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What We Learned Browns-Bengals

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A look at Peyton Hillis, Browns' defense and a possible quarterback dilemma for the Cleveland Browns.

"The Warden" separates Jordan Shipley from consciousness.   (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
"The Warden" separates Jordan Shipley from consciousness. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
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Some quick thoughts following the Browns first win of the season, 23-20 over the Bengals.

1. Peyton Hillis is here to stay. Jerome Harrison got zero carries. Nada. Zip. Zilch. I am oddly okay with that. Hillis is really getting into a groove with the offensive line and Vickers. Harrison had his opportunity and chances are we will need him again this season, but as of right now, we need to ride the hot hand.

2. The leash for Jake Delhomme is getting shorter. I fully expect Delhomme to be the starter when he is healthy, but Wallace's play over the past three weeks has shown the coaching staff that they have another option. If Delhomme comes back and reverts to his past turnover tendencies, the Browns could go back to Wallace. This team needs a QB who makes the easy throws, protects the football and throws deep just enough to keep a defense honest. That very well may be Wallace, not Delhomme.

3. I understand the NFL wanting to improve player safety, but the NFL needs to address the "defenseless player" rule. TJ Ward was flagged for this in the endzone, on a huge hit against WR Jordan Shipley. If you look at the play, Ward had literally a hundredth of a second to pull up. Even if it was humanly possible to react that fast, how could he stop his momentum? Ward will be fined, but the rule isn't fair.

4. The secondary has to get fixed, and quick. Today it was TO playing the role of Anquan Boldin. It wasn't all Eric Wright either. On the bright side, Joe Haden did a great job matched up with Chad Ochocinco. The veteran was even flagged for an offensive pass interference late in the game.

5. The run defense was huge today. They bottled up Cedric Benson all afternoon (15-60) and never allowed the Bengals to get any rhythm going. The return of Shaun Rogers and Marcus Benard were huge additions to the Browns pass rush. After last week's disappearing act, they showed up on Sunday with four sacks and numerous other pressures.

The week after a Browns' win is a beautiful thing. 3-1 Falcons are next. Keep checking in with SB Nation Cleveland for all your Browns' news.

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