And, no, I’m not being sardonic about the fact that the Browns did not play play today.
Rather, I am rather giddy because in today’s game’s:
- The Steelers lost: Actually, I’m more happy that the Bengals won, in this case, as one of the favorite facts that national sportscasters like to bring up is Big Ben’s dominance playing in Ohio and against Ohio teams. So, the fact that the Bengals swept the defending Superbowl champs is a nice feeling, esp. given that the Browns won’t be doing that any time soon.
- The New York Jets lost: This really doesn’t have anything to do with Braylon, personally (although I was tickled pick to see him drop an insanely-easy catchable ball in the end zone that would have been a 2-point conversion at the end of the game), but instead should at least shut up one of the lamest complaints that people have made during Mangini’s time in Cleveland: he’s still committed to building a winner in New York, hence he’s trading everything away to them. Well, given that Mangini has been abysmal at building a competitive team in Cleveland, maybe now that the Jets have gone to 4-5 after starting 3-0 (and ironically, this sudden decline coincides with the arrival of Edwards), the envy-fest over the Jets will quiet for the rest of the season.
- The Tampa Bay Bucs lost: The Bucs, also 1-7 (although a better team than the Browns, no question), is the other place to check in on now and then, as they have K2. Remember, the current biggest issue with the Browns is that they have no more proven offensive talent on the roster. Well, the “proven” talent of the Edwards and K2 have yet to really make a difference for their respective teams.
As for the Browns, the firing of the manager, followed by the news of another opportunity drill injury and Jamal Lewis’ outspoken comments (followed by a backtracking) have kept the local and national media busy, and in a twisted sense, may turn out to be a blessing in disguise for Brady Quinn, as he was not the focus of attention with his reappearance into the starting line-up. The conventional wisdom is that it doesn’t make a difference if it’s Quinn, DA, or Carl the Wonder Poodle back there — the Browns offense doesn’t have the weapons or the creativity to compete.
And while the Ravens defense may be struggling, nothing like a trip to the far more anemic Browns offense to perk them right up.