Browns-Dolphins: Report Card

The grades are in for the Browns performance against Miami, and it's a mixed bag, as you would expect. Here's's take on how individual units performed during the Browns 41-31 win over the Dolphins.

The Browns offense seems to have found itself since Derek Anderson took over as the quarterback.

Even with an off day against New England, the Browns have averaged 32 points per game since Anderson took over as the signal caller for Game 2. Anderson has thrown eight interceptions, but he's also thrown 14 touchdowns and has a passer rating of 88.9.

In Sunday's 41-31 win over Miami, Braylon Edwards tied a team record with three touchdown receptions, and Anderson had a 142.5 passer rating.

The Browns have scored 40 points twice this season, and their 167 points are 71 fewer than their total for all of 2006.

"We knew it was there," guard Eric Steinbach said. "They've always had the skill guys the last few years, but you've got to put it all together."

The Browns are doing that, and it has helped them enter their bye week with a .500 record. That is their best at this point of the season since 2003, when they finished 5-11.

"I think," running back Jason Wright said, "that we're only scratching the surface of what we can be."

QB COMPETITION REGRET: The Browns now feel that the uncertainty over the quarterback spot in training camp and preseason hampered QB Derek Anderson.

In that time, the Browns bounced between Anderson and Charlie Frye, and they never committed to one. That affected the confidence of both players.

"There was a lot of talk, and lot of uncertainty about what was going on at that position," receiver Braylon Edwards said. "I believe early on it affected him. It affected the team. Now that (Anderson's) calmed down, now that things have gone away and he's allowed himself to play, he's having a great year for us."


PASSING OFFENSE: A -- The numbers tell the story with this one. Derek Anderson threw for 245 yards and three touchdowns as the offense scored 41 points. Not much more to ask for there. The other key stat: Anderson threw zero interceptions. The Browns seemed as impressed with the one time Anderson threw the ball away as they did with any of his touchdowns.

RUSHING OFFENSE: C -- Not much accomplished, but with Jamal Lewis out, not much was expected. Jason Wright took over for the bulk of the duties, and Wright is not a breakaway threat or a speed demon. Jerome Harrison's performance as the change-of-pace back was impressive; Harrison averaged 7 yards per carry.

PASS DEFENSE: D -- The Browns intercepted Cleo Lemon twice, but he still threw for 256 yards and two touchdowns. The main problem was that the Browns allowed Lemon to get out of the pocket and make plays. Lemon's biggest play -- a 32-yard throw to Ted Ginn Jr. -- came when he escaped the pocket and reversed direction.

RUSH DEFENSE: D -- Ronnie Brown was the sixth back to top 100 yards against the Browns this season. That's six 100-yard rushers in six games. The Browns are .500 despite their run defense, not because of it. There's little hope for improvement this season, though, so the team has to hope hard work and scheme can cover for physical flaws.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C -- Dave Zastudil averaged 29.5 yards on his two punts, but at least he was punting. Zastudil's return from injury was a bright spot for the Browns. Otherwise it was an average day, and for the Browns average means Joshua Cribbs averaged 28 yards on his kickoff returns and Phil Dawson made both his field goals.

COACHING: A -- Not everything went perfectly. The Browns let the Dolphins back in the game after they had a big lead at halftime, but they also put the game away after Miami cut the lead to three. The Browns are playing well and playing hard for their coach, and Romeo Crennel has the Browns at 3-3 heading into the bye week. For this team, that is a major achievement.

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