So, last Sunday the Browns were beaten by a superior team. For this team to get a win in New England would have been quite an upset. The Patriots would’ve had to make multiple mistakes, and they simply didn’t. Perhaps Cleveland can find comfort that it wasn’t a blowout, and they managed to move the ball effectively without Jamal Lewis. But truth is, we never expected to win that game. And I’m not terribly disappointed by the loss. As this team continues to improve, we will go into these games expecting to win.
The Browns are keeping pretty quiet about Lewis’ injury, which of course scares the life out of me. Initial reports were that the x-rays were negative, which was good. Then a report was out that the Browns were waiting for an MRI test. What we haven’t heard yet is how Lewis feels. Is he able to run? How much pain is he in? That right there is reason for concern. I would think that if the foot was feeling well enough for him to play that we would have heard that. Silence is an indicator that he might be held out this week.
Looking at the match-up with the Dolphins this week, you might think it would benefit the Browns to hold him back. The Dolphins have yet to win a game, and will be without QB Trent Green. The Browns will certainly be the favorites, but I would sure like to have a solid running game against a team that surrenders 174 rushing yards a game.
Either with or without Jamal, this is a game the Browns should win. Now we’ll see how the young team handles playing as the decided favorite in a game. We haven’t been favored by this much in a long time. Even when we played the Raiders, we weren’t the favorite everywhere. But this win could give us some nice momentum heading into the bye week.
Think of it this way, at the beginning of the season, staring at this schedule, would you have taken a 3-3 record at the bye week? Absolutely you would have. Especially after that opening week debacle, when a lot of fans, and some ‘experts’ pegged the Browns as a 2 or 3 win team for the year. The Browns are improving, and looking for some consistency. While Eric Wright and Joe Thomas have struggled at times, they are rookies playing at two of the most important positions in football.
Looking at the schedule after the bye, I honestly think the Browns can easily be 8-8 or even 9-7 to end the year. That could be dependent on the health and effectiveness of Jamal Lewis. So let’s hope the news out of Berea is positive.