Opinions expressed may not reflect those of Bernie Kosar or BerniesInsiders.com">
Opinions expressed may not reflect those of Bernie Kosar or BerniesInsiders.com">

Gameballs and Goats: Playoff Edition

You may have wondered what happened to GB&Gs from 1/03/03. Not to go into details, but some moron put several hours into going through emails and then got to stare at a frozen PC displaying unsaved documents. Arrrrrrgh! In the immortal words of Yosemite Sam: "Webmasters is sooooooo stupid." Better late than never, I guess, here's the playoff edition...<BR><BR><I>Opinions expressed may not reflect those of Bernie Kosar or BerniesInsiders.com</I>

Each week, like we've done since 1999, we ask folks to send us three nominations for Bernie's Insiders gameballs as well as thee nominations for the team goat. We add up all the nominations and post them each week, and also keep track of the votes throughout the year.

Playoff Game Results

1. Kelly Holcomb
2. Kevin Johnson
3. Dennis Northcutt
4. Bruce Arians
5. Browns Organization
6. Offensive Line
7. Recievers

1. Foge Fazio
2. Butch Davis
3. Anthony Henry
4. Defense
5. Offensive Line
6. Bruce Arians
7. Dennis Northcutt

Weekly results throughout the year are now posted on our schedule page.

Your Comments!


Give gameballs to Kelly Holcomb for a monster game, KJ and Dennis for making the plays when we needed them. -DP10451
Kelly Holcomb - Nails.  Icewater in the veins.  Clutch.  No running game and he puts up 400+ yards.  Incredible.  I love Timmy, but it's time for him to step aside. - Mike J.

Dennis Northcutt- Good punt return, good overall recieving preformance, but he will be making my Goat list as well... - Kyle

A great big gameball for the whole Browns organization for one helluva exciting and entertaining season. - CRF

Dennis Northcutt- 2 TD's.  Get this guy in the starting line up and let him touch the ball 30- 35 times per game! - Tim O.

Kelly Holcomb, It's great to know we have two great qb's - Mike M.

Butch Davis: Got team ready to play. Coach deserves major kudos for a great
and entertaining year! - Yogi

Kelly Holcomb, We have us a quarterback if Butch Davis will wake up. - Wmg69

Kelly Holcomb: Tim Couch has been our starting qb all year, and I have supported that decision by Coach Davis.  Now I absolutely believe that between now and the start of next season Kelly Holcomb be given a fair and even shot at being the starting quarterback of this team.  In all three games he has started, he has been excellent.  I truly think he made better decisions and much better throws than Couch would have made today.  I'm sorry…I love you Tim, but Kelly has shown himself so far to be the better quarterback and I think you're gonna have a tough time convincing everyone this off-season that you should be the starter come next September. - Phil S.

Honorary gameball goes to Kendrell Bell, even though he plays for the other team, for a brave performance with an injury. - Matt W.

Kevin Johnson- A phenominal game overall. He played like a number one reciever should.

KELLY HOLCOMB!!!!!!! If there is a God(and after todays game, I am having serious reservations) he will be our starter next year. - Brian

Kelly Holcomb---is there any question now that he is the team's starter? If Tim Couch or Spergon Wynn or a 26 year old had had this game we would all be saying we have found our QB to lead us to the promised land. Tim Couch will never have a game like this, at least in the visible future. Give the job to Holcomb for the next five years and enjoy. He could be special. Let's try to get a couple of draft choices for Couch. I fear they will not be high picks. - Bob M.

Despite the horribly disappointing loss, the whole offense showed me fire today.  They put everything out there and performed admirably.  In particular, Kelly Holcomb, Dennis Northcutt, and Kevin Johnson showed me something today and deserve gameballs. - LenDawg

Holcomb-best playoff performance since Kosar.  Without a running game and only one week with the starting offense.  What's up for next year? - San Ramon Dawg

Holcomb, Holcomb, Holcomb, Holcomb did anyone else see those passes and calmness. 429 yards? The know who the starter is does the Browns coaching staff know now?! Awesome perfromance by the offense. Kelly kept his mouth shut all year, and came out and did this! Start him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  - Justin

William Green - Yeah, he didn't gain many yards because there was nothing there.  But, time after time he unflinchingly rammed it in there, and he held onto the ball. - West Texas

Browns Fans: Another heartbreaking playoff loss, and the Steelers dominance of the rivalary has gone on for far too long. And yet, we still remain the most loyal NFL fans out there. To compare, just look at all the Steeler fans leave during the third quarter. Something that would have never have happened in Cleveland. - Pete S.

Gameball to the entire football team, including the Browns new starting QB!  If they had a defensive coordinator with a brain or common sense they would have won this game.  The most exciting season in a long, long time.  The passing offense looked great! - Donn

Robert Griffith and Corey Fuller deserve a share of my last gameball for their wrecking act Sunday.  Did more to keep Pittspuke out of it for as long as the team did than the rest of the guys combined.  And that late call on Griffith was BULLPUCKY!  I for one hope both these two guys can stick around for a while. - Singapore Sling Dawg

The team for playing strong the whole game and making Vegas pay with that ridiculous 8 pt spread. - JS in CT

The whole team - They just played great and deserved to win, great season guys! - Tom C

KELLY HOLCOMB - Heck of a job for his first playoff game. Couch take notice!!! QB controversy? - VaDawgLB

Kevin Johnson: showed up big when it mattered most, earned his contract today - MykeVS

Daylon McCutcheon 2 INT's were key - Matt Wm

Gameballs to Northcutt,Johnson andMorgan. Aiso Counch for getting us this far despite all the trash that was spewed out by the media. - Jack M

Orpheus Roye - battled like a beast all game. - Rob P.

OHIO STATE BUCKEYES!!!! - Thank God I have something to smile about today!!!!!  2003 National Champions!!!!!  GO BUCKS!!!!!!!!!!

Carmen Policy -- His patience is running thin, and rightfully so! It is one thing to be in a lot of close games, but something isn't right when your team comes up short as often as the Browns do! - Brendan

Northcutt-As he has done all season,the dude just makes things happen when he gets the ball.  A more durable and versatile"Ice Cube." - Clan Meehan

Butch for getting team prepped and into playoffs - Roger

Unbelievable goat horns to Ariens for stopping what the Browns did for 3 quarters... munching on the Steeler defense. Same for Foge Fazio... allowing good talent to wallow in mediocrity during the last quarter... and last but not least... Butch for allowing those stupid changes that cost the Browns advancement in the playoffs.   - The Styyg

Unbelievable goat horns to Ariens for stopping what the Browns did for 3 quarters... munching on the Steeler defense. Same for Foge Fazio... allowing good talent to wallow in mediocrity during the last quarter... and last but not least... Butch for allowing those stupid changes that cost the Browns advancement in the playoffs.  - VegasDawg

Bruce Arians -  He don't get many gameballs, but this was one game where he had a very good game plan. Dale in Atlanta

Kelly Holcomb:  Be afraid Tim, be very afraid. - Scott

THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY BUCKEYES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!- 14-0!!!! National Champions!!!! What a weekend, despite the Browns loss! - Eric C


I have a give goat to the offensive line for letting  Holcomb get hit so much and for not run blocking. They block, Willie runs, and Browns win! - dp10451

Goodbye Foge!! You are an idiot! Hats off to the offense though! - Brian

How bout the Browns defense?? I'll name them off: Robert Griffith, Dwayne Rudd, Lewis Sanderes, Anthony Henry. The first 3 for their penalties and Henry for the droppen INT. But of course you have to include the first unemployed Brown for next season Foge Fazio. Soft zones nearly the entire 4th quarter. Every time they play that way on defense they get driven on and nothing changed today. - Daniboy24

The defense played good in the first and as soon as we got into trouble our beloved Fazio went to to the prevent and now the steelers are moving on. thank you Foge hopefully Dave Campo comes up here and maybe Fazio can teach Pop Warner kids how to stop the pass!!!!!!! - Justin

browns suck big time go steelers you people will never beat us i a meaningfull game because you allways choke lmao - Jeff (Typical Steelerfan)

Three man rush and the prevent defense as you know only prevents you from winning. This is a game the Browns had won. Foge must go! - kmscust

Holcomb - 3 delay of game penalties - ridiculous! - Roy

Butch Davis - You don't go into a prevent with 6+ minutes left!  Are you insane?  There is a reason why all these games come down to the final minute, because you have no killer instinct!  GO FOR THE THROAT!  I am tired of your postgame spin.  What did the Steelers do when they wanted to keep us out at the end?  They ran their base defense and blitzed.  Take some notes! I can not believe you are the same coach that built the Miami machine, you look like a bumbling jack--- at the end of these games. - Mike J. 

The Concept of the Prevent Defense--Whoever thought up this victory-denying scheme should be tarred and feathered. - Flynnberg

Quincy Morgan is one of the worst receivers to ever put on a Browns uniform.
That's all I have to say other than the refs gave the game to Pittspuke. - Richard M.

Dennis Northcutt- Despite the good game... he couldn't get it done when it
counted! You just can not drop that pass... - Kyle

Foge Fazio- Hell, the defense is playing great when we put pressure on Maddox. So with the game on the line lets back off and let him pick us apart AGAIN!  Time to go Foge, enjoy retirement!! - JField

Officials- did we get one call to go our way in the entire game?  I can't think of any. - Tim O

Fazio, hopefully this will be the last lead he blows for the browns and his last day working for the browns - Mike M.

Gerard Warren: His entire season was one of too few tackles and too many Twinkies! Pathetic! He's my Goat of the Year! - Yogi

Forge Fazio, You can't let a team walk down the field time after time after time after time and expect to keep your job-we need a new defensive coordinator. - wmg69

Various Defensive Players: I can't remember specific player names right now…I'm too heartbroken.  Suffice it to say that the penalties which allowed that final Pittsburg drive to survive are what cost us the game.  Just when I was thinking "Hey, we haven't been committing those rediculous penalties that always seem to kill us" we give first down after first down to Pittsburg as they march right down and take the lead. - Phil S.

Phil Simms -- Late in the fourth quarter of a close playoff game, and Phil is talking about the space heater in the broadcast booth. - Matt W.

Robert Griffith- An upgrade at free safety? HA! He was consistently out of position on many pass plays, including the Hines Ward TD, and his stupid, ill-advised late hit in the fourth quarter might have sealed his walking papers. - FGM

ANTHONY HENRY!!! Mr. Ball Magnet couldn't hang on to a INT that would of send us thru... last year was lucky.. he is nothing...  - Mike Mc30

Foge Fazio.....if this man is still employed by the Browns on Tuesday, I'll go on a hunger strike........uh, wait........uh, I'll give up beer.............uh, wait a second......uh.I'll shake my fist angrily in Foges direction. - Brian

Quincy Morgan: Shaddup your yap and learn to catch the damned ball in the clutch! - Alvin

The rest is history as Davis snatches defeat from the jaws of victory. Good headline for the Cleveland Plain Dealer tomorrow. - Shalebrook

I'm sorry, I'm tired of the Butch Davis love fest.  I'm happy with what he brings to the table and am glad he is our coach, but he needs to learn to play to win instead of playing not to lose.  He used to know how to do this at Miami blowing teams out when he had a chance to, but today, we had a few chances to go for the kill and we ran the ball (which hadnt worked all day mind you) with 6 minutes left and a 12 point lead instead of continuing to do what worked and attempt to extend the lead.  This loss goes on him and him alone.  I'm not even going to bring up that awful KJ-reverse-pass from the 2 that lost 15 yards... - BradDawg

Dennis Northcutt --- sorry to do this because you played well otherwise, but that drop in the 4th quarter cost us the game, pure and simple. You make that, we are flying out to Oakland-by-the-bay. You choked Dennis and it is a shame because you really vindicated yourself this season. - Bob M.

goat to foge or whomever is responsible for calling the kick in the nads call of all dreaded browns fan call, the "prevent(us)" from winning defense; play soft. - etomicPunk

Primary goats are the 4th quarter defense and Foge Fazio in particular.  I suspect that Fazio will take the fall for the loss, and we'll see Dave Campo step in to the Defensive Coordinator role in the next few weeks. - LenDawg

Future Goat:  To any member of the Browns organization who says after today that Couch is still the franchise guy.  Or that Holcomb put up those numbers because he faced a depleted Squealer secondary.  Or that Couch would have put the game away earlier.  This controversy should not carry over into next year; it will tear this team apart. - San Ramon Dawg

Tucker, Verba, Stokes, Ohara, Wohlabaugh! Could you please try to run block. TRY! at least! Our line still matadors when we have little success running. Third and one and holy piss you were right we got none. - Justin

Steve Heiden - Hey dork.  You're not allowed to hit the ballcarrier 10 yards out of bounds. - West Texas

The refs: To put it bluntly, they wanted Pittsburgh to come back. All of those calls on the final drive were B.S. These refs were Steeler fans. Terrible officiating towards the end there. - Pete S.

NONE - I refuse to hang my head about this one. A good season against adversity. - Rambodawg

Goats are the "defensive" coaching staff that lost the game for the Browns by switching and sticking with  "prevent" defense after they had stopped Pittsburgh all day with their regular defense.  How many touchdowns do you have to give up in the fourth quarter before you realize prevent defense isn't working?  Please hire a new defensive coordinator for next year!!  - Donn

Dennis Northcutt, on his way to a glorious gameball for his two touchdown effort blows the game with his late game drop on 3rd down.  Gotta give you the horns Denny and you gotta hang on to damn ball!! - Singapore Sling Dawg

My cousin, who couldn't say two good things about his team during the game, but called to razz me about the final score.  Loser. - JS in CT

Couch bashers - Since this is the last edition, I dont care how well Kelly played, you guys suck. - upperdawg

Goat - Fazio, hmmm, they were blitzing and playing agressive and built a 17 point lead, so maybe just MAYBE, that might have been a good way to KEEP winning, but Noooooo, let's play prevent defense, let's rush 3 and drop 8 that way Maddox has a whole millenium to pass. - Tom C

ESPN - Get off Cleveland you bunch of wanna be's!!!!! There's worse things out there. Dallas and their drugs and hookers!! Atlanta and hookers, etc... - VaDawgLB

Offensive Line: I understand the Squealers have a terrific run defense but how many times did O'Hara and Stokes get blown up inside ??  This organization has refused to spend money on a quality O-Line since its come into the league, instead choosing to invest its money in an underachieving defense.  The time has come to spend some money on quality lineman.  - MykeVS

I hate to do this, however the officials have to share the blame.  3 penalties in a row with the game on the line? Let the players play the game! - Matt Wm

Goat of the Week:  Butch Davis. Goat of the Year:  Butch Davis. The players did not lose this game.  Not offensively, not defensively.  The coaches put this team in a position to fail yet again.  This is definitely not the first time Butch Davis has allowed this to happen. - Jeff F.

Defense - Butch really needs to evaluate this whole group from the top down during the offseason. - Eric S.

Bruce Arians -- Get the damn play in sooner!!! Especially after a timeout! Even the Browns had 10 extra seconds on the play clock, they wouldn't have gotten it off on a couple occasions! That doesn't tell me crowd noise was the factor in running down the play clock. That tells me the damn coach was late signaling the play in! - Brendan

 Foge Fazio-Ww haven't had ineptitude like this since Marty drafted Junkin and Charlton.  Run his ass outta town! - Clan Meehan

Gardocki -- bad punts when we needed great - Roger

Goats to the team official who requested a reply of Burris' TD catch to burn a time-out, and although the defence played hard all game they did take 3 penalties on the second last drive that stopped the clock for Pittsburgh before the 2 minute warning. - Ron S.

Butch Davis gets a goat for going with the "prevent defense".  It does not work!  This game is more proof.  The defense did not give up a big play all day, why did he think that it would in the last 5 minutes.  When will it be removed from the play book?? - WVDawg

Goats? I can think of three right now. Davis, Fazio, and Arians. Butch for "managing" us to another loss, Foge for that "prevent" us from winning soft ass rush/secondary coverage that let them walk into the endzone, and Arians for 2 sh***y play calls preceeding Northcutt's drop. - VegasDawg

Defensive secondary - Can someone PLEASE make a play without making costly penalties!!! - Dale in Atlanta

"Mr. Fazio, this is Suzy with Wispering Meadows retirement condos, I'd like to confirm your request for a three bedroom instead of a four and zone temperature control". - Scott

DB Corey Fuller- I can recall in my photographic memory atleast 4 times in the game where fuller got burned cleanly by whoever he was covering. My Gosh corey, you're a 4-year veteran and we all thought that by now you were ready to play in high-pressure situations. - Eric C.

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