For three quarters of football, Cleveland was playing some of the best football they have all year. Seneca Wallace, making his first start of the year, filled in for Colt McCoy very well, in fact probably better than Colt himself. Wallace threw for 226 yards, ran for 21 yards, and threw a touchdown. He fumbled once, but all in all he gave this Browns offense I nice jump start. The 17 points they scored was more than they had scored in their previous two games. The offense has struggled mightily this year, they have only scored more than two touchdowns once all year. Part of that has to do with injuries, some of it has to do with McCoy. There are only two games left in the season, but it will be interesting for the future to see who plays in each. In a short week it seems unlikely that McCoy will be cleared to play this week against Baltimore, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him shut down for the season to get a better look at Wallace. Either way it is likely that the Browns will have a top ten pick in a QB rich class. Luck will be off the board, but guys like Matt Barkley, Robert Griffin III, and Landry Jones all me be available when the Browns pick.
Another big reason the offense has struggled all season was the lack of a running game. Injuries have kept Hillis and Hardesty on the shelf for much of the season. Hillis had one of his more productive games of the season in this game, rushing just one yard shy of the 100 mark on 26 carries. Hillis as a workhorse is what this team needs. Of course there is no guarantee Hillis will be back in a Cleveland uniform next year. Of course Montario Hardesty hasn’t exactly shown he can even stay healthy enough to hold onto a starting role. At least the WR position has a little certainty going into next season. Greg Little is emerging as the top threat at the position and seems to have a solid connection with Wallace. In one catch, Little almost had his career high in yardage. In the third quarter the rookie was on the receiving end of a 76 yard score. He ended up with 131 yards on 5 catches, for a career game. This gave the Browns a 10 point lead.
The 4th quarter was all Cardinals though, as John Skelton spread open the field and started connected with all of this receivers. He ended up with 313 yards in the air, and 3 different Cardinal receivers had 60+ yards. 10 unanswered points in the 4th led to OT, which led to a 22 yard game winning chip shot by Jay Feely. So next game is at Baltimore, which will be a big test for Seneca Wallace. If he plays well, he could play himself into serious consideration for the starting role in 2012. Baltimore is coming off a blowout loss to San Diego. They are looking to hold onto the AFC North Division lead, so they aren’t likely to slip up very much. The last time the two met, Baltimore dominated the game through the run. Ray Rice had a career high 204 yards rushing against the porous Browns defense. Expect more of the same on Saturday unless they suddenly found a way to slow down the Pro Bowl back.