BEREA – It took most of the game, but the Browns showed their first glimpses of the vertical passing game as they threw the ball downfield in the win over the Bears late in the game.
The Browns were 0-1 in the red zone on scoring touchdowns against the Bears. They came into the game just 1-of-6 in the red zone. After Ray Mickens picked up a fumble and returned it to the Bears' 18, the Browns settled for a 19-yard field goal by Phil Dawson.
Since the Browns haven't done much in the red zone, they decided to try and score from outside the zone late in the game. Both of the touchdowns the Browns scored were from 33 yards and 28 yards as Trent Dilfer hooked up with Antonio Bryant on both occasions.
"Offensively, we were not clicking for most of the game," Romeo Crennel said. "We got back into our rhythm late in the game and made some plays that won the game. We were not sharp for most of the game, but got in a rhythm and made some plays."
Those were the first two of Dilfer's six touchdown passes that went to the end zone from outside of the 20-yard line. Three of the previous touchdowns were catch-and-runs: Frisman Jackson caught a short pass and ran 68 yards for a touchdown in the season opener against the Bengals. Braylon Edwards caught a short slant pass against the Packers and went 80 yards for the score. Steve Heiden caught a short pass and rambled 62 yards for a score also against the Packers.
The Browns are averaging 7.54 yards a pass play, but the numbers are aided by the three long catch-and-runs.
"Sometimes the opponent is the problem," Crennel said. "Sometimes you're just
not in sync. Once we got in sync, we were able to make things happen."
Braylon Update: "There's really nothing new on the procedure," Crennel said. "The doctor was satisfied in cleaning out the infection. He said he will give a timetable after checking him out later today or tomorrow when they get the culture or results from the tests back."
Other than Edwards, Crennel said the Browns came out of the Bears game with no significant injuries.
"You always have some nicks and bruises, but think we made it out of the Bears game without any major injuries."
Keep Believing: Crennel said the coaching staff has continued to preach the team needs to play the entire 60 minutes and it paid dividends on Sunday. The Browns played lackluster football for nearly 57 minutes of the 69 minutes in the game.
"If we keep playing for 60 minutes and win a game like that, it helps the players to believe what we're saying," Crennel said. "I think if we keep the game close, the players feel we have a chance to win."
By the Numbers: Through four games, the Browns have scored 65 points (16.3 avg.) and given up 74 points (18.5). The Browns are 18-of-48 (37.5 pct.) on third down, while giving up 21-of-45 (46.7 pct.). The Browns have rushed for 301 yards (75.3), while having given up 551 yards (137.8 avg.).
The Browns gave up 176 yards against the Bears, with 137 coming from Thomas Jones.
"We're not satisfied with the rushing yardage we've given up," Crennel said. "A lot of the yardage has come in the sub-defense situation. But rushing yardage is rushing yardage. If you can stop the run and make them pass it's much easier to defense.
"Most of those yards came against us in sub defense situations," Crennel said. "They cut back and had some space out there."
The Browns are plus three in turnovers. They have four interceptions and one fumble, while taking away four interceptions and four fumbles. The Browns have 25 penalties, while their opponents have 21.
Individually, RB Reuben Droughns leads the team with 276 yards on 71 carries (3.9 avg.) and no touchdowns… RB William Green has 7 carries for 12 yards (1.7 avg.)… RB Lee Suggs has yet to carry the ball from scrimmage, but has two receptions for 7 yards…The Browns have no rushing touchdowns thus far… WR Antonio Bryant leads the team with 21 receptions for 255 yards (12.1 avg.), including two touchdowns… K Phil Dawson is 8-of-8 on the season. He is 5-of-6 on PATs... QB Trent Dilfer is 92-of-138 for 1040 yards (66.7 pct.), with six touchdowns and four interceptions. Dilfer's QB rating is 91.5.
Just Average: Crennel was asked what areas the 2-2 Browns are above average. He wasted no time in replying, "We're just average in all areas."