Taylor's Pregame 12-Pack

He's tanned (not really), he's rested (you kidding?), he's ready (maybe)! Yes, John Taylor has had a bye week to get his thirst going for another pre-game twelve pack. Belly up to the bar, people.

Thoughts, notes, questions, suggestions and random snottiness as the Cleveland Browns attempt to get their season back on track – one final time, honest – against the New York football Giants.

  • Another week, another "crossroads" game. Another gameday where all the hype leading up to the contest is that THIS is the week the Browns turn it around, that NOW is the time to regroup the crew, put it all together and start steering the ship away from the looming iceberg. Sorry, I'm not buying it. Not anymore. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me for a decade, shame on me. I'm now hailing from the great state of Missouri; start showing me on the field, not through some lame-ass locker room and radio interviews.

  • You know, in a lot of ways, Browns fans are like battered wives. Every weekend, their team gets drunk, slaps them around, then, when they sober up, they apologize for their actions and very firmly state that "it'll get better, I promise." Then, the next weekend rolls around, and it's the same shotgunning of beers and ritualistic beating. And the sad part is, except for the 2007 season – when, apparently, the team went on the wagon and started attending AA meetings – this fan base has been getting the shit kicked out of them for the better part of ten years. And yet, they willingly keep coming back, season after season, off-season after off-season. One of these days, though, they are all gonna wake up one morning and realize that they don't need this constant abuse and move on. And that should scare the living crap out of this owner.

  • Another thing I'm getting tired of: the company line regarding Derek Anderson, how four games are too soon to judge him and yank him from the starting line-up. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this type of play during early part of this season was seen during the last seven or so games of the 2007 season. That means, if my calculator's not broken and my calculations are correct, that we have roughly eleven games in a row where DA has failed to live up to the hype of his first eight starts. That's not a pattern; that's a huge, blinking sign warning of impending doom.

  • How ugly will Cleveland Browns Stadium get if Anderson is even slightly off on the first offensive series of the night? Or, God forbid, he were to throw a pick in the opening stanza? Fans are chomping at the bit to start the "Brady! Brady! Brady!" chant, and a less-than-perfect DA, even in the initial stages of the game, will turn the home-field advantage into a crescendo of boos and calls for the most popular player on a football team. The pressure on this starting quarterback has never been greater; then again, we all know how Anderson performs well when the heat is on (insert eye roll and shaking head here).

  • The Browns get Dainty Stallworth into the lineup tonight, but will be without Kellen Winslow due to an "illness". That's like having the filet mignon with all the trimmings ripped away from you at the dinner table and replaced by a Spam sandwich, with a side order of macaroni & cheese. And not the smooth, creamy homemade version. Or even the Kraft variety, either. No, you'd be getting the off-brand, Aldi's variety. The one that tastes like regurgitated Kraft mac & cheese.

  • Speaking of Winslow, there are a lot of jokes that I could throw out there to make light of his "situation". I'm not gonna go there. Nope. That would juvenile and immature and morally reprehensible. Plus, I just don't have the balls to do it.

  • Good job, Corey Williams, firing up the football team. Too bad it was the defending Super Bowl champs and not your own squad. This Monday nighter had all the makings of the proverbial "trap" game; unfortunately, your 1-3 ass just had to pop-off about a running back averaging almost six yards a carry on a 4-0 team. Genius. Pure genius. One piece of advice: watch your knees. That is all.

  • It'd be easy to sit here and point to the opening drive of the Bengals game, when the Browns pounded Jamal Lewis for the bulk of the opening drive, and say "see, that's what the Browns need to do!" I've seen the Giants' defense. I know the Giants' defense. The Giants' defense is a friend of mine. The Bengals' defense is no Giants' defense. At some point, the Browns are going to have to beat teams vertically; or, at the very least, make teams BELIEVE there is the threat of getting vertical. Until then, teams will continue to stack the box against the Browns, and no amount of ramming the ball into the teeth of the defense – especially one as stout as the Giants' – will be effective without that threat.

  • After tonight's game, the ESPN talking heads could very well be thinking to themselves – or saying out loud, for that matter – "we have these guys two more times this season?!?!" To that I would respond with "I have to listen to Tony Kornheiser two more times AND watch this crap another eleven times?!?!" Your schtick in short, twenty-two minute PTI bursts is palatable, Tony; for three and half hours on Mondays, it's completely unbearable. Every time I'm driving down the road after listening to one of your broadcasts, I wanna jerk the wheel into a (religious bad word) bridge abutment.

  • And if Romeo Crennel once again fails to pull the trigger on a struggling starting QB, bridge abutment here I come!  The sweet release of death, I long for your gentle touch. I saw that on a Hallmark card once.  Honest.  Or maybe it was tattooed on some Goth chick's forehead I saw walking through the mall.  One of the two.  Either way, it is eerily appropriate for the thought of the head coach keeping the safety on when it comes to the quarterback position.

  • If you can't tell by now, I really do not have a good feeling about this Monday night "showdown". And why should I? What have the Browns shown me in the first four games, other than the fact they can – barely – beat a Carson Palmer-less Cincinnati Bengals team, that would give me the confidence they could come out and play an undefeated, defending Super Bowl champs close, let alone beat them? Again, I'm from the 24th state. It's gonna take a lot more than empty talk to turn me into a believer again.

  • The way the Browns are playing right now, they don't deserve a complete 12-pack. I'm drinking the last one. And many, many more before the night's over, I suspect.

LAST CALL: Giants 37, Browns 17 – And it won't even be as close as the final score would indicate. It will be yet another nationally-televised woodshedding. Prove me wrong, Browns. I dare you. I enjoy the occasional side of crow, you know. Hell, I'll even get the A-1 ready.

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