Last year, it was just the fifth week of the regular season. The New York Jets were already a beaten and desperate team. They suffered a blowout loss against the San Francisco 49ers the week before. But the Jets tried everything to win against the hotly favoured Houston Texans. It didn’t work out though.
Nonetheless it was a close game and Texan’s coach Gary Kubiak was impressed. At his post game press conference he said:
“We knew we came in here to a team that was really kind of … backed in the corner, so to speak. Coming out of last week, we knew we gonna get everything. They threw the kitchen sink at us. From onside kicks to fake punts. You name it”
This time the desperate team got the win.
In a surprise win against the Minnesota Vikings the Cleveland Browns beat a playoff contender specifically with a fake punt and a fake field goal.
They sure did throw the kitchen sink at them.
After last week’s trade of running back Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts, arguably Browns' best offensive player on the roster, the season seemed lost. An unheard-of case to throw in the towel just two weeks into the season, NFL expert Peter King wrote.
But now, with this 31-27 win over the Minnesota Vikings, the first since December 2012, could the Cleveland Browns be back?
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. On Sunday the Vikings presented themselves as a poor coached and unmotivated team. They thought they would get an easy win out of this match and did not take the game seriously enough.
In the next few weeks it will shown if the Cleveland Browns are an improved team. They will face a great Cincinnati Bengals and a mediocre Buffalo Bills.
The Browns defense won’t be the problem on their way to a comeback. They are armed with reliable talent, D'Qwell Jackson, Paul Kruger and Joe Haden to name just a few, and ranked seven in total defense in the NFL.
A key question next week will be: Can the Browns offense be more consistent?
At the quarterback position they got better with former New England Patriot Brian Hoyer taking over for the injured Brandon Weeden. But Hoyer has to reduce his interceptions. He threw three last Sunday.
Browns offense sparked with returning receiver Josh Gordon and tight end Jordan Cameron, who were responsible for 212 yards and four touchdowns. Both players shone with great catches and tough runs after the catch. Their physical style will give the Browns something they missed for a long time.
This win gave the desperate Cleveland Browns a spark. If Brian Hoyer throws more precisely their comeback could be successful. But the whole team including coaches needs to keep their back-against-the-wall mindset.
Or in the words of Gary Kubiak: Keep throwing the kitchen sink at opponents.
What do you think? Are the Cleveland Brwon on their way to a comeback? And should they keep throwing the kitchen sink at opponents?
image: © Erik Drost