Browns-Titans: Report Card offers their perspective on the Browns play on Sunday

Trent Dilfer did a little bit to quiet the fans crying for rookie Charlie Frye to play.

Dilfer threw for 272 yards and had one touchdown and one interception (on a meaningless Hail Mary toss at the end of the first half) as the Browns ended a three-game losing streak by beating Tennessee.

Romeo Crennel has shown amazing faith in Dilfer, sticking with him through losses to three losing teams, games when Dilfer admitted he struggled.

His faith was rewarded when Dilfer found Dennis Northcutt for a 58-yard touchdown early and then added throws of 48 yards to Antonio Bryant and 41 yards to Reuben Droughns.

Those three plays accounted for more than half his passing total.

Dilfer wasn't perfect, but he did a better job of protecting the ball and he threw well in windy, blustery conditions.

Questions about his job should dim -- for one week at least.


PASSING OFFENSE: B-plus -- Trent Dilfer was pretty efficient in difficult conditions. Dilfer threw for 272 yards and had a long touchdown pass in a Browns win. He spread the ball around, throwing to seven different receivers. All in all, it was a good day for the passing game in bad conditions.

RUSHING OFFENSE: A -- It was encouraging to see the Browns hand the ball to Dennis Northcutt. That element of the team's offense has been missing all season. Northcutt showed why it should be an option during the final half of the year when he ran 31 yards on a double reverse. More encouraging was the play of Reuben Droughns, who seemed to pick up the entire offense with his energetic play and downhill running. Droughns ran for 116 yards and averaged almost six yards per carry on a day when the offense shook off the loss of guard Cosey Coleman to run for 169 yards.

PASSING DEFENSE: B -- Steve McNair completed just 18-of-41 passes, but he was playing without his two top receivers. The backups showed why they are backups by dropping five passes. McNair did all he could, and the Browns secondary played its keep-it-in-front-of-you style effectively enough.

RUSHING DEFENSE: C-minus -- The Browns have shown one thing this season: They can stay in games while not stopping the run. Tennessee's Chris Brown ran for 95 yards and ran well, but the Titans scored just 14 points. That marks the sixth week in a row that the Browns have given up less than 20 points.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C -- Kyle Richardson had an outstanding day punting in more-than-difficult conditions, but it was somewhat offset by a holding penalty that negated a field goal and a block in the back that negated another good Dennis Northcutt return. These kinds of decisions and penalties have hurt the Browns all season. They will not be a truly good team until they are stopped.

COACHING: B -- The best the coaching staff did was not allow the Browns to fold up after an embarrassing loss in Houston. That defeat could have been humiliating, but Romeo Crennel made sure the team was ready to play.

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