If there were ever a time to play the Browns it would be now. Sure the Bills are reeling, but what the Browns have gone through this year is quite frankly, pretty awful. The trendy playoff pick, Cleveland was given a ton of nationally televised games and a lot of hype. Former backup Derek Anderson was signed to an extension with Brady Quinn waiting in the wings, and while most picked Cleveland to win their division, some critics saw them as the obvious underachiever for 2008.
The Browns proved them right by getting murdered by Dallas at home to open the season, and a quick 0-3 start made all those prime time games look pretty boring. However, coming out of the bye with a 1-3 record and facing the world champions at home on Monday Night, Cleveland finally showed up. A 35-14 win over the Giants has been the highlight of Cleveland’s season, and they will come to Buffalo on Monday 3-6 and still reeling from a game played almost ten days before.
Well, the The last two weeks Cleveland has given up leads in the fourth quarter. Their tight end was in the hospital with giant testicles. Some players think their team quit on them. Some say otherwise, but even the 0-8s in the league haven’t heard accusations like that. Romeo Crennel has been awful, and Will Leitch and Buzz Bissinger just may have killed their best player.
Looking at the numbers it’s easy to see why the Browns are so bad. Giving up 564 yards to a team missing all eleven of its running backs is not a good sign, and when your run game is struggling just like Buffalo’s you can’t expect to win many games. In fact, aside from the big showing on Monday night Cleveland has beaten the hapless Bengals and a Jaguars team that has struggled all season. That’s it.
And then there’s this fellow:
Quinn had a decent game against a Broncos defense made of stuffing. That’s great for him, but the fact of the matter is that this will be his second career start. Ever. Thursday Night Football is cool and everything, but on Monday the entire country gets to see him play. Different story, and the pressure will be on.
Looking at the opponent it seems like an easy win. Lately, however, nothing has been easy for the Bills. The more you think about this game, the more you realize the entire season rests on the outcome. The bad news is they may fall, but if they do it will be to the perfect opponent. Cleveland on Monday night is the perfect recipe for Buffalo to get things back on track.
Let’s see if anyone on the roster can cook.