File that one under ‘we’ll take it’. The Browns won ugly, but they won a game on the road for the first time this season, and they won consecutive games for the first time since 2003. They overcame an early 14 point hole en route to a 27-20 victory.
Derek Anderson continued his outstanding season with 3 TD’s, one to Winslow and two strikes to Braylon Edwards. Braylon finished with 117 yards on 8 receptions, including 2 great catches. Jamal Lewis carried 17 times for 61 yards. What was perhaps most impressive however were two fourth down stops by the defense. Twice the Rams failed to convert on 4th and 1. That and injuries to Steven Jackson and Marc Bulger spelled trouble for the Rams, who will have to look elsewhere for their first win of the year.
With the win the Browns improve to 4-3. When was the last time the Browns were over .500 this late in the season? My guess is 2002 when the Browns finished the regular season 9-7 and earned the only playoff berth for the ‘new’ Browns. Cleveland hosts Seattle next week (winnable) before going on the road to face the Steelers and Ravens. Even if the Browns lose two of those next three they will be 5-5 going into a stretch that includes Houston, Arizona, the Jets, Buffalo, Cincinnati and San Francisco. All of those teams, as of this post, were under .500, with a combined record of 13-27. There is reason for optimism!