I vow to bring you the best possible analysis created by someone watching the game on TV and telling his dog to STFU and stop barking anywhere on the internet.
Latest entries are first...
- 3:46 PM: I've spend the last seventeen minutes chatting with folks via Twitter. There is not a lot of happiness in Cleveland, most of it directed at Mangini, Daboll, and Delhomme as you would expect. I'm off to digest this. Gameballs and Goats forthcoming.
- 3:29 PM: Abe Elam unloads on Fred Jackson on third down for the Bills and knocks the ball out of his hands. Key play by the defense, as the Bills punt again. Browns get the ball back at their 48, certainly good enough field position to threaten with the clock running down.
- 3:27 PM: With the pressure on, the Browns offense responds like we know they can: Three and out, nice punt by Hodges.
- 3:19 PM: Now David Bowens is face down on the field, and the parent in me is tempted to lecture Daboll and Delhomme and tell them that they're responsible for the injured defensive players, who are trying to keep the Bills from putting the game away. But I check myself, because it's not their fault.
- 3:15 PM: The ball goes back to the Bills at the Browns 23 and they start marching towards the end zone. Sheldon Brown, with a hurting right arm, gives himself up to trip up Fred Jackson using that same injured limb and is left after the play curled up on the field. The play saved a touchdown, but it looks unlikely to save the day for the Browns. Props to Sheldon for that one.
- 3:11 PM: The most exciting moment in the second half so far is waiting for an umpire to declare whether or not Delhomme fumbled. It is decided he did.
- 3:06 PM: I have written the Browns and recommended that they change the names of their four Dawg mascots to "Fumbles", "Punter", "Intern in Suit", and "Fumbles 2".
- 3:06 PM: The Bills first fourth quarter punt has bounced into the end zone. Woo hoo! One for our side. Ball at the twenty!
- 3:03 PM: Based on Twitter activity, the third quarter's Parade o' Fumbles n' Punting has put the entire remaining group of Browns fans into a light coma.
- 2:58 PM: The third quarter ends unmarred by the blemish of offensive points. It was a terrific exhibition of recovering your own offensive fumbles, however. The Browns often looked inept on offense, making Brian Daboll's job security a bit more tenuous.
- 2:56 PM: The Browns third fumble (this one by Cribbs) is again recovered by the Browns. But this one creates a second-and-21 as time ticks down in the third quarter.
- 2:54 PM: Peyton Hillis fumbles again, but the Browns again get the ball. Hillis apparently lectured Jehovah or Odin about something via Twitter during halftime.
- 2:52 PM:Peyton Hillis fumbles again, but the Browns retrieve as Hillis yanks the ball away from someone under the pile of bodies. If Peyton Hillis' life was an M. Night Shymalan movie, the role of "water" would be played by "fumbling".
- 2:49 PM: If you like punting, you've found the right game. Three punts open up the second half as neither team can mount a long-lasting drive. Another Browns game has turned into a close, low-scoring affair. Whoda thunk?
- 2:41 PM: I'm feeling a little hopeful. To start the second half, the Browns running game has seemed more effective than the Bills. Now, if we could manage to keep a scrambling quarterback under control. With that last statement, we show that the Browns problems haven't basically changed in thirty years.
- 2:42 PM: Another Browns drive dies well before its time, its arteries clogged with bad passing.
- 2:38 PM: Arthur Moats flies toward Delhomme with murderous intent. Delhomme dances around it and flicks a nice pass to Watson. Moats is the guy who hurt Farve last week and apparently reacts to aging quarterbacks the same way tormented captive bills react to red tablecloths.
- 2:36 PM: Browns manage to stop the Bills near mid-field thanks to an effective blitz. That's one for you, Rob Ryan. But I'm still not happy with the defense today. The Bills offensive line is make-shift, but is pushing back the Browns in the trenches.
- 2:34 PM: The Bills start the third quarter the same way that they ended the second - moving the ball effectively. As Steve Johnson catches a pass that gets tipped a couple of times, I reconsider my general policy of not bitching out Supreme Beings.
- 2:24 PM: I have just taken a quiet vow to read up more on the wide receivers and right tackles available in this year's draft.
- 2:22 PM: We go to halftime with the Browns down 10-6, after one of the fastest first halves in my memory. Bang, that was quick! The Bills are effective on offense, and the Browns have scored three points since four minutes into the game. Brian Daboll is being discussed in rather unflattering ways on the Internet, something that happens to offensive coordinators when their offense looks putrid. Like the Browns offense does. Again.
- 2:10 PM: As Bills drive inside the Browns ten with 30 seconds left, I should probably take the time to point out that the Browns have given up last-minute drives in the second quarter for about six or seven straight weeks. Every. Single. Week. It hasn't burned them each week, so it doesn't have public attention, but something is clearly wrong with the way we're playing against a two-minute offense.
- 2:04 PM: During the two-minute warning, the TV informs me that, in order to be a properly loving spouse, I need to give my wife a $2,000 bauble for Christmas. If I spent $2,000 on a rock, my wife would punch me in the face.
- 1:59 PM: Browns drive comes up short once again, tempting fate. Eric Alexander tags Spiller on the ensuing kick return, causing a fumble which fortuitously for the Bills bounces out of bounds. Steve Johnson has, apparently, started getting some make-up calls from God.
- 1:53 PM: Seneca Wallace comes in for one play and hands off to Peyton Hillis. Love that crazy Wildcat!
- 1:50 PM: Not the best pass ever thrown, but Delhomme picks up a 33-yard completion to Massaquoi. That should open things up a little for Hillis.
- 1:44 PM: The Bills complete a very effective drive with an 11-yard TD pass to David Nelson. Bills looked good in all phases there on offense, with Fitzpatrick's scrambling being the nitro that kicked the offensive engine into overdrive. BILLS 7, BROWNS 3, 9:28 left in the half.
- 1:41 PM: Oh, that's right. We've Cleveland sports fans. I remember now. Nevermind.
- 1:40 PM: God guides the ball into Steve Johnson's hands and he makes a first down at the Browns 26. Nice drive by the Bills, but LORD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN US?!? WHY?
- 1:38 PM: I've gone from being a Fitzpatrick advocate to actively disliking him as he does a Elway/Bradshaw/Etc imitation against the Browns, scrambling for big gains on two straight plays.
- 1:33 PM: Ryan Fitzpatrick looks as sharp as his pre-game hype indicated. He's got some decent weapons around him as well. I'm impressed so far. The Harvard alum is clearly intelligent as well, as he managed to escape the Bengals organization.
- 1:28 PM: A Browns drive is squashed on a three and out, perhaps due to something the offense tried called "passing". Reggie Hodges kicks it 51 yards as the officials try their best not to notice some pretty overt coverage penalties. That "passing" thing was weird, but the rest of it we pretty much expect.
- 1:25 PM: Something about a Verizon commercial showing an attractive woman going into a pool and coming out as Adrian Peterson is deeply disturbing.
- 1:22 PM: Hearing and reading a lot of second-guessing on the Hillis hurdles right now. That seems to have popped into existence out of nothing four minutes ago. This proves true recent radical scientific theories suggesting that it is possible to create mass out of a vacuum.
- 1:19 PM: Gocong sacks Fitzpatrick, who fumbles, Eric Wright picks it up, carries like a loaf of bread, takes it to Bills 25. Hillis tries to hurdle, gets hit mid-flight, fumbles. The Bills get the ball right back at their 31. With these plays, it suddenly becomes clear that we're watching a game between teams that are a combined 7-17.
- 1:15 PM: You have to take the Bills offense seriously, of course. Spiller dances around David Bowens, making him look a little silly, and creates a third-and-two, which the Bills convert. Bowens takes the safety's version of the walk of shame back to the Browns huddle from the Bills backfield.
- 1:10 PM: Funniest. Game plan. Ever. Brian Daboll dials up eight straight runs and the Browns drive straight downfield. Until the ball gets to the Bills 2, it's looking like Ohio State versus a Class A high school program. Hillis rambles for 49 yards in the first five minutes of the game. The Bills them remember they're paid to do this stuff, and finally stop a couple of runs. Browns settle for a field goal. This is going to be a long day for the Bills defense unless they force Delhomme to pass.
- 1:01 PM: Apparently, most of the population of Buffalo has been eaten by zombies. You know that the media and government would hide the Zombie Invasion from us, and here's proof.
- 12:54 PM: The eternal question - Why Is Alex Smith on the Roster? - has been answered today, as the veteran TE is active. Evan Moore was declared "out" last night by the Browns.
- 12:51 PM: After ten years chronicling the misadventures of a generally-awful expansion team, I sometimes think that my interest has waned, or that I'm too cynical to continue to do this. But that thrill that runs through me in the minutes before kickoff has never changed. I love football. Cleveland Browns football.
- 12:20 PM: The Browns are expected to roll all over the Bills run defense today, which is pretty much a guarantee that we'll see the Bills play their best run defense of the year.
- 12:18 PM: You have to be pretty smart to play at being dumb as well as Peyton Manning does in his TV commercials. I'm not fooled.
- 12:16 PM: I've turned off The Posies and turned on an NFL pre-game show. FML. The interview with Charlie Casserly actually adds value, I have to admit. He's like Mike Lombardi without all the swings-and-misses and with an NFL career that wasn't, let's say, as Titanic-esque.
- 12:03 PM: I haven't checked the stats on these articles, but I know at least a couple of people read them. So, I know that a few folks read this, but, at the same time, I know the general public is generally feasting on the insights of ESPN, radio talk hosts, and their ilk. That means only a few drop through to us D-list writers. So, the question is: Is this piece read infrequently enough to allow me to mock people far more successful than I - and their life's work - without fear of being caught? This is an important consideration. I don't like being punched.
- 11:44 AM: This is an article on the subject of professional sports. There are, I feel, four types of sportswriting: beat writing (AP), commentary (think a million inch-deep attempts at insight), wisecracking bloggering, and emotional/pathos pieces (like Pluto and the criminally under-used Steve King). Sportswriting is like sculpting with Play-Doh. Good thing I'm a crappy sculptor, or I'd be upset about fate laughing and pointing fingers at me.
- 11:41 AM: I also am bracing myself for the start of NFL pre-game shows. So, I'll link another article which I think captures the issue with sports on TV pretty effectively.
- 11:37 AM: Newswire updated, old-school chat updated, GB&G ready to go post-game. I'm strangely well-organized today. Even my son is up and ready to approve comments in the OBR/FSN Ohio chat room. This is weird. Waiting for the other shoe to drop. I shouldn't store my shoes in high places.
- 11:05 AM: For those of you scoring at home (whoo! way to go!) the answers to the questions posed in the deck are: 1. Unlikely, but possible, 2. LOL, 3. That's where my money would go, and 4. Dear (supreme being of your choice), I hope not. For those of you not scoring at home, the answers are the same.