Monday, October 13, 2014

On The Mark 10.13.14: #Browns Recap

NOT The "Same Old Browns" as Cleveland Destroys Pittsburgh, 31-10
By @MarkW2112

You read it right.  This is NOT the Same Old Browns.  This is a new team and new attitude as the Browns decimate the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-10 in a game that was never really close after the second quarter.

The Steelers were able to get on the board first, 3-0 while the Browns offense seemed to struggle to get off the ground, having -8 yards in the first quarter.  But once the second quarter rolled around, Brian Hoyer and the offense got on a roll and didn't stop.  With big time plays to Miles Austin and a bomb to Jordan Cameron, the Browns scored the first TD of the game in the second quarter on a 5 yard touchdown run by Isaiah Crowell to make it 7-3.  After getting the ball back on downs from the Steelers, Hoyer connected to Cameron again on a 51 yard touchdown pass to make it 14-3.  Ben Tate scored his first of two touchdowns of the game later in the second quarter to make it 21-3 before halftime.

It appeared the Steelers just couldn't get it going on offense with the Browns defense finally stepping up amid injuries to Phil Taylor and, during the game, to his replacement Armonty Bryant.  Even without them along with an inactive Ahtyba Rubin, the Browns were able to keep everything in front of them with Buster Skrine and Joe Haden having their best games of the year.  In fact, it may have been the defenses best all around game this year.

As great as the Browns offense was, the biggest blow to the team was the possible loss of Alex Mack to a broken leg.  He had to carted off the field and appeared to be in tremendous pain.  Mack had played every game as a Cleveland Brown since he was drafted in 2009.  While it would appear to be a huge loss, John Greco came in and performed admirably in his place even though he has never played a game at center (only during practice).

Hoyer, Tate, Cameron and Crowell were the offensive stars of the game.  Even though Hoyer only went 8-for-17, he did throw 217 yards and a touchdown with a 93.6 QBR according to  Tate ran for 78 yards and 2 TD's, Crowell 77 yards and a TD and Cameron 3 catches for 102 yards and a touchdown.

My take: This team has taken on the personality of its tough as nails head coach Mike Pettine.  It was a team effort all of the way around.  Hoyer is the leader at QB the Browns have desperately searching for since 1999 and while Mack's loss is tough, the o-line performed well without him.  The defense seems to finally be gelling together even with the losses of A. Bryant and Phil Taylor.  The depth on the team should keep them playing at a high level.

Next up for the Browns: in Jacksonville against a very bad Jaguars team.  The Browns, however, should not take them lightly.  And I don't anticipate they will.

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