Note: On NNR today Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I discussed the Browns Bengals game in detail. The podcast is up on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ now. Thanks
In previous years this would have been the 18 straight loss to a division foe on the road. It would have been a blowout by the Bengals in part due to the short week. But this team and this year is different.
Bengal QB Andy Dalton had a bad, no a REALLY BAD game. But Dalton had a lot of help making his night bad both from his team mates and from the Browns D. While the Browns O was good, this win was primarily due to the defense. The D took the ball away 4 times and shut down the Bengal offense. The only points the Bengals got was the field goal after the special teams muff of a punt. Even on that “drive” the Browns D forced a 3 and out.
The D bottled up the running game and most significantly pressured Dalton. Dalton has struggled in big games. In my opinion it shows a lack of mental toughness. The Browns D helped expose that by pressuring him. The best part was that the D did not take the heat off the Bengal O during the entire game. It was the combination of a good game plan and outstanding execution.
The offense got off to a quick start by converting the early pick to a TD. QB Brian Hoyer was solid throwing the ball and making reads. The O line was MUCH better blocking both the run and the pass. C Nick McDonald looked like a different man against the best two defensive tackles he has faced. The zone blocking scheme depends on the line moving in unison. It did last night and the backs ran the ball much better.
But I can’t help wondering where the Browns would be had they beaten the Jags. They would have been at 7-2 and have a great chance to make the playoffs. But they didn’t win that game.
That is what I think. Tell us what you think by commenting here or tweeting me @NNRonDSN.
NOTE: News, Notes and Rumors podcast are BACK. Check out our thoughts on Fridays about the games coming up and Monday on the results of the weekend. My co-host is Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports. Podcasts can be heard on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Thanks for your support.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.
He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.
To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.