Someone had to win! Last night I made the trip to Cleveland to watch the 0-3 Cleveland Browns host the 0-3 Chicago Bears. The game was rather uneventful an lacked much excitement. Never the less I came out of the stadium knowing a few things I didn’t know when I went in.
The days of solid defense in Chicago are over. The D line was beaten up ,and ran over all night long. Cleveland running backs had holes to run through that I could have driven my car through. Every running back Cleveland put in the game had success. Jason Wright had 9 carries and racked up 41 yards. Jerome Harrison came in next and carried a mer 7 times for 35 yards and a touchdown. In the second half Cleveland running back Travis Thomas ran 11 times for 70 yards. It didn’t matter if the Bears starters or scrubs where on the field, you really couldn’t tell them apart.
The Bears can say what they want, they still have a quarterback situation. Neither guy has done anything to step up and take over the position. Kyle Orton completed 4 of 7 passes for 51 yards and threw an interception. Orton’s interception was due to him getting hit and the ball floated a little, the pass just came up short. The impressive part of Orton’s game was that he appeared comfortable in the pocket and made his reads. He didn’t force anything or appear to be in a hurry.
Rex Grossman looked solid completing 5 of 7 passes for 59 yards and a touchdown. The interesting thing with Rex is his ability to look like a pro bowl caliber player on one play ,and then look like a JV backup on the next. His touchdown pass was a great play, Rex stood tall in the pocket, made his reads and took the checkdown on the crossing route. Just a few plays before that Rex looked lost, Grossman had wide receiver Mark Bradley wide open on a go route and floated the pass 3 steps ahead of the receiver incomplete. On the go route Grossman short stepped and short armed the throw, appearing as if he was scarred to get hit. Bears rookie quarterback Caleb Hanie was impressive to say the least. This guy showed me something, I’m a Caleb Hanie fan. Caleb completed 12 of his 17 passes for 115 yards and an interception.
Caleb looked strong in the pocket and had the ability to shake off the defender. On what I believe was his second play of the game, Hanie took a busted play and rolled right cutting upfield for a 15 yard rush. The play showed a real ability to make a quick decision. Caleb also had a couple situations where Cleveland came with the blitz, He squared up with the defender and made a move allowing the defender to roll right off. After Caleb shook the defender he would quickly roll outside and deliver the ball down field. He showed the ability to deliver the ball deep down field with accuracy, had a long touchdown pass that was taken away via penalty. Never the less he made a good read on that play and delivered the ball where it needed to be.
Brady Quinn is progressing, Brady lead the Browns on two early scoring drives in his two series. Brady looked confident in the pocket completing 7 of his 9 passes for 65 yards. Quinn made quick reads and delivered the ball on target ,Using mostly short to intermediate routes. There is something to be said about the fact that Cleveland had a 10 – 0 lead when Brady Quinn left the game.
If this game is any indication of the kind of season these two teams are going to have, I pray for all fans of Cleveland and Chicago. Both teams showed flashes of brillance, both both will have you pulling your hair out as well. Cleveland committed 5 penalties for 45 yards, each of them seemed to stop a drive or force the Browns out of a scoring oppertunity. Chicago comitted 9 penalties for what I believe was close to 100 yards.