In his MMQB mailbag this week, Sports Illustrated's Peter King had a little bit of praise for the Cleveland Browns and former head coach Eric Mangini for the game plan they had against the New England Patriots this past season.
"Being a Pats fan, I hate to say this; I think the best single game plan by any coach this year was Sexy Rexy's game plan against the Pats in the divisional round. What do you think? Were there any other game plans that stood out to you last season?''
What Rex Ryan did that day was show Tom Brady looks that he hadn't seen in four previous meetings with Ryan's Jet teams over the previous two years, including some suggested by the players. They may not have resulted in turnovers, but according to Jim Leonhard on our Sirius show Tuesday morning, they did result in creating more pressure than Brady had seen in prior meetings.
The other game plan I liked the most during the season was Cleveland's against the Patriots -- the one with the cool fake called "Brownie'' that broke open a close game at the end of the first half and resulted in a stunning end-run touchdown by Chansi Stuckey. I liked a lot of things Eric Mangini did last fall, but obviously he didn't do enough of them to keep his job.
Ah, how could you not like what the Browns did against New England? I could hang on to the memories from that game forever. It also came at a time when the Browns, overall, were healthy and were playing their best players.