the receiver.

In fairness, Brady Quinn also didn't hold the ball for 96 seconds and then check down to Robert Royal two yards behind the line of scrimmage on 3rd-and-12.

The Browns receiving corps only dropped three passes!

Josh Cribbs still outscored the offense.

All right, in seriousness, let's discuss this week. First of all, let me implore Browns fans to make sure this game isn't a blackout. Screw the team, this is about the fans. We cannot allow a black out on Monday Night Football! When the Browns are down by 37 at half, just leave and go to a bar. It'll be good for the downtown economy. I'll even give you some recommendations:

Gateway Winking Lizard (Food until midnight, I think, and $4.25 32 oz. Bud Lights, I think, regardless it's good food and beer)

Gateway Pannini's (Visit Angie, she's an awesome bartender and the food is good)

Corner Alley at East 4th and Euclid (Throw bowling balls in frustration while you watch the Browns 2nd half ineptitude on huge TVs at at the end of your lane)

Blind Pig on West 6th (Lots of TVs to watch the Browns fail or catch a basketball game if one is on, and great deals on food and beer)

McNulty's Bier Market/Bar Cento on West 25th (Delicious beers and awesome food late night, until 2 AM I believe)

Seriously. Get crappy tickets. Watch crappy football for a quarter. Avoid the blackout. Then enjoy some great bars. Want more suggestions? Let me know, I got tons more great bars. I didn't even mention some of my absolute favorites. Now back to the Browns...

Who is going to be the quarterback against the Ravens? DA? Brady? Cribbs? Ty Detmer? Does it matter? Actually, yes. Even the staunchest DA supporter has to admit the guy is a mess right now. He's shell shocked. He can't complete passes or move the ball with any efficiency. Eric Mangini is either watching completely different games on Sunday and on film, or he is just lying when he says "Derek gives us the best chance to move the ball." Move what ball? When has he moved the ball this year? 5 weeks ago against Cincy? The one touchdown against Chicago where we ran the ball every single play?!?!?!? Derek Anderson through the month of October was the worst quarterback I have ever seen. Ever. I have seen a lot of awful quarterbacks. That was the worst. There is no reason to play him. Mangini claims the emphasis is reducing turnovers. That certainly points away from DA. Of course, this whole quarterback thing has made no sense at all, so who knows.

Now, since Brady has sat so long he is now much more cap friendly for next season. Let's play him. He cannot be worse. He played 10 quarters against three of the NFL's best defenses in 2009, and he was much better than DA has been. This team needs A LOT of help on offense. No one is going to look great on this team. Brady will at least get some time to develop in games, and now the Browns can keep him next season because he is going to be relatively cheap. It can't possibly get worse. At least there will something intriguing to watch if Brady plays.

I just feel bad for the defense. They have actually played pretty decent football, they are just on the field forever. They get tired. Ryan has done well as the DC. He brings pressure and runs coverages in a way that confused opposing quarterbacks at times. He's intense. He's entertaining. I like him, and I like what he is doing. While the offense seems far, far away from being a solid unit, I think the defense is solid now. I think they are a playmaker or two away from being pretty good. Well, that and maybe spending less than 45 minutes per game on the field.

It'd be nice to see some development out of Mohamed Massaquoi and Brian Robiskie, and there is no reason they shouldn't get every chance to play. This season is over. Massaquoi has certainly shown flashes and it'd be great to see more consistency out of him. Robiskie needs a chance to make some plays. A precise route runner with good hands, which is kind of what Robiskie's game is supposed to be, should benefit from Quinn over DA. The last 8 games are all about next year. No reason to pretend otherwise.

It looks like David Veikune is going to have to get playing time. D'Qwell Jackson is out for the year and Eric Barton is hurting. The Browns only have so many linebackers. Let's see Veikune and Coye Francies play on defense. It can't hurt, and unlike quarterbacks there really isn't a potential long term downside to throwing them right into the fire. Let them play.

Root for Braylon Edwards to get 55 grabs in New York. Turning that third round pick into a second rounder would be very good. Second round picks are often very talented players who can develop into real impact guys. The Browns are already heading for a top 5 pick and then a pick in the 33-37 range. It'd be nice to add the Jets 2nd, probably in the 45-55 range. LeSean McCoy, Phil Loadholt, DeSean Jackson, Ray Rice, LaMarr Woodley, Steve Smith (NYG), Eric Wright, LenDale White, Marcus McNeil, Greg Jennings, Lofa Tatupu, Nick Collins. These players were all drafted since 2005 in the 45-55 range. It works out to about 2-3 players in that range each year becoming pretty good. The Browns want the Jets 2nd. Braylon needs to make it happen. Root for that.

Finally, hope for a miracle. Maybe the Browns will be competitive on Monday night. Maybe they will score (gasp!) two offensive touchdowns. Maybe Brady gets the start and has a decent game and gives you reason for hope at the QB position. Maybe Shaun Rogers and Kam Wimbley sack Joe Flacco 2 times each. Maybe Jerome Harrison rushes for 70 yards. Maybe Massaquoi and Robiskie combine for 8 catches and 100 yards. Maybe you will see some reason for hope. This season has been very depressing. You have watched a lot of wretched football. On the chance the Browns show something worthwhile, don't miss it. Buy tickets. Don't let this game get blacked out.

Jack Bacevice

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