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Browns melt in opener in Tampa 17-14

And just like that, the air is out of the balloon that was the 2010 season.

All it took was one very hot day in Tampa to bring the Browns back to earth, this after they seemed to have a lot of momentum entering the season after an offseason filled with mostly positive moves and coming off a four-game win streak to end 2009.

So much for that.

Jake Delhomme was filled with mistakes, as was fullback Peyton Hillis. Delhomme threw two picks, one of which directly got the Bucs back in the game after the Browns went up 14-3, and Hillis’ fumble gave Tampa Bay another scoring shot.

This all after the Browns seemed to dominate the first quarter and a half of football, getting ahead by 11 points and it looked like they were going for more when Delhomme threw a bad pick to Rhonde Barber that led to Tampa Bay then scoring to make it 14-10 at half.

Hillis’ fumble occurred on the first possession of the second half when the team got to the Bucs 15. A TD there and the Browns once again take control of a game they should have won.

After the fumble, the Browns gained only two more first downs the rest of the game and had only one more play over 10 yards.

The Bucs knockout blow came when QB Josh Freeman, playing with a bad thumb, went up top against first round pick Joe Haden for a 33-yard score to Michael Spurlock to give the Bucs a 17-14 lead.

The Browns every possession in the fourth quarter started inside their 10-yard line, expect one, which started at the 11. They never really came close to having a shot to give kicker Phil Dawson a chance to tie the game up at least.

“The feeling in this locker room is we gave that game away,” said linebacker Scott Fujita.

“We’ve got to get to the point where we’re playing to win the game and not making mistakes that cost us,” said coach Eric Mangini.

Delhomme was 9-of-19 in the second half and finished with a passer rating of 59.2. On the day he was 20-for-37 for 227 yards with a TD and two picks. Jerome Harrison had 9 carries for 52 yards, but really was not much of a factor other than a 39-yard-run.

“Our fans won’t tolerate us beating ourselves, like we just did,” Josh Cribbs said. “We just played Browns vs. Browns, and the Browns lost.”

Uh, whatever Josh. Bottom line is the team looked a lot more like pre-December 2009 than a team that was supposed to make strides in 2010.



  1. Dan B.

    September 13, 2010 at 1:57 am

    Same old Browns. Another long disappointing year for Browns Fans. There was a reason the Panthers got rid of Delhomme, so much for Holmgren being a QB Wizard. I know it is only the first game but there has not been as good a chance to start the season off right as this was.

  2. Dan

    September 13, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Here we go again. Heckert gives up 3 draft choices to “move up” and take Hardesty. Hardesty has been injury proned throughout his entire career. But he’ll never get injured in the pros, right? WRONG. Out for the year.
    Delhomme? Coming off his worst year in his career? Carolina didn’t want him anymore, but, coming to the Browns will change things, right? WRONG. Letting him play on a injured ankle for 2 1/2 quarters is the way to go, right? WRONG.
    Hillis fumbling twice was a surprise. Haden getting burned on a TD, is expected from a rookie. Cribbs, completely shut down in the return game? Harrison does not run the ball 1 time in the 1st quarter?
    Looks to me like the poor offensive calling which all leads back to Daboll. Who is this bum anyways? Coming into last year, he did not have 1 single game experience calling the offense. How in the hell can you give a rookie at such an important role, the reigns? I for one and extremely angry. Cleveland? Don’t give me this, “it’s only the 1st game. There are 15 more games to go crap”.
    Mangini is a sub par coach. He has a under .500 coaching career. Heckert made a few bad choices in arming this team. Daboll is a waste. Delhomme is also a waste. The team itself would be better if they had some real coaching and discipline. We have nothing as of now. I am looking at a 3-13 year unless things change, and fast.

  3. Denolakes

    September 13, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    This game was a major disappointment. I was optimistic through the end of the first half. I could not understand why they continued to play Delhomme when he was obviously hobbling on the field. The guy’s hurt, set him down and let him heal. A toe injury affects way too much (mobility, accuracy and velocity) to let this run an offense. That is why Seneca was brought in; I thought he was supposed to be an NFL-quality QB. 3 fumbles and 2 interceptions. This is not the stuff of a competitive team. On the plus side, the DBs were overall much better than last year. This team should be 2-0 after next week. Now, I’m looking forward to my vacation so I can avoid having to watch this for 3 Sundays.

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