Sunday, September 20, 2015

Browns fans get just what they were looking for against the Titans

Home Browns games have long been a horrible experience. Sure, the tailgating is fun, as long as you get a Muni Lot spot by 8am and make sure you drink your adult beverages out of a Solo cup. Yeah, it's fun to see all the regulars and eat some grilled meat and play egg toss and all that. But then the game actually starts team goes ahead and kicks you in the gut in a new way every Sunday, so much that people are inspired to make videos of themselves yelling at the stadium.

AP/David Richard
Today was none of that. This was what fans--well, the optimistic ones--have been hoping and expecting from this team. Great defensive and special teams, a solid running game, and QB play that doesn't kill you. And whaddya know--that's exactly what we got. First, Johnny Manziel, filling in (temporarily??) for concussed short-termer Josh McCown, started off fantastically. The bomb to Travis Benjamin, solid check-downs, throws on the money. Nearly everything he did was just what the Browns need in a QB. Some of it (i.e. the damn fumbling) is something that needs to be worked on, pronto. Some of it (the improvisation that pays off in spades) is what they dreamed of when they drafted him.

The defense was all over Marcus Mariota the entire day. That dude must just hate Ohio. And it's pretty obvious that there is a large gap between the Buccaneers' and Browns' defenses.  Sacked 7 times, hit innumerable times, three fumbles, an INT that didn't happen due to a Browns penalty, and this epic play where he lost his shoe, helmet, and the ball.

Travis Benjamin, obviously, was magnificent. Not only did he do a great job hauling in the two touchdowns from Manziel, particularly the clinching touchdown, in which he did a great job of adjusting to Manziel's improvisation and taking it to the house. But equally as important was the huge moment earlier, where Benjamin took advantage of the Titans' unbelievable decision to punt deep to him with a minute or so left in the first half. And this happened.

As mentioned earlier, there is a big gap between Tampa Bay's defense and the Cleveland Browns'. That said, nobody can get excited yet. This game (as well as next week) are games that even the team's biggest naysayers said they should win. So today let's just be happy they did. And just the way we wanted them to.