I’m happy to see that the Browns got off the schneid yesterday. They won their first game of the season, beating the Bengals at home 23-20. As they have done every game this season, the Browns got a lead, but this time they managed to hold on for the win after Cincinnati came roaring back. When crunch time came, the defense got some pressure on Carson Palmer and forced a punt, and the offense — led by the stout running of Peyton Hillis — got a crucial first down and ran out the clock for the win.
We shouldn’t get carried away with yesterday’s result. After all, the Browns are 1-3. From what I’ve seen of their games this year — and the Columbus CBS affiliate has twice shown the Bengals rather than the Browns when their games have aired at the same time — the Browns aren’t going to score points in bunches, and they are prone to getting burned through the air. Even more irritating, they seem to commit dumb penalties at key points in the game, like yesterday’s unnecessary roughness infraction that allowed Cincinnati to get a late TD. Still, a win is a win.
When you are 0-3, your principal goal is not to be 0-4. The Browns accomplished that goal. Four other NFL teams didn’t. Next week Atlanta comes to town, and the Browns will be working to keep the ball rolling.