Four plays made the difference for the Browns
As Sunday’s expected New England win dragged to its conclusion, a daydream mingled with the monotony.
Was the Browns’ 34-17 loss so inevitable?
Four plays made the daydream seem plausible.
Score: 3-0. The Browns had first-and-goal on the 1. Trying to reprise a touchdown throw to Joe Jurevicius against Cincinnati, Derek Anderson lobbed a sideline throw to the 6-foot-5 wideout. The throw seemed too low and was broken up by 5-foot-9 cornerback Ellis Hobbs.
“I thought I threw it in a good spot for him to go get it,” Anderson said. “The DB kind of walled him, but I don’t really know what happened.”
The Browns got nothing when Anderson threw an interception two plays later.
“If we would have scored,” Browns cornerback Daven Holly said, “the whole complexion of the game would have changed right there.”
Score: 10-0. Tim Carter, the fastest player on the Browns, made an inside move on Hobbs to get open deep. Anderson unloaded, but Carter tripped and fell.
“He was running up my heels,” said Carter, who thought the contact merited an interference call. “You’re not really gonna get that call. I’ve got to create more separation and use my speed.
“The ball’s in the air. I got past him. I’m sure he was either panicking or attempting to keep up. I feel like if I keep my feet and there’s no interference, I definitely go make that play.”
Score: Still 10-0. One play after Carter tripped, Edwards ran a quick third-and-5 slant. He seemed to have a clear running lane, the kind he once used to break an 80-yard touchdown in Green Bay. Anderson misfired. Edwards clapped his hands on his helmet after the ball whizzed by.
“It was six,” Edwards said. “There was no doubt about it. It was six.
“They brought a house blitz. Everybody was coming except the cover corners. (Lienbacker) Adalius Thomas came, but then he backed up. D.A. couldn’t fire regular. He had to throw the ball around (Thomas).”
Just out of reach
Score: 20-3. With 4 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter, Anderson had tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. open for a possible 49-yard touchdown along the right sideline against safety Rodney Harrison.
“I didn’t even touch it,” Winslow said. “It got deflected. I couldn’t reach it.”
Winslow said his injured left shoulder was a factor. If he lays out on certain throws and lands the wrong way, his season could be over. The team can ill afford to lose a tight end who has produced 416 yards through five games.
“It’s kind of hard, man ... play through it,” Winslow said.
Reach Repository sports writer Steve Doerschuk at (330) 580-8347 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org