I've been watching the Philadelphia Eagles take on the Pittsburgh Steelers, and unfortunately, the outcome wasn't one that Cleveland Browns fans would hope for. Ben Roethlisberger went 8-of-12 for 125 yards and 2 touchdowns. The worst part was that Roethlisberger looked in midseason form already -- he faced a pass rush, but consistently dodged defenders and extended plays for positive results. Michael Vick had a terrible outing, throwing three interceptions as the Eagles had the very definition of an "off" day.
I needed a booster after that, and I got it when I read Don Banks' latest article on Sports Illustrated. It talks about the optimism in Detroit and Cleveland (the two teams will meet on Friday), led by two young quarterbacks looking to revive franchises.
If anything, McCoy was even better [than Stafford's good day], completing 9 of his 10 passes for 135 yards and a touchdown, with a QB rating of 152.1 in his three series of work against Green Bay. It was a confidence-inspiring performance for the 2010 third-round pick, who was getting his first real shot at running new head coach Pat Shurmur's version of the West Coast offense. McCoy looked poised, comfortable and in command, three words not often used to describe the play of Cleveland quarterbacks. He looks ready to take the next step in his development as an NFL passer and leader, and the news that he traveled during the lockout to get tutored on the West Coast offense by Brett Favre only seemed to add to the positive buzz surrounding McCoy and his Browns.
But I say let the Lions and Browns dream. August may not matter much in every NFL market, but it does this year in Detroit and Cleveland. There's hope for these Lions and Browns, and for a change, it doesn't feel like false hope. It may only be the preseason, but after all those long years of losing and languishing, any winning start is a start worth noticing.
It's always nice to see someone from the national media shine some positive light on the Browns. Hopefully the team delivers again this week to keep everyone's hopes high.