2008 NFL Football Season: Week 10, Browns Blow it in Quinn’s Debut

Jay Cutler Throws for 447 Yards Against Browns

Jay Cutler Throws for 447 Yards Against Browns

Denver Broncos over Cleveland Browns, 34-30

I can’t remember a year where I have seen so many close games with wild plays that determine the final outcome.  For three quarters the Cleveland Browns dominated the Denver Broncos and took a 23-13 lead into the fourth quarter.  There was nothing to indicate that Denver could get back in the game, but I told my wife “it’s not over by a long shot, it’s only a 10 point lead.”  The very next play was a 93-yard touchdown pass from Jay Cutler to Eddie Royal that cut the lead to 23-20.  This was immediately followed by a Kellen Winslow, Jr. fumble on Cleveland’s next possession that Denver turned into another touchdown to take the lead 27-23.  Those were the two pivotal plays of the game as both teams traded touchdowns late in the game. 

Cleveland has now blown two fourth quarter leads in consecutive games, dropping to a 3-6 record that all but ensures they will miss the playoffs this year.  The promise of a breakout year after last year’s surprisingly strong showing is gone, as the Browns now look to salvage their season and pin their hopes on the arm and leadership of Brady Quinn next year. 

 

The storyline going into this game was obviously the first start of Brady Quinn’s career.  Quinn acquitted himself very well and showed great promise.  He stayed poised throughout the game, threw the ball well for the most part, and played smart.  Most impressively, Quinn stayed cool once Denver took the lead late in the game and calmly drove the Browns for a go ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter on a one yard run by Jamal Lewis.  It was for naught as Denver and Jay Cutler answered with a winning touchdown drive of their own.  But even on the final desperation drive, Quinn played well and his fourth down pass to Winslow was right on the money, Winslow just didn’t make the catch.   

 

Granted Denver has a very weak defense, the Browns established a very productive running game, Quinn had excellent protection in the pocket, and the passing game was mostly a short, controlled variety with no long throws.  He also threw some odd low balls that Kellen Winslow dug off the turf bailing Quinn out.  Nonetheless, for a first start in the NFL, not bad.  Only time will tell what Brady Quinn will ultimately do in this league, but he showed enough last night to think he has a bright future.

 

And what’s up with Brandon Marshall dropping ball, after ball, after ball?  What happened to him all of a sudden? 

 

And Kellen Winslow had a great game except he had a silly offensive pass interference penalty that stymied a late drive, fumbled the ball that led to a Denver go ahead score (although it was a great strip by the defense), and he should have caught that last  pass of the game for a first down.  But he seemed to play with a lot of heart and made some nice catches.

 

Jay Cutler, with NO running game, and hurt tight end, and a receiver dropping balls all over the field still pulled out the win.  It was a very impressive outing by Cutler.  What Denver will do with no running backs the rest of the season is a mystery, but this will keep their playoff hopes alive.

 

MVP:  Jay Cutler, QB, Denver Broncos

 

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3 thoughts on “2008 NFL Football Season: Week 10, Browns Blow it in Quinn’s Debut

  1. I agree with your thoughts on Brady Quinn. I thought Brady Quinn played very well for a first start, especially considering the short week to prepare. I think the Browns made the right call getting him as much experience as possible if he is indeed to be their guy going forward.

    It will be intersting to see what the Broncos do at running back. It might be Peyton Hillis until Selvin Young comes back, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see them sign someone.

  2. I would comment on the game but you know, my cable co would have to get the NFL Network for me to do so. I’d like to take credit for Cutler’s stellar performance. He obviously heard about his dubious honor in my blog and wanted to redeem himself! HEHE Or not, but still, it’s funny!

    I’ll wait and see what Brady Quinn can do against a decent defense before I decide if he’s good enough or not. I do think Cleveland had a good game plan for him, didn’t ask him to do too much. We’ll see, may as well see what the kid can do since the season is pretty much lost.

  3. Thanks for the comment mizzou and nolebucgrl. I agree with you both. For Quinn this was an easy outing and I am sure that the weak Denver defense was part of their decision to start him. But he still looked pretty good nonetheless. As far as a short week goes, while that is entirely true, they had been giving him more reps in practice the past few weeks in case he started. I like Brady Quinn for some reason. Maybe it’s because Charlie Weiss, former New England offensive coordinator during our Super Bowl runs, was his college coach.

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