Friday, October 4, 2013

Thinking 'Bout Thursday - Cleveland Browns vs Buffalo Bills

The Cleveland Browns won their 3rd straight game on Thursday Night Football beating the Buffalo Bills and taking over 1st place in the AFC North.  Cleveland has scored 85 points during this win streak and allowed just 51 points to the Minnesota Vikings, Bengals and Bills.  Brian Hoyer was looking to become the first QB in Browns history to win his first 3 starts, but had to leave the game after an 11 yard scramble that ended with an awkward slide and tackle.  Brandon Weeden filled in down 10-0 and was greeted with many BOOS, but eventually earned the crowds respect after a FG and a TD drive (plus a punt return by Travis Benjamin for a TD) gave the Browns a 17-10 halftime lead.  The lead didn't last long, as C.J. Spiller, playing hurt, took a carry 54 yards to the endzone just minutes into the 2nd half.  Fred Jackson then scored his 2nd TD of the night to give the Bills a 24-17 lead.  Buffalo would not score the rest of the night as QB E.J. Manuel also left this contest with a knee injury, on a scramble where instead of going out of bounds, he decided to take the hit.  Josh Gordon caught a 37 TD from Weeden before the end of the 3rd quarter and Billy Cundiff and the Browns defense sealed the deal in the final 15 minutes.

Weeden finished the night 13/24 for 197 yards and a TD to Gordon.  He was sacked 5 times, but his patience in the pocket is what kept the Browns in this game.  Rather than forcing balls into coverage, Weeden would eat it and take the sack.  The Browns also relied heavily on Willis McGahee who took 26 carries 72 yards and also found the endzone! 

Statistically Jordan Cameron was a non factor in this one, with 3 catches for 36 yards on 5 targets.  Gordon finished with 4 catches for 86 yards and the TD.  Greg Little looked good on his 3 catches for 71 yards.

The Bills went flat after Manuel left the game, and rookie Jeff Tuel had to take over.  Combined they went 19 for 40 for 188 and a Pick Six thrown by Tuel late in the 4th quarter.  Each QB was sacked twice.  Robert Woods led the Bills in receptions (5) yards (64) and targets (13) because Stevie Johnson left this contest as well with a back injury.  Scott Chandler and Fred Jackson each caught 4 passes.

If your league scores return yards, and you own Travis Benjamin then you had a great week!  He returned 7 punts 179 yards including a 79 yard TD, setting a Browns single game record.

Billy Cundiff knocked down all 3 FG attempts including a 44 yarder while Dan Carpenter booted a 52 yarder.

What did you take away from Thursday Night?

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