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What We Learned Browns-Steelers

Quick look at what we learned in the Browns-Steelers game.

I know we lost, but somehow it felt different.

  1. Sorry Colt, I have been here before. Couch, Quinn, Player X, take your pick. I expected the same routine that I got before. First start on the road against Pittsburgh? Maybe 175 yards passing with numerous turnovers. Maybe he makes a few throws that I can say, "that looked good" and be happy with it. After all, this is the Steelers, a team that has been destroying quarterbacks all season. But you know what? The kid fought back. He hung in the pocket, stared down the blitz and made the tough throw. Maybe it is the hopeless fan in me, but this felt different. Maybe, just maybe, Colt McCoy is for real.
  2. The Browns rush defense continues to fly under the radar in the league. Today was the first rushing TD they gave up, and they held Mendenhall to 84 yards on 27 carries.  A full yard and a half below his season average YPC. All season I have been worried about the lack of athleticism in the Browns' LB corp, but I think it is time that they get the credit they deserve. This team isn't making their bones against the weaklings of the NFL. Today makes Jamal Charles, Ray Rice, Micheal Turner, Cedric Benson and Rashard Mendenhall they have faced. That isn't just good, that is some of the best in the league and the Browns have more than held their own.
  3. Someone needs to explain the rules of hitting people in the head to me. I don't think the hit on Cribbs should have been a penalty, but the hit on MoMass should have been. A wide receiver that drops a pass and has his bell absolutely rung. Somehow TJ Ward does this and he is penalized and fined. The refs allowed Harrison to skate on the flag, I wonder if the NFL lets him skate on the fine. I'm not alone here right?
  4. Browns need to figure out who is going to catch punts next week if Cribbs can't play (early signs are that he will be able to play next week). Chansi Stuckey looked horrible doing it and his fumble essentially ended the game. I would like to save Haden for defense rather than risk him on special teams. This was a job that Brian Robiskie did at the Ohio State. Maybe this week he can get some work in. Is it too early to pray for a Cribbs return?
  5. Speaking of Joe Haden, I think we need to wear sunglasses for this kid's future. His interception looked like it was thrown directly at him, but replays showed that he had a lot of arms and people in front of him. For him to keep his focus, catch the ball and spring that return shows an athletic ability that many defensive backs don't have. Joe Haden is legit, and he should be starting over Eric Wright next week. I have no idea what is going on with Wright, but he has been beaten like a drum with regularity this season. I'm sure this isn't the season he wanted before free agency.
It will be a loss in the paper tomorrow, but to anyone who watch how Colt McCoy operated today, this is a win in the long run.

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Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.