I wanted to write about the Browns’ improbable — in fact, impossible — come-from-behind overtime win over the Baltimore Ravens today as soon as the game ended, but I was so stunned by the result that my fingers refused to function.
Let’s face it — no one expected the Browns to beat the Ravens in Baltimore. The last time it happened, George W. Bush was President. And for the Browns, it was probably 1,000 head coaches and 1,000 starting quarterbacks ago. But today, they did it.
Russell informs me that the Browns defense has the highest payroll in the NFL. You couldn’t tell that by today’s game, when the Browns got gashed on the ground and made Joe Flacco and his second-string receivers look like studs. But the Ravens inexplicably became conservative when they had the chance to score the clinching touchdown in regulation, the Browns D made a stop to get the game to overtime, and then it forced a three-and-out to get the offense the ball and a chance for the winning field goal. I’ve never seen a defense so soft against the run and so incapable of sacking the quarterback or forcing turnovers — but the Browns won, anyway.
And how about Browns’ quarterback Josh McCown (or, as UJ has called him in moments of weakness, “McClown”)? He’s put up big numbers in the past three games, he threw for more than 400 yards today, he led the offense on several key drives, he didn’t throw an interception, and he spreads the ball around to skill players who can actually make plays. The notion that the Browns would score more than 30 against the vaunted Ravens defense is absurd — but with McCown at the helm they did so, anyway.
Of course, Browns fans everywhere are pumped about the victory and are looking forward to more offensive fireworks to come. I’m going up to the game next weekend, for a matchup against Denver that is perfectly set up to be a horrible disappointment. Don’t blame me for my pessimisn . . . I’m just a world-weary Browns fan who’s seen the little sparks of hope in seasons past die horrible, soul-crushing deaths before.
So I’m not even going to think about next week’s game. For now, I’m just going to enjoy the ride.