Cleveland held off a late push by Gabbert and the Jaguars, stopping Jacksonville inside the 5 yard line at the end of regulation. The scoring started early for Jacksonville, as Maurice Jones-Drew took in a 6 yard run on a drive that went 92 yards. Several punts followed as the Browns defense stepped up to slow the star RB. I mentioned the importance of slowing down the running game in this game as the Browns have one of the worst running defenses in the league. Jones-Drew was effective early, but finished with 87 yards on 21 carries, a marked improvement over previous weeks. The passing defense stayed solid, keeping Gabbert mostly in check. He completed just over half of his passes for 210 yards and was kept out of the end zone.
Colt McCoy had another solid, but unspectacular game. He had one mistake, throwing an interception in the third quarter that ended a promising drive. He righted himself in the fourth, connecting with Josh Cribbs for a 3 yard touchdown that ultimately was the game winner. His leading receiver was Greg Little who is quickly turning into the main target for McCoy. He led the team in receptions (5), yards (59), and targets (8). A big surprise was the second straight solid performance by Chris Ogbonnaya, this time going for 115 yards. He also added a first quarter touchdown to match MJD. Of course Hardesty and Hillis missed the game, and both don’t seem in a big hurry to return. With games like this out of Chris O, the fans can breath a little easier without there top two starting backs.
The Defense has continued to be extremely effective. They didn’t cause any turnovers, but forced 5 punts and gave up just 10 points. The Browns improved to 4-6 on the year and 3-3 at home. The schedule gets extremely tough from here on out. Three straight division opponents are upcoming with Cincy next on tap. Baltimore comes to town next, followed by a Sunday night game at Heinz Field. The Bengals are coming off back to back losses by Pittsburgh and Baltimore, each by 7 points. This was following 5 straight wins, so the Bengals aren’t necessarily on a cold streak. Andy Dalton has looked very solid this year, showing a lot of poise in his rookie season. He fared pretty well last week against the fierce Ravens defense, even without his top wideout AJ Green. They also have a very good defense which is quite common in the AFC North. The recently lost their top corner, but Adam Pac Man Jones is back to replace him. To beat the Bengals the Browns will likely need to have a little more offensive production than recent weeks.