This was supposed to be bounce-back Sunday for the Browns, the day the
players took their frustrations out on an over-confident band of Chiefs from
This was supposed to be the day head coach Romeo Crennel's team proved it isn't nearly as bad as it showed in the 30-0 thumping it suffered at the hands of the Bengals the previous Sunday
This was supposed to be the day the offensive line proved it wasn't as bad as Braylon Edwards had made it out to be.
This was supposed to be the day Reuben Droughns once again ran like he did a year ago when he surpassed the 1,200-yard mark.
This was supposed to be day Edwards began to live up to his first-round draft status.
This was supposed to be the day Charlie Frye proved he has not hit a wall;
that his putrid performance against
This was supposed to be the day the Browns' defense showed it could contain one of the best running backs in the league in Larry Johnson.
This was supposed to be the day the fans, at least the faithful who bothered to show up, could hold their dawg heads high.
In a Hollywood-type setting, some or all of the above would have transpired. And a good deal of it did.
But nowhere in the script did it say anything about overtime, or the fact the man leading the Browns' incredible 31-28 come-from-behind victory would be long-dormant Derek Anderson, who in a matter of just two hours became the Browns' version of Gomer Hodge.
Hodge, as most long-time Cleveland Indians fans will remember, became an overnight sensation when he came off the bench to provide several key pinch hits for the Tribe to begin the 1971 season.
Anderson also laid a couple of hits on Chiefs defenders as he raced down the right sideline for 33 yards to set up Phil Dawson's game-winning 33-yard field goal in overtime.
Suddenly, all of the negativity that surrounded the team for the past week 10
or 11 days was forgotten. Suddenly, the rumors of Crennel's demise were
silenced. Suddenly, all was well on the
Suddenly, there is a new sheriff in town. Suddenly, there are a new batch of quarterback derby questions that Crennel will be forced to answer on a daily basis for the rest of the season if indeed Frye is healthy enough to play.
Anderson, the second-year quarterback who was claimed by the Browns via
Most importantly, he did it at a time when the team was in danger of falling apart; on the verge of being forced to make more wholesale changes that could only delay even further the team's bid for respectability.
Anderson, who had shown a very strong arm during the preseason, looked cool, calm and confident in the first extensive regular-season action of his NFL career. He had never thrown a pass in an NFL regular-season game before Sunday!
His two touchdown passes to Heiden in the fourth quarter deadlocked the game at 28-28. He made an ill-advised pass in the closing minute to ruin any chance the team had of winning in regulation, but he more than made up for it with a clutch drive in the extra session.
There was a flea-flicker, a run by Joshua Cribbs out of the shotgun and a couple of shovel passes that picked up key yardage.
There was also a return to form for Droughns, who made some moves reminiscent of a year ago.
Overall, it was an outstanding effort by the entire team, which obviously responded to some excellent coaching by Crennel and his staff. The coaches did a great job of keeping the team focused.
But there won't be very much time for celebrating considering the team will
be back in action at