BROWNS WIN, AND THAT AIN’T BAD
If you can’t get ecited about the Browns 26-24 triumph over the New Orleans Saints yesterday, either you don’t like football or your heart must have stopped. There are plenty of reasons for optimism following the last second march to victory that was engineered by quarterback Brian Hoyer, so lets examine that list.
The Browns won their first home opener since 2004, and ending that 10 year draught is cause for celebration in itself. They also defeated a quality football team. The Saints Drew Brees is one of the top five quarterbacks in the NFL. New Orleans isn’t the world’s greatest road team, but any win over a squad with that much talent just can’t be overlooked.
Hoyer was far from perfect yesterday, but he showed signs of the player we saw early in 2013. The clutch throws in the final drive speak for themselves, but the scoring drive that put the browns back in front after the Saints stormed back to take a 17-16 lead was the most important possession of the contest.
The Browns have scored 53 points in two games, and they’ve done so without the services of their two best receivers. Instead of making excuses for the absence of Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron, other players on the roster found ways to help their team win. There are no guarantees for the remainder of 2014, but a win over a quality team this early in the season is certainly a step in the right direction.
“I’m extremely proud of the performance,” coach Mike Pettine said at his Monday afternoon press conference. “The outcome was just a result of all the work that’s gone into this. It did a lot to validate what we’re trying to build here, because the only thing that truly does that is winning football games. I thought we showed great toughness, great resilience. There were points in that game where it could have slipped away, and I thought our guys did a great job of staying right in it right until the end.”