Thoughts on Browns-Rams
While not as affirming as their opening preseason game against Green Bay, the Browns walked out of Saturday night’s tilt with the Rams with some positives.
It was a strange game, with the rain, the offensive struggles in the first quarter and a general feeling while watching the game that the team wasn’t playing very well.
But looking at the stats, the Browns outgained the Rams 285 to 172 and held St. Louis is 1.7 yards per rush. So they have that going for them.
- It looks like the team has a starting quarterback in Jake Delhomme. The veteran QB delivered a solid performance for the home crowd, completing 12-of-16 for 127 yards, a TD and a QB rating of 118.5.
- Peyton Hillis showed that he’s going to become a fan favorite with some tough inside running.
- Ben Watson made a nice TD catch in the second quarter.
- The team overcame some early mistakes that resulted in a 13-0 hole to eventually take a 17-13 lead at the end of the third quarter.
- Even though it seemed like his name was hardly called, T.J. Ward had another solid game, as did Joe Haden. The rookie duo broke up back-to-back passes in the second quarter to stall a Rams’ drive and force a field goal.
- No sacks on defense.
- Five turnovers – three fumbles and two interceptions – on offense, plus another two fumbles that the team recovered.
- Only 3.6 yards per carry on the ground, after only gaining 3.9 per rush against Green Bay. Not a good omen for a team that is banking on being able to run the ball this year.
- Eric Wright dropped two interceptions.
It some ways this may actually have been the kind of game the Browns needed. By making some avoidable mistakes, the team opened up an opportunity for the coaches to work the team this week and provide some teachable moments.
“We’re gonna turn the sprinklers on (at practice) or dunk the ball in water. It shouldn’t be like that,” coach Eric Mangini said in published reports, talking about the team’s inability to hold onto the ball.
The team needs to work this week to get its mojo back and correct some of the mistakes in time for Saturday’s game vs. Detroit. The third preseason game is generally the game where the starters play most of the way as they make their final preparations for the season opener.
Hopefully the team can bring it’s A game for 60 minutes at Ford Field.
What everyone else is saying:
- Sloppy Second: Cleveland Frowns
- Browns Less Impressive in Pre-Season Game #2: Waiting for Next Year
- Browns bogged down by the rain, lose to Rams: Plain Dealer
- Now this is more like it, having 2 reliable Cleveland Browns QBs: Terry Pluto
- Sloppy start leads to loss: Beacon Journal
- Delhomme is right man for job: Beacon Journal