Do you believe now? Many people thought that the Browns win over the Saints was a fluke.
No way would the Browns be able to beat the Pats. Doesn't matter that the Browns were coming off a bye week. This was the Pats. The best team in the NFL. The only real question was if the Pats were going to cover the spread.
Well, as the saying goes, "That's why they play the game."
- This wasn't a fluke. This wasn't two INT's returned for a TD. This was a beating. The Browns dominated the line of scrimmage. The Patriots hadn't allowed a 100 yard rusher all season. Peyton Hillis almost did it twice. It looked almost easy for Hillis. Running hard through huge holes, and when he encountered trouble he either ran through it or jumped it. I can't remember the last time a Bill Belichick team was whopped like that. It had to be a great feeling for Mangini to just dominate Belichick. You couldn't get that smile off his face at the end of the game.
- The Browns are turning into one of the most physical teams in the NFL. The Browns continue to lack talent in major areas, yet this team absolutely punishes the opposition. You could see it late in the game. Patriot players were getting up slower and slower from big hits. The Browns were punishing their WR's and TE's when they caught the ball, and bringing the wood in gang tackles. It's not just the defense either, the Browns offense is a battering ram. The duo of Hillis running behind Lawrence Vickers could be the most physical running attack in the NFL. The Browns have turned into sledgehammers.
- Colt McCoy in his first three starts has faced three Super Bowl winning quarterbacks. First time in NFL history that a QB has had that kind of trio to start a career. Best part? Colt McCoy is 2-1 in those three starts. How awesome is that? McCoy wasn't asked to win the New Orleans game, only to not lose it. He did that. Today was different. Today McCoy was a quarterback. He made smart decisions, escaped pressure and made throws that only his team could catch. How refreshing is that to see? The Browns have a QB that they can win with.
- Yes it is probably too late, but how about the playoffs? The Browns have played the murders row of schedules and have come out 3-5. If the Browns can go 5-1 over the next 6 games, the Browns could find themselves right in the thick of the playoff race at 8-6. Don't laugh, the next six games are all winable (Jets, Jaguars, Panthers, Dolphins, Bills and Bengals). The Browns are on a roll, who is to say that we can't stay hot?
- How about the work of Rob Ryan? In consecutive games he has shut down Drew Brees and Tom Brady. The Pats boasted the top scoring offense in the NFL and were held to 7 points until late in the 4th quarter. As far as I am concerned, Rob Ryan may be doing the best coaching of his life right now. He is starting to build buzz as a Head Coaching candidate and hopefully he stays with the Browns; but if someone does hire him, they will be getting one hell of a football coach.
Don't look now, but the Browns are a team to be reckoned with.