Monday, December 17, 2007

Smashing through the snow

As the snow fell from the sky and with visibility limited,the Cleveland Browns used two tremendous field goals from kicker Phil Dawson and one snap that went awry from the Buffalo long snapper to earn a huge 8-0 win in a blizzard over the Bills.
The victory puts the Browns in a position of controlling their own destiny for a wild card and with some luck keeps their AFC North title hopes alive.
For the Browns to clinch a wild card,they simply need to win 1 of their remaining 2 games or have Tennessee lose one of their remaining two,while with Pittsburgh's loss to Jacksonville,Cleveland can win the division with wins over the Bengals and 49ers combined with a Steeler loss .
Test follows this post-LOL
This game set up pretty much as I thought it would.
Jamal Lewis needed to have a big game to control the clock and field position and he did,as Lewis finished with 163 yards on 33 trips with the football.
I also thought that Buffalo rookie passer Trent Edwards would struggle with his first attempts to deal with bad conditions and he did so- as only the last ditch Bill drive was any concern to Browns fans.
Edwards had better use this as a learning experience,when you play in Buffalo,one needs to adjust to adverse weather quickly!
The Cleveland passing game was not a factor with the exceptions of a few excellent grabs by Braylon Edwards,but was just dangerous enough for the Bills to need to respect any Cleveland attempts.
Great game by the Browns defense,as they did not allow Marshawn Lynch to break away with a big run in a one score game.
Dawson's 48 yarder into the wind and snow might have been one of the best kicks that I have ever seen.
I was watching them line up and commented "this could be a quick kick".
I never thought they would actually attempt it and then to drill it?
A memorable effort by Phil Dawson yesterday.
Super effort,now here is hoping that the Browns do not take the trip to Cincinnati lightly,just this season,the win over the Bengals was considered a huge upset,so Cleveland needs to go into the game with the right attitude.

An example of the wrong attitude was the Seattle Seahawks cruising into Charlotte against a rookie QB and a team playing poor football.
The Seahawks left Charlotte with a 13-10 loss before massive amounts of empty seats and a loss that doesn't affect the big picture much,but none the less-a poor effort by the offense.
A game that saw nothing but field goals for all but the final 1:38 then was followed by with each team swapping late useless touchdowns was pretty dull as one can imagine.
Matt Hasselbeck had one of those games that looked good in the stat line,but it was as quiet as a game could be in results,while the running game continues to be non existent.
Plus Hasselbeck's 4th quarter fumble (a result of not tucking the ball away) ended a scoring drive that could have given the Hawks the lead,but instead resulted in the drive that enabled Carolina to put the game away.
I am a running proponent of course,but the team has flourished using the pass first ideology.
So I cannot understand the thoughts of changing things that are working,but Mike Holmgren
( all the Bill Walsh spin-offs for that matter) seems to have the "Lets fool them and show how smart I am mentality".
Nice defensive effort,I suppose,but that is about all.
Seattle comes local next week to battle the slumping Ravens next week.

The New Jersey Devils apparently either had a bad game Saturday vs Phoenix or Brent Sutter gave them the ass-kicking they needed,as the effort picked up and the result was a 4-2 win over the hated Flyers at the Rock.
A three goal explosion in the second period led to the win as John Madden scored at even strength and shorthanded for goals 9 and 10,while Brent Sutter's whipping boy Arron Asham drilled his fourth of the year in the stanza.
In addition,the second period saw the rare penalty shot from Philly's Daniel Briere against the World's Best Goaltender.
After Brodeur stopped the shot,one could feel the momentum and my feeling was "we have this game"!
The Captain,Jamie Langenbrunner ended the scoring late with an empty netter (5) and send the spirally downward Flyers back to Philly.........
I was pleased with the high energy that the team played with after the dead legs that showed on the previous day and the Devils needs to keep this type of effort up on the three game road trip through Western Canada.
Game 1 of the tour is Tuesday at Vancouver against the Canucks.

Bullpen Notes

Words cannot explain how thrilled I am with "West Virginia North" and their hiring of Rich Rodriguez.
Rodriguez will quickly learn that the spread offense and his "trickiness" do not go far in the Big Ten.
Plus the competition is tougher here than the laughably lousy Big East.
And here is more-only Michigan would hire a guy that needs to beat a 4 win and 28 point underdog at HOME to qualify for the national title and LOST!!!!!
Thank you WVN!!!!!

And on the topic of thrilled.
The Miami Dolphins win their first game and it is over Baltimore and resident "genius" Brian Billick!
Plus noted "all about love" Ray Lewis breaks his hand in the loss!
Let the excuse from Baltimore begin!

The Los Angeles Dodgers signed Hiroshima righthander Hideki Kuroda over the weekend.
The veteran from the Carp was 12-8 with a 3.58 ERA last year.

Congrats to former Hagerstown Suns coach Jerry Browne for his promotion to Potomac for 2008.
Harrisburg's coaching announcement was Friday,Potomac today,so it might follow that the Suns coaches could be announced tomorrow.

Note to CBS on NFL game caller Gus Johnson.
Will someone there please explain to Mr.Johnson two things.
1) Screaming loudly on every play does not create drama-it makes you sound like the loud drunk at a party.
2) Please leave the catch phrases to the Rock and Steve Austin.
I counted 5 times that Johnson uttered this beauty "Cleveland is now Believeland".

Until tomorrow,which shapes up to be a slow day,which means random ramblings or something else.

Photo Credits
Dawson-John Kuntz-Cleveland Plain Dealer
Hasselbeck-Mike McCarn-AP
Brodeur-Rich Schultz-AP

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