Chris from Dawgs By Nature and I exchanged 3 questions about the respective teams we blog about earlier today. The Browns fans will obviously be watching our game very closely Sunday night.
First off, I'd like to state that you made a very fair point in response to my questions in the sense that the Titans do play in the tougher division. Much has been made about a team like the Browns having an easy schedule and losing to teams with a winning record. Officially, the only team with a winning record that the Browns defeated is the Seattle Seahawks. On the other hand though, the Titans have also only beaten one team with a winning record -- the Jacksonville Jaguars -- back in Week 1.
I don't think either of these teams were expected to do much this year -- the Browns because we were "the Browns", and the Titans because they had taken a step back with the loss of Pacman Jones and Travis Henry. The Titans' defensive line has carried the Titans all year, despite the constant interceptions and ineffectiveness of Vince Young. The Browns have had the opposite tone -- our offense has carried us most of the year, while our defensive line is perhaps the worst in the league. As a fan, I like offensive teams a lot more than defensive teams. If I were to like a defensive team, they would have to have an offense that had a quarterback that could at the very least manage a game. Young hasn't shown the ability this season to manage a game in my opinion, so I'd have to go with the Browns because it's much easier for Cleveland to contend with an offensive powerhouse like the Patriots or the Colts (teams that will inevitably score against anyone).
2. If the Titans do end up with the final spot, what is the one game that the Browns will look back at as "the one that got away?"
The loss to the Cincinnati Bengals last week was horrible, as was the one a few weeks earlier to the Arizona Cardinals. In both instances, the opposing teams hardly did anything themselves to warrant a victory. However, the game that got away is when we lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road, 31-28, back in Week 10. The Browns had a 21-6 lead in the first half of that game, but things fell apart in the second half. Our offense couldn't ice the game, and Ben Roethlisberger ran for> a career-high 49 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown run that will haunt me forever. That game could've brought us closer to a division championship with plenty of time remaining in the season.
3. Derek Anderson has had a good season overall. Are the Browns going to give him a long term deal or turn the keys over to Brady Quinn?
This is arguably the most discussed issue among Browns fans, and the decision seems to be sort of split (although I'd say to edge is to give Anderson a long-term deal). Personally, I'd like to give Anderson a long-term deal. Anderson was basically a rookie in terms of playing time, and had by far the best season of any quarterback in 20 years for the Browns. To throw him to another team and take the chance that Quinn will succeed is too much of a risk for Anderson's value. After all; have Jay Cutler, Alex Smith, Matt Leinart, and even Vince Young lived up to their "high" expectations yet? (Don't get the wrong idea in my tone of Young. He'll get better, but he hasn't been lights out in his second year...why wait to develop Quinn if Anderson is proven already?)
Click here to see his questions with my answers.