The Browns survived the storm on Sunday, but let’s hold off on the champagne for now.
They say that’s Derek Anderson sliding through the snow to celebrate a Browns’ victory over Buffalo. I see a 3 in there somewhere, so I’ll have to take their word for it. Anderson, who admitted he’d never played a game in conditions remotely close to this, spent the majority of the game watching his big running back carry the pile 3 or 4 yards. Watching the game with me, Mrs. Adjustments repeatedly said, “I can’t believe they didn’t cancel this game.” She grew up in Kentucky, where they probably would have cancelled it.
This was a game built for Jamal Lewis. As many have already said, his stature and short choppy running style are perfect for these conditions. I’m frankly surprised that he didn’t find the end zone. Lewis ran for 163 yards, averaging just a hair under 5 yards per carry. His counterpart on the Bills had a decent game going early on, but finished with 82 yards on 21 carries. It was Lynch’s first time running in these types of conditions.
The Browns looked to be in their element. They certainly seemed to be the most confident and sure-footed of the two teams out there. The defense was aggressive, daring the Bills to try and beat them through the air. Safeties Brodney Pool and Sean Jones crept up to the line of scrimmage early and often to make plays in the running game. The defense pitched a shut-out, and my first reaction was that there probably should be some type of asterisk next to this shut-out, but then I reconsidered. If we had shut-out the Buccaneers, or the Dolphins, or the Cardinals I would say none of those teams are designed to play in these type of conditions, and you could understand why they would struggle. But these are the Buffalo Bills! Last time I checked their weather was about the same as ours. They get no sympathy from me. Edwards and Lynch are California guys who looked startled to even be standing around in snow like this, let alone trying to play football.
So congrats to the Browns and especially Phil Dawson, who made one extraordinary kick, and one jaw-dropping, holy crap kick! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves guys. We haven’t clinched anything yet. We are not yet officially in the playoffs. And there is certainly no reason to be making these kind of comments-
“We should have beat them the second time we met them,” Browns tight end Kellen Winslow said of the 31-28 loss Nov. 11 in Pittsburgh. “If we had won that, we could have locked it up in the next two weeks. We have as many wins as they have, and if we win out, we’ll get it.”
“I said all along we were going to turn some heads this year,” Winslow said. “Obviously, it’s shocking to see the progress we have been doing. I knew in the end we were going to be in this situation. I wrote down in my notebook in the preseason we were going to be 11-5, and we have a chance to reach that. There have been some people talking about 9-7, and I tell them, ‘ No, we’re going to be 11-5,’ and we have a chance to make it.”
You were doing so good keeping your mouth closed this year Kellen. You were letting your game do the talking for the most part. Did it not dawn on you that you may have to play Pittsburgh in the playoffs? Better get out there and back it up next week against the Bengals. Or that 11 win prediction won’t mean much.