Browns Season-in-Review: 2008

The 2008 Season
Record: 4-12

Coming off a 10-6 season, many experts expected to see a drop off from the Browns, citing a tougher schedule and a weak defense. The front office did all they could to address the defense in the offseason. It started when they traded CB Leigh Bodden to the Detroit Lions for DL Shaun Rogers. The Browns also made a trade with the Green Bay Packers, acquiring DL Corey Williams for a 2nd round pick. With a newly beefed up defensive line, the Browns turned to the offense, signing WR Donte Stallworth. Heading into the season many experts believed that the Browns boasted the best receiving core in the league. With the Browns making multiple trades over the past 2 years, it left them devoid of a 1st,2nd, or 3rd round pick in the draft. The only notable player drafted was Ahtyba Rubin in the 6th round. Once again the Browns had another QB controversy brewing. With 2007 1st round pick, Brady Quinn seemly ready to take over, the Browns considered tendering Derek Anderson, meaning that if another team signed him, they would have to give a 1st round pick to the Browns. However, the Browns gave Anderson a 3-year contract, and thus muddled the QB situation. Having come off a very successful season, the Browns were awarded  5 games in prime time (3 Monday Night games, 1 Sunday Night game, and 1 Thursday Night game).

The Browns began their season at home against the defending NFC East champs, the Dallas Cowboys. The offense fell flat on its face, totaling only 205 yards, in a 28-10 loss. It would take until week 4, against the Bengals before the Browns would get their first win. With the offense still sputtering, the defense forced 5 turnovers, in a 20-12 victory. The win gave the Browns a record of 1-3. In week 6, the Browns faced off against the defending Super Bowl champs, the New York Giants, on Monday Night Football. The Browns offense finally played to its potential, as Derek Anderson threw for 310 yards and 2 touchdowns, and Braylon Edwards had 5 catches for 154 yards and touchdown, in a 35-14 romp over the Giants. The Browns looked to build off a 2-game win streak in Washington, but once again, the offense failed to show up. However, the Browns still had a chance late in the game to tie or take the lead; with 32 second left, Phil Dawson attempted a 54-yard field goal, but the ball went wide right, as the Redskins went on to win by a score of 14-11. After the game, Kellen Winslow made comments that led to a suspension from the Browns, this would turn out to be the beginning of the end for Winslow in a Browns uniform. The Browns got back on track the next week with a 23-17 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, improving their record to 3-4. In week 9, the Browns got out to a 27-13 lead over the Ravens halfway through the 3rd quarter. The lead would not hold for very long, as the Ravens took a 30-27 lead with 5 minutes left in the game. Derek Anderson attempted to drive the Browns down the field, but was picked off by Terrell Suggs, who returned it for a touchdown, as the Ravens would win 37-27.

Week 10 marked the start of the Brady Quinn era, as Derek Anderson was benched due to ineffectiveness. Quinn looked good, throwing for 239 yards and 2 touchdowns, as the Browns took a 23-10 lead over the Denver Broncos. However, the Browns had no answer for Jay Cutler, who threw for 447 yards and 3 touchdowns, in a comeback win, by a score of 34-30. In week 11, Quinn got his first NFL win in a 29-27 win over the Buffalo Bills. However, the Brady Quinn era was short lived, as in Week 12, against the Houston Texans, Quinn would fracture his finger, forcing him to miss the rest of the season. Derek Anderson came back in, but could do nothing in a 16-6 loss. The season was officially lost in week 13, against the Indianapolis Colts, when Derek Anderson tore MCL, forcing Ken Dorsey into the QB spot. The Browns would lose by a score of 10-6, dropping their record to 4-8. In week 16, Ken Dorsey went down with an injury, forcing the Browns to start their 4th QB of the season, in Bruce Gradkowski. The Browns would lose their last game of the season to the Steelers, by a score of 31-0. The Browns finished the year with a 4-12 record. The Browns went their final 6 games without scoring an offensive touchdown. In their first 10 games, the Browns averaged 20.1 points per game, in their final 6 games, the Browns averaged 5.2 points per game. Braylon forgot how to catch a football, Kellen Winslow played in 10 games, and Donte Stallworth had 17 receptions on the season. A season that started with so much potential ended with the Browns back at square one. After the season both Romeo Crennel and Phil Savage would lose their jobs.

Pro Bowl: Shaun Rogers, Joe Thomas, Ryan Pontbriand
All-Pro: None

Offensive Stats
Total Points: 232 (30th)
Total Yards: 3,985 (31st)

Passing Yards: Derek Anderson – 1,615
Passing TD: Derek Anderson – 9
Passing Int: Derek Anderson – 2
QB Rating: Brady Quinn – 66.5

Rush Att: Jamal Lewis – 279
Rush Yards: Jamal Lewis – 1,002
Rush TD: Jamal Lewis – 4

Rec: Braylon Edwards – 55
Rec Yards: Braylon Edwards – 873
Rec TD: Braylon Edwards, Kellen Winslow – 3

Defensive Stats
Total Points allowed: 350 (16th)
Total Yards allowed: 5,704 (26th)

Tackles: D’Qwell Jackson – 154
Sacks: Shaun Rogers – 4.5
Int: Brandon McDonald – 5

— Chris Sladoje (@CST_Doje)

Photo via zimbio.com

Cleveland Browns: Season in Review

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