Right now, I don't care what the Cleveland Browns record is for the 2009-2010 campaign. In Eric Mangini's first year as head coach of the Browns, we beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 14 to make it almost impossible for Mike Tomlin's defending Super Bowl Champions to reach the playoffs.
The defense was absolutely amazing today, and that includes every unit -- the defensive line, the linebackers, and especially the secondary. The pressure was brought early and often from Rob Ryan, resulting in an insurmountable 8 sacks. For the record, let's take a look at all of the players credited with sacks...
- DL Corey Williams (2 sacks)
- LB Marcus Benard (2 sacks)
- DL Brian Schaefering (1.5 sacks)
- LB David Bowens (1 sack)
- DB Hank Poteat (1 sack)
- LB Kaluka Maiava (0.5 sacks)
Besides the sacks, the man-to-man coverage by Eric Wright was tremendous, and Brandon McDonald didn't do a bad job either. There were other unsung heroes too, because upon review, every time Roethlisberger dropped back to throw, nobody was open.
The defense played all four quarters too. The offense didn't hang them out to dry, but they were scoreless in the second half.
The individual star of the game was Joshua Cribbs. Words cannot express the type of game he had in terms of providing the Browns with an advantage in field position all game long. His 55-yard punt return in the first quarter set up a field goal, and the rest of the game, he ran extremely effectively from the Wildcat. On 8 carries, Cribbs had 87 yards. Why is that so impressive? Because every time he was under center, the defense KNEW he was going to run it. They couldn't stop him.
And, did I mention it all came against the Steelers? Celebrate, Cleveland fans -- December 10, 2009 was our Super Bowl, and we came away with the trophy.