By Jeff Phelps - Cleveland's Talking Heads – Middays 10am - 2pm on 92.3 The FanBy Jeff Phelps | 92.3 The Fan

1st Quarter

First Browns possession, three-and-out. Good starts are overrated, right?

Why are there so many empty orange seats? Late arriving crowd? Wind chill of 57-degrees? Folks making last minute changes to the fantasy lineup from the bathrooms? Couldn’t possibly be that the Browns 0-2 start has fans thinking about the start of Cavs training camp already, could it?

Browns defensive backs are giving the Bills wide receivers an awful lot of room. Either that, or they just can’t cover. Your choice.

Oops. Bills score on Ryan Fitzpatrick pass to T.J. Graham. As I just mentioned, Browns defensive backs gave him an awful lot of room. Or….

Great producing by the TV folks at CBS. They showed a shot of Jim Brown, followed by a Trent Richardson first down run for a two yard loss. He looked ordinary.

On 3rd and 15, the Browns throw a six or seven yard pass to tight end Ben Watson. Last time I looked, yards-after-the-catch was not a Ben Watson strong suit. A second straight three-and-out to start the game for the Browns offense. How pleasant.

Brandon Weeden looks good in the Browns cap. Must be the baseball background.

C.J. Spiller just went 32 yards for a touchdown without being touched. Other than the fact that he’s starting for me in a fantasy league, this isn’t good. 14-0 after roughly 7:00 of the first quarter. Again, good starts are overrated, right?

Absolutely no running room so far for Trent Richardson. 3rd and 1, and Trent gains nothing. A third straight 3-and-out. Who’s calling these plays? Better yet, why are the same concepts that worked last week not working so far this week?

C.J. Spiller and his injured shoulder just left the field on a cart. If you’re the Browns, this is a positive. If you’re starting Spiller in a fantasy league, not so much.

2nd Quarter

Browns defense can’t do anything against the Bills offense. I thought Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed retired some time ago. So did Bills fans.

Oops. Typed too soon. Browns just recover a Ryan Fitzpatrick fumble. And now a Jordan Cameron sighting. How exciting.

Weeden just threw a nice ball to Travis Benjamin. And as opposed to the preseason, it was a pass in the middle of the field, giving the modern day Gerald McNeil a chance to do something after the catch. Ok, you’re right. Benjamin probably has 25 pounds on McNeil. But no more.

Jimmy Haslem is being interviewed on the telecast. How about that. Any thoughts you had that perhaps, just maybe, Haslem was going to be a low profile, quiet, behind the scenes kind of owner, may now be flushed down the nearest commode.

Jimmy just said he won’t be standing on the sidelines, but he will be involved. And you know what? I’m fine with all that. The man seems to be very serious about turning the Browns into a winning franchise that Browns fans will embrace. And a team that turns an even bigger profit.

Jimmy just said something about the Browns having a good young nucleus on offense. So does that mean he likes the job that Tom Heckert has done in building the Browns through the last three drafts? Only Joe Banner knows for sure.

Am I allowed to call him Jimmy?

Jimmy called Steve Beuerlein “Steve” every time he answered a question. I wonder… when Jimmy comes on “Baskin & Phelps,” will he call me Steve?

Weeden just threw an out pass to Josh Cribbs, who turned it into a 23-yard gain. And putting the ball in Cribbs’ hands on offense is a bad idea why?

Weeden just dodged one. Lousy throw that was intercepted, but a flag on Buffalo keeps it with the Browns. Next play — Weeden under-throws a ball to Massaquoi that could have been a touchdown. Rookie status has no age limit.

Weeden was just sacked by Mario Williams. When it comes to getting away from a pass rush, Weeden will never be confused for that guy from Pittsburgh.

Trent Richardson just had a dandy touchdown run. Even though he hasn’t had much room, he looks like the real deal. CBS is again showing Jim Brown. Guessing Jim liked the touchdown run. 14-7 Bills.

Dmitri Patterson just dropped an interception that could have been returned for a touchdown. Yikes.

Billy Wynn just made a nice play. If Heckert can get a starting defensive tackle out of the 6th round, good for him. Good for the Browns. Maybe even good with Joe Banner. Do you get the idea that I’d like to see Heckert stay on as General Manager after the ownership change?

3rd Quarter

Travis Benjamin open deep! Brandon Weeden throws a, uh, well, not quite a duck. Didn’t hear any quacks. Maybe a quail? Pigeon? Seagull? Something other than a falcon or a hawk, because it didn’t get to Benjamin before the previously burned defensive back did.

And now it’s Benjamin’s turn. Drops a pass, wide open, on 3rd and 18. Sorry, can’t blame Pat Shurmer for any of that.

I like that Richardson seems to make the most of what’s in front of him. He’ll go ahead and take the four or five yards, rather than dance around indecisively, looking for a shot to pick up 20.

It just doesn’t look right to see a wide receiver wearing #13. At least Josh Gordon doesn’t run like Frank Ryan. Just looks like him in #13.

Just when I think Weeden is struggling, he throws a couple of nice balls. He makes me bounce back and forth…. Is he Andy Dalton, or Derek Anderson. Ben Roethlisberger, or Kely Holcomb. Whoever he is, he just made a great 22 yard throw to Benjamin for a touchdown. 17-14.

Heckert had DeSean Jackson in Philadelphia. Little guy, outstanding speed, makes things happen. Here’s hoping Benjamin grows into that kind of a playmaker. Both guys listed at 5’10, 175 pounds.

Defense follows up the touchdown with a nice series. Bills punt. Cribbs struts his way for a 27-yard return. Please, put the ball in his hands a little more often.

4th Quarter

Tashard Choice just ripped off 22 yards. Tashard Choice. Nothing personal Tashard. Just a little frustrated that the Bills #3 running back is having way too much fun.

On 3rd and 9, Bils pick up a first down on a Fitzpatrick pas to T.J. Wright. This is the stuff that baffles me about the Browns defense. They seem to be coming on a bit, good enough to keep the team in games. Not good enough to make the big play when they have to have it. Not good enough to control the game.

A play later, nine yard touchdown pass to Stevie Johnson. Used to be Steve. Only grown men who should be allowed to be called Stevie are Wonder, Ray Vaughn and Van Zandt. And Stevie Nicks. Girl. She’s allowed.

This is what I’m talking about with the defense. Nothing awful, just not quite good enough to control things, to make the huge play when it has to be made. And I know Joe Haden, Phil Taylor and Chris Gocong are out. But I like the unit. I do think it can develop into a very strong defense.

I like Usain Bolt’s little “Bolt” gesture thing he does at the end of races. I really like it when my 8-year-old son does it. Cracks me up. Not real impressed when Greg Little does it on a routine catch he should make every time, especially on a play that’s called back because of penalty. Just play Greg. Catch the ball, and celebrate when you catch one in the end zone.

Weeden throws into traffic with 4:30 left. Interception. Meanwhile, somewhere in North Carolina, Derek Anderson’s eye just started twitching uncontrollably.

We had Weeden’s college coach at Oklahoma State, Mike Gundy, on “Baskin & Phelps” on Tuesday. To summarize, Gundy said he found that Weeden played much better out of the shotgun for the Cowboys. He thought the Browns coaches would probably find out the same thing somewhere down the road. Hope it’s a short road.

Down 10 with 2:35, and orange seats everywhere. Yea of little faith, Browns fans. Or, yea with dinner plans at 5:30.

Or, Yea who knew what was coming. Weeden with another ugly throw — this one out of the shotgun. Interception. Ryan Scott takes it back to the one, with Greg Little saving a touchdown. Greg didn’t display his “Inner Bolt” after the tackle. Thanks.

24-14 final. Nothing drastically bad, just another not-good-enough performance. Steve Beuerlein just said nice things about the Browns nucleus. Didn’t mention that they’re 0-3, losing three games to start the season. Three games that weren’t awful, just not good enough. Three games that you could argue, they actually had a chance to win.

Jimmy Haslem takes over in about a month. Next up are Baltimore and the New York Giants. If the Browns are winless when Haslem takes over, Katie bar the door.


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