As Browns nation all knows, on Sunday, Cleveland defeated the New Orleans Saints 26-24. It was the first Browns home opener victory in nine years. As amazing as that feat was, it shouldn’t have been a surprise as Cleveland appears to be Drew Brees’ orange kryptonite.
Although Drew Brees owns a career 3-1, now 3-2, record versus Cleveland, his other statistics don’t fare too well. Before Sunday, in four games against the Browns, Brees has completed only 60 percent of his passes, down nine percent from his career completion percentage. Additionally, his career 95.2 rating drops to 67.4 when playing this franchise. The quarterback’s rating against Cleveland is lower than against any other team.
When with San Diego, Brees helped produce two victories behind Ladainian Tomlinson. The running back received 26 carries in each game while compiling 311 yards and three touchdowns. Unlike Tomlinson, Brees appeared average, recording 159 yards while completing 54.1 percent (13/24) of his passes.
Flash forward to 2006, as a member of the Saints, he defeated the Browns on opening day, 19-14. Despite a victory, the Saints only reached the end zone once, a Marques Colston touchdown in the third quarter. The quarterback looked averaged once again, but remained unbeaten by the Browns.
However, in 2010, the outcome would be different when the Browns traveled down to New Orleans. Although Brees racked up 356 yards and two touchdowns, it took 56 pass attempts to achieve that. Not to mention the three sacks and four interceptions he surrendered. Two of those picks were returned for touchdowns by David Bowens. The quarterback played well, but ultimately defeated himself.
Similarly, this occurred on Sunday when Tashaun Gibson returned an interception for a 62 yard touchdown. The Browns defense played with an inspired intensity. Cleveland dominated their first two defensive opportunities, forcing consecutive three and outs and a sack that was inches away from being a safety. Containing Drew Brees is not an easy task.
After starting 7/13 for 29 yards and a turnover, Brees settled down to march the offense down field for a score before half time. As the game was winding down, Brees looked unstoppable as he compiled over 200 yards and two touchdowns. With a one point lead, Brees held his composure regardless of what the defense threw his direction. As the Saints approached field goal range, Karlos Dansby recorded the sack heard around Cleveland. On third down, Dansby pushed back the Saints seven yards and out of field goal range. This allowed the opportunity for Brian Hoyer to work his magic and achieve glory.
Although we couldn’t contain Drew Brees for an entire 60 minutes, the Cleveland Browns played an amazing game. Slowing down an elite quarterback can be an excruciating, but Cleveland seems to frustrate Brees. The super human registers big numbers, but struggles against the Browns. It’s understandable though, even Superman had a weakness.
– Max Gold
Image Credited to: www.newstimes.com