The Browns picked-up their first victory of the season Sunday, defeating the Indianapolis Colts, 27-19. Without Peyton Manning under center for the Colts, the Browns, Peyton Hillis, made sure there was at least one Peyton that shined on Sunday. Here are a few notes from Sunday’s win.
– With Sunday’s win, the Browns improved to 15-12 all-time against the Colts, including a 10-5 mark on the road and a 5-4 record in Indianapolis.
– Running back Peyton Hillis scored his first two touchdowns of the season, the first on a one-yard touchdown plunge in the second quarter and later a 24-yard rush in the fourth quarter. He now has four career games with multiple rushing touchdowns and this was his first since he scored three against Carolina on November 28, 2010. Hillis led the Browns last year with 11 rushing scores. His racked up 117 total yards today with 94 rushing and 23 receiving as he tied for the team lead with four receptions.
– Quarterback Colt McCoy completed 22 of 32 passes for 211 yards with one touchdown, no interceptions and a 97.3 rating. McCoy completed passes to eight different receivers.
– Tight end Evan Moore’s 16 yard touchdown reception was his second of the season and third of his career. Moore became the first Browns player to record a touchdown reception in each of the first two games of a season since wide receiver Andre Davis in 2002 and the first Browns tight end with a touchdown reception in each of the first two games of a season since Ozzie Newsome in 1979.
– Last year, Joshua Cribbs’ longest kickoff return was 37 yards. This year, he already has returns of 51 yards (last week against Cincinnati) and 52 yards (today). Both of those returns this season have led to Browns touchdowns. With 80 kickoff return yards today, Cribbs surpassed Desmond Howard (7,959) for seventh place on the NFL all-time kickoff return yards list. Cribbs has totaled 8,034 career kickoff return yards. He also registered a 43-yard punt return this afternoon which also set up a Cleveland touchdown. The punt return was his longest since a 67-yard return for a touchdown against Minnesota on September 13, 2009.
– Defensive back Usama Young recorded his fourth career interception and first since November 15, 2009 as a member of the New Orleans Saints at St. Louis.
– Linebacker D’Qwell Jackson led the team with eight tackles. He also led the team in tackles last week with 11 against Cincinnati (9/11).
– Defensive lineman Ahtyba Rubin recorded his first sack of the season and third of his career. Rookie defensive lineman Jabaal Sheard recorded his first career sack, forced fumble and fumble recovery.
– Making his Browns debut, punter Brad Maynard punted five times with a net average of 40.2, while placing three inside the 20 yard line.
– Browns defensive back Sheldon Brown has played in 146 consecutive regular season games, a figure which currently ranks sixth among all active defensive players.
– Browns offensive lineman Joe Thomas has started and played in each of the first 66 games of his career.
– Browns defensive back Mike Adams appeared in his 100th career regular season contest.
Offensive Game Ball Goes To: Running Back, Peyton Hillis
Game Stats: 27 rushes for 94 yards and 2 TDs. He also had 4 catches for 23 yards.
– Last week, Hillis carried the ball 17 times against the Bengals. Against the Colts, he got a heavy dose of carries, running the ball 27 times during the game. If the Browns hope to build on Sunday’s win, they need to continue to feed the rock to Hillis. Montario Hardesty was expected to share the load with Hillis this season, but so far that hasn’t happened. Even if it does, you can expect another solid season from Hillis on the ground.
Defensive Game Ball Goes To: (Tie) Defensive End, Jabaal Sheard & Linebacker, D’Qwell Jackson
Game Stats: Jabaal Sheard – 5 tackles (4 solo), 1 sack, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery
Game Stats: D’Qwell Jackson – 8 tackles (6 solo)
Sheard: Browns fans are hoping that Sunday’s game against the Colts, was the start of a dominating season from the rookie defensive end. Sheard’s fumble led to a 23-yard field goal by Phil Dawson, extending the Browns lead to 27-12. The Browns defensive front four has the potential to be one of the more dominate d-lines in the entire NFL. Defensive tackles, Ahtyba Rubin and Phil Taylor, provide the beef up front, while Sheard and Jayme Mitchell hold down the ends.
Jackson: For the second consecutive week, Jackson has led the team in tackles. After missing the previous two seasons with a torn pectoral muscle, the Browns starting middle linebacker is primed for a break-out season. With the Browns switching from the 3-4, to the 4-3 defensive scheme, and Jackson is clearly benefiting from the change. In the 3-4 defense, many believe Jackson was playing out of position, but it’s hard to say with 100% certainty because of his injuries. Should he remain healthy for the entire year, Jackson could be a contender for a Pro Bowl selection when all is said and done.