MIAMI - DECEMBER 05: Defensive back Joe Haden #23 of the Cleveland Browns defends against wide reciever Brian Hartline #82 of the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on December 5 2010 in Miami Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
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I thought about doing a poll for this week's game ball because there were several Browns who had their best games of the season. After thinking it through though, I think everyone was so impressed by what Joe Haden did that he would win the poll in a landslide.
Everywhere you looked, Haden was around the ball. Sometimes, the mark of a good cornerback is when opposing teams do not throw toward your direction. Haden's case was a little different -- Chad Henne did not seem to fear testing the Browns' first-round draft choice, but Haden responded in a big way.
In the first half, Brian Hartline had Haden beat on a streak down the sideline. As Haden has shown numerous times this season, he has great recovery speed and the ability to make a play on the football while it is in the air. Haden turned his head at the right time and intercepted the underthrown pass.
The Dolphins' longest pass play from scrimmage went for just 24 yards. If Eric Wright had been in the lineup instead of Haden on some of the deep passes Henne attempted, you get the feeling that the Dolphins would have had some big completions.
For the game, Haden finished with 5 combined tackles, 1 interception and 4 passes defended. If you can complain about anything it would be that he did give a cushion once or twice to his receiver on third-and-short. If that's the only thing I can complain about after the game with him, I'll take it.
Some announcers started wondering if Haden will be the league's next shutdown corner. I will tame my expectations for now, but Haden has certainly taken advantage of the opportunity he has been given and seems to have all the confidence in the world. T.J. Ward was the rookie making all the noise earlier this season, but over the past couple of weeks, the Browns' "best rookie" title has shifted to Haden.