- Heading into the Monday night showdown against the Philadelphia Eagles, I had hoped for the best, but expected the worse. In any event, it was bad, really bad, as the Browns only challenged the Eagles following their initial scoring drive of the game.
- I know, I know, we have heard it before and stressed the point time after time throughout this 2008 season -- the Browns' lack of pass rush simply kills any chances this defense has in holding down the opposition. On this day, the Eagles' offense attacked the Browns' defense effectively. They watched the CB's and LB's drop into coverage and picked away at the soft zones. McNabb and Company were effective to the point where they moved the ball into Browns territory easily and repeatedly.
- It was interesting to see the Browns get into the correct defensive alignment on many occasions against the Eagles, only to have limited success against the Philadelphia offense. These Eagles are playing very well at the present time, a team that's firing on all cylinders.
- Kudos to OLB Willie McGinest. While the season has been lost for many weeks, the veteran continues to play and leaves everything on the field. I cannot say the same for some other talent in the Cleveland locker room. Yes, McGinest is a team-first player, but it's sad that a 36-year old player with more than a decade of time under his belt retains the energy and desire to succeed, while other members of the team he lines up with lack a sense of urgency and drive.
- The injury to RB Jerome Harrison leaves head coach Romeo Crennel somewhat off the hook in this game; however, where was TE Martin Rucker? I would also add LB Beau Bell into the mix, but it must be that lingering knee issue that left him inactive. Hmmm.
- The Browns attempted to run the football -- somewhat -- against the Eagles. Banged-up RB Jamal Lewis looks like a player battling through hamstring, shoulder and neck issues; with that being the case, I'm just wondering where Lawrence Vickers, Jason Wright and Allen Patrick (recently signed off the practice squad) were. OK, Wright has battled knee and shoulder issues, but Vickers could have been given an opportunity in the run game, while Patrick was the invisible man.
- If not for depth issues, rookie NT Ahtyba Rubin may be riding the pine like the before-mentioned rookies. Filling in for NT Shaun Rogers, Rubin is gaining experience that is a definite help in developing the player. Rubin is improving and showing signs he could be a viable option within the interior of the Browns' defensive line.
- All the excuses in the world will not satisfy my concerns about the lack of offense this Browns team generates. I have viewed worse teams with obvious talent issues maintain the ability to put an occasional seven-spot on the scoreboard. Watching this offense go through the motions at times puzzles me. The lack of focus within this unit is alarming, especially when QB Ken Dorsey makes some bold throws and this unit simple melts down due to focus and execution issues which have been hampering that side of the ball throughout the season.
- Braylon Edwards again played well on the center stage. Can someone within the organization brainwash the WR into believing every game is important, not just the games that are played on Monday night? As for Edwards, nice to see him hold onto the football and make plays -- too bad it comes in the 14th game of the season and not the first.
- Lining up against the largest offensive line in the game, DE Corey Williams was active and did make his presence known on a couple occasions against the pass. He also fared well against the run. Battling a shoulder issue which is believed will require an off-season procedure, Williams fought hard in this game -- this is one player that possess the qualities you want in a locker room.
- ILB D'Qwell Jackson again was all over the field and in the middle of numerous plays. Jackson has had a solid season and should continue to improve as the talent and scheme evolves in Cleveland. Jackson will never be known as the type of LB who will blow-up ball carriers, but he is talented and could provide a consistent presence within the defensive scheme.
- 14 games into the season and I am left wondering what the role of WR Donte Stallworth is. Stallworth has not been a presence in the Browns' offense and is often bypassed as an option in the passing game.
- As has been the norm for many weeks, the right-side of the Browns offensive line has been mediocre. Against the Eagles, the pass rush coming strong-side was a factor (as was the weak-side rush), but the ability to drive the opposition off the ball was minimal. The Cleveland offense has gotten to the point of not running right.
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