Sunday, September 18, 2011
Wrap-up: Browns 27, Colts 19
By Jamison Hensley
Thoughts on the Cleveland Browns' victory against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium:
What it means: The Browns avoided an 0-2 start for the first time since 2007. This also marked the first victory for head coach Pat Shurmur, who was presented the game ball in the locker room from Colt McCoy. This was a strong rebound game for Cleveland, even though it came against a Colts team struggling without Peyton Manning.
Thumbs up: Running back Peyton Hillis made up for losing a fumble by responding with a 24-yard touchdown run. The Browns attacked the Colts' traditionally weak run defense by handing the ball off to Hillis 27 times. The defense stepped up, especially in the red zone. Cleveland held the Colts to four field goals before giving up its only touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Thumbs down: It's difficult to find much fault in this performance. There was a questionable play call on the Browns' second possession, when Shurmur called for a play-action fake on third-and-2, which resulted in Dwight Freeney sacking McCoy.
McCoy on the move: The best part of McCoy's game today was his ability to throw on the run. His 16-yard touchdown pass to tight end Evan Moore highlighted this point. This is huge because it will allow him to avoid sacks behind a sometimes inconsistent offensive line. McCoy also didn't turn the ball over.
Spark from Cribbs: It's no secret that the Browns are more dangerous when Josh Cribbs has the ball in his hands. His 52-yard kickoff return set up the Browns' first touchdown. His 43-yard punt return led to Cleveland's fourth-quarter touchdown.
What's next: The Browns go home to face the Miami Dolphins next Sunday.