I'm not about to start gushing and call this win the defining moment in Romeo Crennel's head-coaching career, but I was pretty happy about it.
This is how our games against San Diego and Baltimore SHOULD have ended. And the main reasons this game ended with the Browns winning is because the defense was able to keep its play going through the end of the game, and the offense was less incompetent than normal.
I'm not going to say much about the offense. Winslow just pulls off the same old stuff again. Running game again is not the savior. Offensive line still getting shredded. Frye doesn't throw a pick (although his "streak" was kept alive by too many receiver-caused-interceptions for me to have been too down on him).
What I'm more impressed with is our defense. And even more specifically, our run defense. Amazing. They didn't shut Atlanta down, but the fact that we were able to eliminate the huge gains for TDs was key.
Brodney Pool is really doing a great job filling the roles that he asked to do. Forget Nickel-back, he's our official Big-guy-back. I wouldn't mind seeing him get more playing time, but with Russell and Jones there just isn't any need to fill in a young guy. He's going to make it hard in deciding how much to offer Russell for next year.
Man, how about Sean Jones? He making me hate Butch Davis just a little bit less. Great interception, great tackling. He probably won't be in the running for the Pro Bowl, but he deserves a spot.
Andra Davis looked alot more like his old self. Before yesterday, I was starting to wonder if he had gone soft since getting his new contract. Its good to see that he has realized there is a problem, and has taken steps to fix it. I don't want to give inordinate blame to him, but the loss to San Diego was partly because of his getting taken out of those running plays.
And Kamerion Wimbley again impresses. With his sack yesterday, he surpassed last year's team sack leader. In fact, his 5.5 sacks is nearly 25% of total sacks the team had ALL of last year. And beyond the pass rushing, he's really looking like a complete LB. And the way he was able to catch Warrick Dunn from behind. Man, this guy's speed is unbelievable some times.
Most importantly though, I'm just really impressed with the coachs' abilities to plug their guys into roles, and to keep the D's holes hidden. Simon Fraser, Leon Williams, Brodney Pool, all are able to contribute in specific situations, and are played in exactly the right situations.
One last downer note: I was on the road for the first half of the game, and was listening to the radio as the last seconds of the first half came to a close. So, I didn't see the 1-second-left-Supposed-to-Hail-Mary-but-Frye-Fumbles-and-Altanta-nearly-laterals-their-way-to-the-endzone play. So I'm not sure how much blame lies on Frye's shoulders. But, dammit, what is this kid thinking? There are so many acceptable outcomes to that play. You can throw the pass. You can throw an incompletion. You can throw it away, even if you're going to take a grounding call. You can kneel it. You can take the sack. But the one, single, unacceptable outcome, is to give up the fumble.