I have quite a few posts to catch up after a crazy sports weekend that saw Ohio State dump Penn State (I have to watch the tape in order for a recap),the San Francisco Giants win the World Championship and my wonderful daughter,Rachel,finally get to meet some of her favorite players as we saw the Albany Devils make one of their two trips to Hershey.
In other words,with lots to do and lots of time (power permitting) of blogging to do it,you could see as many as four posts today.
However,we start with the Cleveland Browns with another one of those boring wins that people like me will look back in a few months and say "the win over the Chargers cost us fill in the blank".
Trent Richardson's 26 yard touchdown run in the first quarter concluded not only the Browns only scoring drive,but their only serious scoring threat as well.
The Cleveland defense forced that to hold up and earn the victory.
The 7-6 win at Cleveland Browns Stadium improved the Browns to 2-6 on the season and Cleveland will host the Baltimore Ravens next Sunday before entering their bye week.
1) Trent Richardson rushed for 122 yards and was pretty much the entire Browns offense.
When you consider the painful rib injury that Richardson has been carrying with him,it was quite a performance for the rookie and showed the toughness that you hope you get with a first round runner.
2) Play of the day has to go to Shaun Lauvao.
Why does the Browns guard get the play of the day?
Lauvao kept a stumbling Richardson on his feet when it appeared that Richardson was going to hit the ground and allowed Richardson to cruise into the end zone for the only Cleveland score.
In the conditions that the game was played in and when you look at the issues throughout the day with the Browns offense,who's to say that Cleveland would have scored without Lauvao's heady play...
3) I know that things were not pleasant in the rain and cold,but that is exactly what the Browns have in their advantage playing outside in Cleveland,Ohio.
I have always been a proponent of the Browns building themselves a hard nosed,physically based,running football team and using the weather to their advantage and yesterday,they did just that.
The weather took away the superior team's(San Diego) advantage and evened the scales a bit.
Think about that when this talk of covering the stadium with a roof comes up....
4) Brandon Weeden didn't have a great game.
His passes were not always on target,but the receivers dropped their share of passes as well,so the lack of a passing game with just 129 yards was not all on Weeden.
Either way,the passing game was not a factor for this day as Weeden's passing total was just seven yards more than Trent Richardson rushed for on the ground...
5) Sometimes things even out.
Last week,we (and many others) were groaning about the Josh Gordon "blinded by the light" drop that cost the Browns the game.
This week,the Browns likely get the win because of a dropped pass by the Chargers Robert Meachem.
Meachem was wide open in the middle of the field (like Gordon,but with less coverage) and would have walked into the end zone for what would have proved to be the winning score,but dropped the football with an easier catch than Gordon's drop against the Colts.
6) James-Michael Johnson was in the starting lineup for the first time and Johnson played very well with five solo and and a handful of assists as well.
Johnson showed speed and quickness,which are traits that I do not usually see from the Browns linebackers over the last few seasons.
7) Other than the Richardson run,the biggest play was a completion to Josh Gordon for an 18 yard first down from Brandon Weeden in the fourth quarter.
The Browns didn't score on the drive or even threaten,but what it did do was flip field position and force the Chargers to march further downfield to score...
8) The rain had a lot to do with the Chargers passing game problems,but the secondary played very well with the exception of the Meachem drop and kept the Chargers from the big play.
Now,if Robert Meachem holds onto an easy pass,I am writing that one breakdown cost Cleveland the game,so keep that in mind,but the safeties-T.J.Ward and Usama Young both had strong games...
9) Zero turnovers.
Cleveland did not turn the ball over,although they were fortunate to recover Montario Hardesty's fumble that would have given San Diego that ball near midfield.
I kept waiting for one team or the other to make the big mistake in their end of the field to tilt the game one way or the other other and it just did not happen.
10) Considering that these two teams were coached by two of the worst coaches in the league in Pat Shurmur and Norv Turner,I thought a boneheaded coaching move might be the difference as well.
Neither of these made that mistake,so again considering the pair-I was VERY surprised!
11) As I wrote in the preamble ramble,this could be one of those meaningless wins that we look back on and say whoopee,a boring win that cost us....
Remember this great win over the Jaguars that cost Cleveland Robert Griffin?
That's why I do not get too excited about these wins...
Photo Credit:John Kuntz;Cleveland Plain Dealer