By Brad VanFossan
Browns fans were tired of their team trying hard, coming close to winning, and falling short. Five times this had happened in the 2012 season (well not so close in NY but they started great). And going back to the 2011 season, the Browns had lost 11 straight coming into their October 14th match-up at home vs. the Bengals. Things were looking good early as the Browns drove to around the Cincy 30 only to have a deflected Brandon Weeden pass picked off, killing momentum and the energy in the stadium.
Cincinnati then went on to take a 7-0 lead on a play that featured a Browns Sunday special: several missed tackles. I sat in the crowd to hear moans and mumbles and f bombs being dropped. I was moaning a bit myself in my new Trent Richardson Nike jersey purchased at a discount due to my previous 30% off Kohl's coupon spree (thanks Kohl's cash). I was wondering, why did I get a Browns jersey? But when you're there, you get sucked back into your roots and it's hard to hate them. Even though I have left that place several times doing just that. And I'm sure I will hate them more this year again at some point. But as the game went on, they showed signs of being an NFL football team, albeit it helped that the Bengals at times didn't look like one.
While I still think head coach Pat Shurmer should be and will be let go, along with team President Mike Holmgren, the Browns showed some signs of promise today, but offensively and defensively. There is some young talent in Weeden (ok not so young as he turned 29 today), Richardson, WR Josh Gordon, CB Joe Haden, and DE Billy Winn to name a few. The Browns have shown for two straight weeks the ability to throw the deep ball in 62 and 71 yard touchdown passes respectively, and they have been able to run the ball decently with Montario Hardesty even contributing today in place of the slightly banged up Richardson, who should be ok to go next week.
It is almost Halloween and I'm not sure if this win was a trick, but I think it was a treat for Browns fans and one of a few to come from this year that looked like it was de-railing faster than Taken 2 at the Box Office. As the Colts, Redskins, Chiefs, Chargers and even at least one of the Pittsburgh games look winnable in my humble opinion. But no matter how bad the first five weeks were, this time the Browns tried and they did, getting what matters most in the world of the NFL.....a win.