Saturday, October 30, 2010

Browns Beat Saints!

What a great game to watch! The Browns beat the New Orleans Saints with a final score of 30-17. But more than winning, it was the way they won. The offense wasn't great, but it didn't need to be. It needed to be solid and it was. In particular with that long 7 minute drive in the fourth quarter. Mostly Hillis just doing what he does, running and hitting defenders as hard as he can.

And the Special Teams made some great, fun-to-watch plays. Cribbs throwing across the field on a punt return; the punter Hodges faking the kick and running up the wide-open middle of the field for 68 yards. Just not plays I would expect the Browns to call let alone execute effectively. And both lead to points.

And the defense was excellent. Yes we got burned on a couple of plays, but for the most part Brees looked completely confused. He was intercepted 4 times, two being pick 6s, and was sacked 3 times. So while the Saints racked up close to 400 yards of offense, in the end most of those yards were for naught as the Browns found a way to stop them.

I tweeted during the game that for the last two games I have been relatively pleased with the offensive play calling. I wondered whether that represents the impact of Mike Holmgren. And while that may be true, the reality is that I think it's the play of Colt McCoy. Granted, the offense didn't do much in this game. I read over at WFNY that we had grand total of 12 first downs and I know we only had something like 74 yards passing. And 12-13 of those on the trick play where Hillis threw a pass to Colt McCoy. The reality is that we don't really have any wide receivers that keep defenses honest, but we were still able to make a long time-consuming drive when we had to. And that's progress.

But I think the real reason that I've been pleased with the offensive play calling is Colt McCoy. In his first start he reminded me a little of Brady Quinn, or rather a deer caught in headlights. But that didn't last long and he started to show confidence and leadership. He looked that way for the whole Saints game. And I don't remember specifically, but I don't remember a boneheaded play. At a minimum, there were no turnovers.

My problem with Delhomme is not the picks, but the types of picks. Any quarterback is going to have picks. It's gonna happen when you have NFL caliber defenses to play against. What I don't like are the boneheaded picks, like the one Jake had in the first game as he was getting tackled. He's been in the league too long to try and make a pass as he's going down. That's boneheaded, and that's my only concern with Jake. Other than that, he reads the defenses well, can audible successfully.

I also like what Seneca brings to the table. With one exception - his throws to the sidelines are 10 yards out of bounds, not even giving the receivers a chance to catch the throws. Yes, the defense doesn't have a chance to pick it because in most cases the receivers have been covered, but its a waste of a throw. And I saw that multiple times with Seneca.

With Colt, though, I haven't seen a boneheaded throw, and for the most part his accuracy is dead on. Throws to the sideline are where only our receiver can catch it. Regardless of whether the throws have been successful or not, he puts it where it needs to be.

So I'm tempted to say Colt should start for the rest of the season. I hear many commenters say that's what the want so we can determine whether he's a "franchise quarterback". I disagree. We don't need a "franchise quarterback". What we need is a servicable quarterback as we get folks to fill the roster - like the right side of the line, some quality receivers(!!), something for better pass rush and coverage. We have so many holes still that Brown's fans obsession with quarterbacks is annoying.

Colt is more than good enough. But what I don't want is to rush him along and get him hurt. So I'll come down on the side of if Jake and Seneca are healthy Colt goes back to third quarterback on the team.

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