Sunday’s win over the Ravens was the Browns’ first in Baltimore since 2007. When you think back to that game, chances are you remember Phil Dawson's
physics-defying field goal to force overtime. In the end, the score was the same, by the way, 33-30. And as we all know, that 2007 team went on to win 10 games, but miss the playoffs.
I bring this up because the only thing this team, and that team, have in common is Joe Thomas. The 2007 team had better receivers, a better running back, and a better quarterback.
Or did it? Derek Anderson threw for 274 yards that day in Baltimore, which is exactly 183 yards fewer than Josh McCown's performance on Sunday. D.A. would go on to throw for 3800 yards that season.
McCown? He's on a three-game run that's as improbable as anything we've seen from the Browns in a long, long time. More than 1100 yards passing in the past three games. He has 11 games left. If he kept this up, which, of course, is ridiculous to ask, McCown would hit for almost 5,000 yards this season.
It's never going to happen, which is fine. The Browns are far more interested in a much lower number: turnovers. And that's where McCown has been most impressive. He's thrown for six touchdowns in three full games, and only one interception. He would have had one on Sunday, but a penalty wiped it out.
Still, the fact is, over the past three games, McCown has led 'em to 20 points, 27, and now 33, with only one interception.
I don't know what awaits for Josh McCown, other than a tremendous Denver defense, and a brutal schedule over the next few months. A lot of critics will be waiting for him to come down to Earth. One bad day, and the calls for Johnny will resurface. And this is a long season.
Manziel may get his shot. But right now, McCown is doing exactly what the Browns are asking him to do. The red zone issues aren't on him. He has short receivers and no running game -- that's a killer in the red zone. But when the coaches put McCown in a position to succeed, as they did on Sunday, he has delivered.
Now the challenge is to keep it up.
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