Jake Delhomme Can Thank His Defense and Miami’s As Well

By Chris Fedor

Over the past few weeks, the Browns defense has been getting a ton of flack for the way that they have played and rightfully so. They deserve all the criticism that they have received because they’ve blown a number of fourth quarter leads and have given up critical plays down the stretch.

To let Santonio Holmes roast you in overtime and seal a Jets victory was inexcusable.

To let Maurice Jones-Drew take a screen pass 75 yards and break at least five tackles on one play is inexcusable.

To let Jimmy Clausen, a rookie quarterback who was making some terrible throws, drive 70 yards down the field with under a minute to go in the game and with no timeouts left is inexcusable as well.

There have been moments this year that the Browns defense has let the team down. Yesterday wasn’t one of those days.

On a day that Peyton Hillis was all bottled up and the Browns offense had to call on Reggie Hodges to punt nine different times because they were so ineffective at times, the defense stepped up and won the game.

Joe Haden

Joe Haden was awesome again, with the exception of getting spun around by Brain Hartline early in the game before recovering to intercept the pass from Chad Henne. Haden has shown that Eric Wright should get comfortable playing in nickel and dime packages because he’s not getting his starting job back any time soon. Shaun Rogers was a force once again on both defense and special teams. Abe Elam played another very good game in his home state of Florida. And Mike Adams had the biggest play of the game at the most critical moment. After the Browns offense went just 13 yards in six plays late in the fourth quarter and didn’t hold up their end of the bargain, that’s when the defense stepped up and made the play they weren’t able to make in the two previous weeks. Mike Adams stepped up and picked off Chad Henne, returned it to the two yard line, and set up Phil Dawson for the go-ahead field goal that sealed the Browns win

Jake Delhomme played pretty well, he’s the quarterback of record, and he’ll get the win, but Delhomme once again dodged a bullet with a terrible throw late in the game. The same kind of throw that cost him against Tampa Bay, the same kind of throw that cost him when he was in Carolina, and the same kind of throw that loses football games. The end result was a drop by a rookie cornerback, but that doesn’t change how horrible the throw was and more importantly how horrible the decision was to make that throw. The fact is, the Dolphins had a chance to make a play to win the game and they didn’t make it. The Browns defense did though. Yesterday the Browns won in spite of Jake Delhomme, not because of him. Whether it was Seneca Wallace, Jake Delhomme, or Colt McCoy, with the defense forcing three turnovers, playing the way they did all day long, and making the interception that set up the game-winning field goal, it wouldn’t have mattered who was under center. It was about the defense yesterday and for as much as they have been criticized lately, and rightfully so, they deserve the credit for making the play that they needed to make and winning the game for the Browns on a day that the offense wasn’t good enough.

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