The 2010 Season
Record: 5-11

The Browns made some pretty big changes in the offseason, but newly minted team president Mike Holmgen decided to keep the entire coaching staff, saying it wasn’t fair to fire a coach just one year in. What Holmgren should have done was to bring in his own guy, or have  just coached the team himself. His failure to do so set the team back a full year. The Browns weren’t expected to win and were going to eventually fire Mangini anyway, but this is just the 2010 Season-in-Review and I’m not reviewing anything right now, so back to the real story. With new GM Tom Heckert running the team, the Browns made big changes at QB, releasing Derek Anderson and trading Brady Quinn (for Peyton Hillis). The Browns also traded former 1st round pick Kamerion Wimbley to the Raiders for a 3rd round pick. The Browns also made a trade to acquire veteran CB Sheldon Brown from the Eagles to stabilize the secondary. The Browns didn’t make any big moves in free agency, but did bring in QB Jake Delhomme, LB Scott Fujita, and TE Ben Watson. In the draft, the Browns held the 7th overall pick, and surprised everyone (or at least me) when they drafted CB Joe Haden out of Florida. It was a surprising pick because Haden had a poor Combine, but was still considered one of the top CBs in the draft. The Browns turned in one the strongest drafts as they also selected T.J. Ward (SS, 2nd round), Montario Hardesty (RB, 2nd Round), Shaun Lauvo (OT, 3rd round), and Colt McCoy (QB, 3rd round). Even though the Browns had a strong draft, the team was sorely lacking in skill position players, and was picked to finish at the bottom of the league again.

Jake Delhomme started at QB for the Browns in their week 1 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. On par with every other year, the Browns lost the season opener by a score of 17-14. In week 2, Seneca Wallace started at QB, with Delhomme down with an ankle injury. The Browns blew another halftime lead, losing to the Chiefs by a score of 16-14. Peyton Hillis burst on to the football scene in week 3, when he ran for 144 yards against the vaunted Ravens defense. However, the Browns would lose another close one, this time by a score of 24-17. This was the game that infamously ended Eric Wright’s time at cornerback, as he gave up 3 passing touchdowns to Aquan Boldin. The Browns finally got in the win column in week 4, as Peyton Hillis ran for 102 yards and a touchdown in a 23-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. The win gave the Browns a record of 1-3. With Seneca Wallace going down with an ankle injury, Colt McCoy was forced to make his first start against the Pittsburgh Steelers. McCoy could have fared worse, because he threw for 281 yards and a touchdown. However, he also threw 2 interceptions and was sacked 6 times, as the Steelers won by a score of 28-10. The Browns surprised everyone when they were able to beat the defending Super Bowl champs, the New Orleans Saints, in week 7 by a score of 30-17. The Browns used their defense and special teams to complete the win, as David Bowens had 2 pick-sixes and Reggie Hodges converted the greatest fake punt in NFL history, rushing for 68 yards on 4th down. Here’s the link to greatness: Coming off the bye week, the Browns returned home to face the New England Patriots. Peyton Hillis went beast mode, running for 184 yards and 2 touchdowns in a 34-14 romp over the Patriots. The loss for the Pats would only be their second of the season, as they finished with a 14-2 record.

The Browns almost strung together 3 straight wins, but fell to the New York Jets in overtime, when Santonio Holmes caught a 37-yard touchdown to give the Jets a 26-20 win. The loss bumped the Browns to 3-6 on the season. The Browns got back in the win column against the Carolina Panthers. Peyton Hillis ran for 131 yards and 3 touchdowns, as the Browns won a nail-bitter by a score of 24-23. The Browns remained in the playoff hunt (stop laughing), with a win over the Miami Dolphins. Ben Watson recorded 10 receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown in a 13-10, Phil Dawson field goal aided win. The Browns record stood at 5-7, as they still had an outside shot at the playoffs, as slim as it might have been. Peyton Hillis racked up another 100-yard rushing day against the Bills, but the Browns could only muster 2 Phil Dawson field goals in a 13-6 loss. The Browns ended the season unceremoniously on a 4-game losing streak, it all culminated (I’m using some pretty big words here) in a 41-9 shellacking from the Pittsburgh Steelers. The next day, Eric Mangini was fired and the Browns would have to start all over again next year. However, Peyton Hillis took the world by storm, as he won the fan vote and appeared on the Madden 12 cover. Hillis was the main bright spot for the Browns on the season, as he totaled 1,654 total yards and 13 total touchdowns on the season. He defined what it was like to play for a Cleveland team with his toughness and hardnosed play, plus his biceps were as big as tree trunks. I will leave you with a highlight clip of the good old days of Hillis:

Pro Bowl: Joe Thomas, Alex Mack
All-Pro: Joe Thomas

Offensive Stats
Total Points: 271 (31st)
Total Yards: 4,635 (29th)

Passing Yards: Colt McCoy – 1,576
Passing TD: Colt McCoy – 6
Passing Int: Colt McCoy – 9
QB Rating: Seneca Wallace – 86.8

Rush Att: Peyton Hillis – 270
Rush Yards: Peyton Hillis – 1,177
Rush TD: Peyton Hillis – 11

Rec: Ben Watson – 68
Rec Yards: Ben Watson – 763
Rec TD: Ben Watson, Brian Robiskie – 3

Defensive Stats
Total Points allowed: 332 (13th)
Total Yards allowed: 5,601 (22nd)

Tackles: T.J. Ward – 108
Sacks: Marcus Benard – 7.5
Int: Joe Haden – 6

–Chris Sladoje (@CST_Doje)

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Cleveland Browns: Season in Review
















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