Browns fans were surprised before the start of the game to hear that Seneca Wallace would be getting the start ahead of Jake Delhomme, who was available as the No. 2 quarterback.
Offensively, the Browns only scored seven points in the first half, but Wallace was throwing the ball very well again. The defense had outstanding coverage in the secondary and was generating a pass rush on Matt Ryan. But then, just before the end of the first half, Wallace went down with an ankle injury.
The second half belonged to Delhomme, but unfortunately it wasn't a game that he would like to remember. Here are some of Delhomme's "highlights" from the second half:
- When the Browns had a chance to tack on another touchdown at the goal line, he muffed the exchange with the center on a planned handoff to Peyton Hillis. The Browns had to settle for a field goal despite outstanding starting field position.
- Down 13-10 mid-way through the fourth quarter, on a third down play, Delhomme's quick pass was tipped into the air by a free rusher. The player who tipped the ball stayed with it and intercepted it as he fell to the ground. Delhomme was staring at the guy the whole time and should have run over to tap him down in case he picked it. Instead, he just stared in awe as the defender got up to run in for a pick six.
- Down 20-10 with just under two minutes to go, Delhomme's pass was thrown off the helmet of an offensive lineman and intercepted. The pocket collapsed on him too quickly, but it was still another lowlight for Delhomme.
Beyond all of that, Delhomme had about 4-5 other passes that could have been intercepted.
Despite giving up a lot of yards to Michael Turner, I think the defense played much better than they have the past two weeks. One of the big questions that should be raised is why the Browns went pass-happy with Delhomme when he entered the game. Sure, Peyton Hillis was banged up, but you still need to give Jerome Harrison some touches and stick with the running game. We had somewhat of the right idea to mix in the Wildcat during the fourth quarter, but Delhomme's lack of production killed things.