Tales from a Dorkbook: Third Quarter

A hobbling QB, a hobbling running back, a nervous rookie QB. No problem, right? Right?


* Jake Delhomme looks like he's the man in the third quarter, and Colt McCoy is swallowing hard on the sidelines. Delhomme didn't look like he was completely set to go on that leg during the late second and I am officially very nervous about an immobile QB coming in against this rush.

* Titus Brown just LEVELS Weems at the 15 on the kickoff. Weems is going to be spending a lot of quality time in the whirlpool.

* Wallace has a right ankle injury and his return is questionable. I cannot reprint the words I said when I heard this. Fortunately, Wallace re-emerges moments later on the sidelines.

* Kenyon Coleman. Whoda thunk it? Maybe the best year of his career. The big man recovers another fumble, following Matt Ryan getting blasted by Scott Fujita and the Browns take over at the Falcwads 25. Wonderful.

* Sean Weatherspoon is the real deal, as he breaks up a pass to Cribbs. Weatherspoon was a guy we were watching closely during off-season workouts and he's everything we thought he might be. But Peyton Hillis is even more real, getting the ball again and pounding the ball inside the two. Wow. If the Browns want to win this game, he'll have to see the ball more in the second half.

* Phil Dawson ties Lou Groza with his field goal with 9:57 left in the third. Dawson is the beneficiary of a longer 16-game season, but deserves the plaudits which will follow passing "The Toe". He's labored in expansion darkness for ten years, and it's great to see at least one player on this team be a "Browns lifer".

* Harry Weems somehow gets 32 yards on a kickoff return. He seems faster than in the first quarter. I think that the reason for that can be summed in the phrase "abject fear". Weems has taken a pounding today.

* Following the Browns first drive in the second half, the time of possession battle shows the impact of the Falcons turning the ball over on a blocked kick and a fumble. The Falcons are up on the Browns 19:02 - 16:07 in time of possession. Not good, but better than it was looking in the second quarter. The Browns still, though, only have 19 yards rushing.

* Blake Costanzo got hurt during the kick off return, and now Sheldon Brown is down on the field. Folks who wanted to see more of Joe Haden may be about to get their wish, but not how they wanted.

* Sheldon Brown immediately returns after being hurt, but the Falcons go right after him. He is left on his own, with absolutely no safety help downfield, as Ryan and White burn the Browns for a 45 yard TD reception to take a 13-10 lead. I would really like to understand what the safeties were doing on that play. I've DVRing this game to watch it and need to understand... where they blitzing... pressed up for run support... slow to recognize what was happening? What? Something was very wrong on that play. It makes no sense.

* Jake Delhomme and the Browns hobble their way to a decent drive, but the Browns QB looks like he's in pain. Also in visible pain is running back Peyton Hillis, who constantly tries to stretch his thigh to deal with the hamstring problem.

* The Browns are forced to punt from near mid-field. Joe Haden really shows his athleticism as he skies to bat the punt back out of the end zone. That If the amount I can jump is defined as a "McBride", Haden hit about 1,672 McBrides on that one.

* I actually can't jump very much. Or run. But I'm a decent typist.

* Eric Wright's tackle on Douglas on third down around the Falcons ten was a very nice play amidst a very nice game. Wright has been taking it on the chin in our weekly Gameballs and Goats, but he gets credit for a nice comeback in this one.

* I'm seeing some toughness on this offense. Delhomme hobbles in, hands off to Hillis, who bangs for nine yards, and hobbles back off to stretch that thigh. There's some guts on display this afternoon.

* At this point, Harrison is six carries for six yards. The Browns running back simply can't get away from Falcons defenders and hasn't been in a situation where he's been in space at all. Harricalf up the middle. Harrison is a little like William Green and Jamal Lewis in that he needs to get the rock at lot before he can break one. He'll be 1 yard, two yards, two yards, 1 yard, three yards, 20 yards. He can't get into a rhythm much as the back coming in, it seems.

The Browns end the quarter down three, hurt, and in a bad situation. The odds are against them. Now is the time to see if they are made of sterner stuff than their critics expect.

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