On Sunday, the Cleveland Browns unfortunately lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 30-27. At first, it appeared to be a blowout as the Browns trailed at half 3-27. The odds were stacked against Cleveland as the problems piled up. Brian Hoyer looked uncomfortable while Jordan Cameron and Ben Tate both suffered injuries.
After a 25 yard run, Tate was removed from the game with less than seven minutes left, to have his knee examined. In the second half, it was reported that the running back suffered a knee sprain and wouldn’t return. Losing Tate was a huge blow considering he was the only one having a commendable game. The former Houston Texan recorded 41 yards on just six carries resulting in a whopping 6.8 yard average.
Now the workload was forced onto two rookies, Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell. Not much was to be expected as West gained nine yards on only three first half touches.
The Cleveland Browns came out in the second half rejuvenated. West looked explosive when he broke out for a 22 yard gain to start the third quarter. The rookie out of Towson University ran North and South without hesitation. Although he didn’t reach the end zone, West racked up 100 yards on 16 carries including outstanding gains of 29 yards, ten yards, and only one for a loss, -2 yards.
Meanwhile, Isaiah Crowell surprised everyone watching. This is a kid who critics said would be fighting for a roster spot. The rookie earned his first touch in the red zone and it resulted in a three yard touchdown. Crowell registered four more rush attempts for 29 yards, including a 16 yard touchdown run. In brief action, he displayed power, speed, and the ability to change direction without losing speed.
In conclusion, the rookie rushing tandem sparked the Cleveland Browns second half rally. Regardless of the severity of Ben Tate’s injury, West and Crowell proved they can shoulder the workload. This is the rushing attack I envisioned with Josh Gordon sidelined. All three running backs averaged over six yards per carry, a phenomenal accomplishment. Additionally, the Browns finished the game with 183 yards on the ground, the most posted by Cleveland since November 2010. Needless to say, the Cleveland Browns are in good hands, or, should I say, resting on great legs?
– Max Gold
Image Credited to: www.clevelandbrowns.com