This was the first win we had all season that wasn’t decided by a small number of points. It was a decisive victory through and through—over a hated divisional rival no less. Whoever didn’t believe Brian Hoyer and the Browns were for real before this game is eating a nice plate of crow. I’ve said at the start of this season that this isn’t your daddy’s or your grandpa’s Cleveland Browns. No sir. The 2014 Browns team is a totally different animal and it is making a name for itself. The Brown Train is going to keep chugging this year.
This team has grit, timing, a never-say-die attitude, and a huge pair of balls. You can never count this team out (as witnessed last week when we set an NFL record for largest comeback road victory after losing 28-3). Now the team is learning how to play all four quarters consistently, and that spells danger for all of our opponents. This doesn’t seem to be the flash in the pan success story we saw in 2007 with Derek Anderson. This team is so much more clutch than that, so much more resilient. I think we’ve got something really special here and I don’t see it going away.
One quick note I want to point out before I wrap things up here. We probably lost Alex Mack and Armonty Bryant for the entire season. This is as good a test as any to see what kind of depth we have and how Mike Pettine manages the team from here on out. I have had the utmost confidence in this team and I see no reason to stop now that we have injuries to key players.
Sunday’s victory could not have come against a more deserving opponent. A Steelers team that has laid waste to the Browns for 15 years has not been toppled in this kind of fashion since possibly the 80’s. Hometown hero Brian Hoyer saw to it personally that Cleveland Browns fans worldwide would rally around this victory and solidify the Browns fanbase. As I walk around town, I see everyone in Browns gear, something I have not seen enough of over the years. Not only that, I am seeing less fans from other NFL teams walking around Cleveland, especially the sizable Steelers fanbase that infested Cleveland like a cancer for over two decades. Make no mistake, Cleveland sports are alive and well. The winds of change seem to finally have arrived to the shores of Lake Erie and it’s a great time to be in Cleveland once more.