I was able to take in the Browns at Bengals game this afternoon from the 30-yard line at Paul Brown Stadium, and despite a tough division loss, the Browns looked better than I thought they would.
Defensively, Cleveland took a step backwards, giving up 27 points (the other Bengals TD was a punt return). This was to be expected with star cornerback Joe Haden out due to a suspension.
There are some issues out there in the secondary. The front seven did a good job slowing down the run all day, but the corners were playing too far off the receivers, even with safety help over the top.
Offensively, I was pleasantly surprised with the play of Trent Richardson. He ran hard, and took a screen pass 23 yards for a TD breaking four tackles in the process. Richardson ended up with 109 yards rushing on 19 carries.
Brandon Weeden looked like a different QB compared to last week's performance. He completed over 70% of his passes for 322 yards and 2 TDs, but most importantly, had zero turnovers.
Weeden will continue to grow and become a better QB. He missed a wide open Josh Gordon in the end zone because he checked down too early, but this will all improve with time. Weeden now has a good performance and an awful performance on his resume. It will be interesting to see how he builds off of this game going into next week.
Overall, I was happy with the performance by the two big rookies on the offensive side of the ball. I do have to say that Cincinnati is a wonderful city and the Bengals fans were very gracious to us the entire weekend. I will definitely attend more games at Paul Brown Stadium in the future.