Monday, September 15, 2014

On The Mark 9.15.14: #Browns & #Buckeyes Recap

Simply Stunning: the Browns march over the Saints with a thrilling last second 26-24 victory
By @MarkW2112

It appears the Cleveland Browns of 2014 want to be the second coming of the Kardiac Kids.  After a thrilling loss to the Steelers last Sunday, they redeem themselves with a thrilling win against the New Orleans Saints 26-24 in front of a very loud and pumped crowd at First Energy Stadium for the first home game of the year.  The crowd really helped set the tone at the beginning of the game, as Drew Brees and his high powered offense couldn't seem to get it going early on.  Paul Kruger ended their first drive with a coverage sack as the Dawg Pound really let Brees know he was not welcomed there.

Brian Hoyer led the Browns to a touchdown to Miles Austin and helped set up a field goal for Bill Cundiff before the end of the first quarter.  The Saints made it 10-3 on their next drive with a field goal by Shayne Graham. After getting the ball back, the Saints were driving when Brees pass was intercepted by Tashaun Gipson and run back 62 yards for a touchdown, making it 16-3 after a botched extra point.  Before the end of the first half, the Saints drove again, this time with a Brees touchdown to Jimmy Graham who was no match for 5'11 Joe Haden. The Browns went in to halftime with the lead 16-10.

The Browns got the ball to start the second half but went nowhere with it.  The Saints  then drove down the field and scored on another Graham touchdown to take the lead 17-16.  The Browns, led by the rookie running back duo of Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell, helped the Browns get another touchdown, this time by West, to make it 23-17.

Once more, the Saints drove the field and scored on a Mark Ingram touchdown to give the Saints the lead once again, 24-23.  The Saints again were driving towards the end of the game when Karlos Dansby came up with a huge sack to take them out of field goal range, giving the ball back to the Browns with 2:46 left in the game.

Now it was Brian Hoyer's time to shine.  Going hurry up no huddle, Hoyer was able to execute a brilliant drive, with big time plays by Gary Barnidge (converting a 4th and 6th), Miles Austin (2 clutch catches, including one with 15 seconds left that was ruled out of bounds) and Andrew Hawkins, who's 28 yard catch when he was left all alone in the back field helped set up the game winning field for Billy Cundiff to make it 26-24 with 3 seconds left.  The Browns finally won the game after a squib kick and return to the Khiry Robinson was fumbled and recovered by the Browns.

It was coach Mike Pettine's first victory as an NFL head coach and only the 2nd home opener victory since 1999.

My take: This victory might have been the best the Browns have had in a very long time.  The Saints are a high powered offense and while they had their way with the Browns after being stopped in the first quarter, the defense came through when they needed to, including the Gipson interception and the game saving sack by Dansby, who is undoubtedly the leader of this defense.

On offense, Hoyer didn't look great but he was effective when he needed to be and somehow won this game without Josh Gordon or Jordan Cameron.  It also appears that West and Crowell might be one of the most dynamic running back duos since Earnest Byner and Kevin Mack each ran for 1,000 yards in 1985.  Their athleticism and vision were able to keep the Saints defense honest and have Hoyer be able to complete passes to Austin, Hawkins, Barnidge and Taylor Gabriel.

The Browns can't stop to enjoy this victory for long.  The hated Baltimore Ravens come in next Sunday before their 4th week bye.

But it's a sweet victory and one that we can hope inspires them for the rest of the season.


That’s more like it: Buckeyes destroy Golden Flashes 66-0
By @MarkW2112

The Ohio State Buckeyes did not mess around this time.  They went right for the throat and stayed there all game as they went on to route the much less talented Kent State Golden Flashes 66-0 in front of an Ohio Stadium crowd that was treated to almost non-stop offense and a defense that deflated the Golden Flashes right from the start.  J.T. Barrett looked sharp, going 23-of-30 for 312 yards, 6 touchdowns and an interception, with 5 of those TD’s thrown in the first half alone..  He was able to throw at will to any of his receivers, including Devin Smith and Michael Thomas who combined for 136 yards and 3 touchdowns between them.  Curtis Samuel led all rushers with 15 carries for 100 yards and 2 touchdowns.  All in all, the Buckeyes offense tallied 628 total yards.

Meanwhile, for quarterback Colin Reardon and the Golden Flashes offense, there was simply no ball movement as the Buckeyes defense swarmed and took out all of their frustrations after last week’s embarrassing loss to Virginia Tech.  Reardon’s day ended with him going 14-of-27 for 76 yards.  It was a day the Golden Flashes will want to forget.

The Buckeyes have a bye next weekend before playing the Cincinnati Bearcats on 9/27 at 6 PM at the Horseshoe.

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