The Bengals are 7-4 heading into Week 13; the Browns 4-7. The Bengals swept the season series with both contests being close. The outcomes could easily have gone the other way, and if they had, the Brown would be 6-5 with a good head of steam. Four out of their next five games are against Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Playoff talk would be rampant in Cleveland right now, even with their best wins by far coming against the Bengals.
Unfortunately for Browns fans, that's not the case as they suffer through another lost season. Yet we saw their offense start to come around last week. Peyton Hillis is finally healthy and Colt McCoy is starting to put it together. The Browns D has looked pretty good all year. Maybe the Bungs were lucky to finish playing them when they did.
So, can the Browns salvage their season and play the two big boys in the division tough? One win against each team would help open the door for the Bungles. It would be another lucky break in this season of lucky breaks. It all starts later this afternoon with the Browns at home against Baltimore.
And with the Bungs getting slaughtered today against Pittsburgh, they'll need that extra luck.
This message has been edited by psychostats on Dec 4, 2011 10:56 AM
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McCoy has not looked like he's the answer to the ongoing quarterback crisis. Sports Illustrated's Peter King gave him a "D" grade recently. Reader email is divided, but more and more wonder when McCoy will show something.
It is true what McCoy lacks: a stable of play-making wide receivers, separating from defenders like celebrities from spouses; an All-Pro offensive line, allowing patterns to be timed by sun dial; a running back able to hit 'em where they ain't or in the mouth, as the occasion demands.
The fact is, however, that nobody has it all, although Troy Aikman came pretty close when he was winning three Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys in the 1990s.
But when you look around the league, the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger is playing behind a patchwork line.
Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Tom Brady are playing at near-historic levels because they have to. Their defenses resemble O.J. Simpson after, as Detective Nordberg in "The Naked Gun," he fell from the upper deck of Dodger Stadium, was flattened by a steamroller, and marched upon by the University of Southern California band. You know, sort of the Chris Gocong position, after Ricky Williams ran over him last Sunday.
Brady had a wide receiver in Deion Branch who was only special in Bill Belichick's system. He was a dud in Seattle. The Browns picked up Brady's starting guard, Joe Andruzzi, as a free agent in the Romeo Crennel era, then decided he couldn't play after two seasons.
But Browns fans keep thinking a football utopia is required for judgment to made about a quarterback.
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It's too soon to say McCoy can't play, period. He isn't as inaccurate as Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn. He doesn't make as many bad decisions as Charlie Frye.
This, however, is known as being damned by faint praise.
They're definitely in the land of Bengal-esque ineptitude, what with that offense which is horrible almost every single year.
It can also be said that no matter what you call the Browns' offenses since 1999, the bottom line was usually the bottom of the league in terms of production.
With the exception of 2007 when the Browns had one of those out-of-nowhere seasons with a 10-6 record and an eighth-ranked offense that scored 25 points a game, the Browns have labeled their offense different things. Fans usually just called them terrible, and had the stats to back up the insult.
For the fourth consecutive season, the Browns are destined to be in the bottom three in scoring. That's with three different coaches (Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini and Shurmur) and four different opening-day quarterbacks (Derek Anderson, Brady Quinn, Jake Delhomme and Colt McCoy).