|Browns revive season with Giant upset|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 14 October 2008 11:38|
All that was missing from the wild celebration following Cleveland's shocking 35-14 win Monday night over the New York Giants was the obligatory bucket dumping.
Coach Romeo Crennel saved the chilly dousing for Tuesday.
One day after the Browns' stunning upset of the defending Super Bowl champions, Crennel delivered a sobering message so his team, still trying to dig its way out of a 2-3 start, doesn't get carried away by 60 successful minutes.
``We still have a lot of work to do,'' Crennel said during his news conference. ``The season is still a long season and just because we won one game it doesn't put us in the playoffs. We're not even .500.''
the expansion era - or any other - the Browns dominated the favored Giants, who came in unbeaten, riding an 11-game road winning streak and on the best-teams-in-the-NFL short list.
But beginning with wide receiver Braylon Edwards' 49-yard reception on the game's third play, the Browns controlled one of the NFC East superpowers. And, finally, with 73,000 frenzied fans on hand and millions of skeptics watching on TV, they looked like the team everyone expected them to be coming into the season.
With their season on life support, the Browns pulled through.
``It's the guys I've been telling you about,'' said quarterback Derek Anderson, who rewarded Crennel's faith and silenced more critics by throwing for 310 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. ``I never doubted it - ever. It's the same guys that made plays last year all season.''
Cleveland's offense was so efficient that punter Dave Zastudil's only assignment was to hold for kicker Phil Dawson on field goals and extra points. It was the first time the Browns have not punted in a game since 1995.
wrinkles, putting the versatile Joshua Cribbs in the shotgun and calling a reverse for reserve running back Jerome Harrison, who went 33 yards to set up a field goal.
Anderson barely got his uniform dirty as his line gave him ample protection while leading Cleveland on five scoring drives in eight possessions. The other three ended with Dawson missing a 51-yard field goal, the end of the first half and Anderson taking three kneel downs in the closing seconds.
The Anderson-to-Edwards connection, so lethal last year, clicked better than at any point so far in 2008. On the first play after the Giants took a 7-3 lead in the second quarter, Edwards lost cornerback Aaron Ross with a double move and caught a 70-yard pass from Anderson.
The Pro Bowlers had been out of sync, partly the result of missing extended time during the preseason because of injuries. But they're slowly developing the chemistry that made them one of the league's top combinations in '07.
``We were just in a freakish rhythm,'' said Edwards, who caught five passes for a career-high 154 yards - 59 more than his season total through four games. ``If we continue that rhythm, who knows what can happen. I told D.A., 'I've never seen you play like this.' He was in a zone and that's the kind of guy we need to finish the season.''
k quarterback Eli Manning and forced him to throw three interceptions, the last of which was returned 94 yards for a game-sealing touchdown by cornerback Eric Wright with 8:07 left.
The Giants rolled up 181 rushing yards but those were offset by Manning's mistakes.
The Browns weren't perfect - far from it. The league's most penalized team committed 10 infractions, six of them false starts, mistakes that can be corrected.
Crennel knows his team is flawed, but may be finally fulfilling its promise.
He had no clue Edwards was going to perform a tumbling routine during pregame introductions. Bounding out of the tunnel, Edwards completed a perfect cartwheel into a back flip that won high marks from stunned teammates and Browns fans.
His coach wasn't as impressed.
``Let me take a look at it and see and maybe I'll give him some style points,'' he said. ``I do know a little bit about gymnastics and floor exercise. I don't know if he did a round off after the cartwheel or not.''
Edwards' acrobatics were followed by a daring move by the Browns, who vaulted themselves back into the AFC picture.
``It was a confidence builder, to go out there and beat those guys,'' Edwards said. ``It's a springboard. It moves us forward. It's a new season for us.''