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Slow Start Dooms Browns in 26-24 Loss to Raiders

Braylon celebrates his TD 

Playing totally flat in the first half to a team that they should have beaten, the Browns find themselves today at 1-2 instead of 2-1 after a heart wrenching 26-24 loss to the Oakland Raiders in Oakland.  Cleveland, for as bad as they played most of the afternoon, should have won the game as they had a chance at the end.  Tommy Kelly blocked Phil Dawson’s 40-yard field goal attempt with as time expired and the Raiders held off the Browns comeback.

The Browns were back to not stopping the running game, as LaMont Jordan carried the ball 29 times for 121 yards and a touchdown and Ronald Curry caught a 41-yard touchdown pass in the win.  Josh McCown started the game at quarterback and threw for 108 yards and a score, while Daunte Culpepper made his Oakland-debut by throwing eight times for 118 yards after a McCown injury. 

Sebastian Janikowski booted four field goals including a 48-yard shot.  Josh Cribbs had a 99-yard kick return for a score, while Braylon Edwards caught a 21-yard touchdown from Derek Anderson in the loss.  Anderson, who was the talk of the town last week, was back to being an average QB this week, throwing two awful picks, and missing wide outs all over the place.   He was 18-for-37 for 248 yards a TD and two picks.

The Browns running game ran for just 88 yards, and a week after going over 200, Jamal Lewis looked more like the back and Steelers stuffed in week one.  He ran for just 56 yards on 15 carries, and his longest carry was just 15 yards.  “We played terribly offensively,” Anderson said. “We made a lot of mistakes. It’s disappointing.”   

What is disappointing is that the Browns could and should be 2-1 today.  They were playing one of the weakest teams they will play all season, on the road, and the only thing you can say is that they laid a major egg.  Coach Romeo Crennel has every right to chew this team out to the highest degree for the way they played in the first half, and now with the Ravens at home and Pats on the road looming, the outlook for a fast start is done and gone.      

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