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Falcons 20 - Browns 10 -- What We Learned

How quickly things change. Last week the Browns we riding high after knocking off the defending AFC North champions. Seven short days later, Browns look clueless and blow another halftime lead.

I wrote it last week, and today only cemented my view. Jake Delhomme shouldn’t be the starting quarterback of the Cleveland Browns. Hell, he shouldn’t be the starting quarterback of the Cleveland Gladiators. Today’s loss wasn’t all on Delhomme’s shoulders, but he deserves a sizeable chunk. If someone figures out what the hell Jake was trying to do when he forced goal line pass into Cribbs, even though he was tripled covered, please inform me. I get that Delhomme is supposed to be a leader, but he can do that with a clipboard in his hands.

I can’t believe its true, and hope I never type this again, but Joe Thomas struggled. But let’s not forget that John Abraham is a Pro Bowl level player and has close to 100 career sacks. With that said, it is so odd to see Joe Thomas not handle his man every play. Thomas wasn’t alone though, the entire offensive line struggled today. I am willing to write it off as a bad week, but they can’t play like that and hope to have a chance next Sunday in Pittsburgh. I know Thomas will bounce back, hopefully everyone else will as well.

It looked like Peyton Hillis was really hurt. Just as an outside observer, it looked like Hillis may have aggravated his injury on his amazing TD catch. After that, he seemed like he was hobbling after every play. I hope I am wrong but I fear that running him out there on a bad leg is something that could hurt him, and the Browns, in the long run. Why was James Davis a gameday inactive? The coaches knew that Hillis was injured coming into the game, so we decide that having only two healthy tailbacks was a wise move? Someone needs to explain that.

The Browns defense played well. It may not look like it in the papers tomorrow, but they only gave up 13 points to a team that has a Pro Bowl QB, RB, WR and TE. Give me that every single week. Marcus Benard again got to the quarterback for a sack and Fujita had another strip sack. If I had to pick out one thing on defense that bothers me, it would be our gaps in passing coverage. There times today that Roddy White was left WIDE open. How an opposing teams most dangerous wideout can be left alone is mind boggling to me.

Next week is a huge game for the Browns. If they can get into Pittsburgh and leave with a win, it would put us at 2-4, but 2-1 in our division. Don’t forget, it was the win over the Steelers last season that catapulted the Browns to their 4-0 finish. If the Browns again somehow lose, they will be 1-5 and circling the drain. I don’t think it is hyperbole to say that next week’s game in Pittsburgh could be the make or break point for this season. Hopefully we have a quarterback under center that we can trust.

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