The Browns improved their record to 5-7 after beating the Dolphins Sunday. It was kicker Phil Dawson’s short field goal as time expired that was the margin of victory for the Browns who won 13-10. With the loss the Dolphins drop to 6-6.
Turnovers proved to be the deciding factor. Unlike last week against Carolina, Browns QB Jake Delhomme did an excellent job protecting the ball. The same can not be said for Chad Henne, who threw three interceptions.
Browns rookie CB Joe Haden was responsible for one of the interceptions. Haden has now picked off a pass in four straight games, bringing his season total to five. He is tied with Seahawk’s Safety Earl Thomas for the most among rookies. What makes this even more impressive is that Haden has only been a starter for two games now. Haden also has four passes defended, giving him twenty on the year which is third best in the NFL. To put the icing on the cake, the rookie showed outstanding tackling ability, shedding blockers to make open field tackles. Haden is everything the Browns could have hoped for in a first round draft choice, and he should be a cornerstone of their defense for years to come.
Safety Abe Elam also had an interception. Elam has shown a propensity for making big plays this year. He has two interceptions and two forced fumbles. It was backup safety Mike Adams, however, whose interception late in the 4th quarter set up Dawsons game winning field goal.
Credit the Browns defense for making big plays and keeping the Phins in check for most of the game, but credit Delhomme for not trying to do too much. The veteran was efficient, if unspectacular, going 24-34 for 217 yards with one touchdown. He did just enough against the Dolphins defense, which was loading up to stop RB Peyton Hillis and the Browns’ running game. His favorite target in the game was TE Ben Watson who had ten catches for 100 yards. Coach Mangini praised Delhomme’s temperance in his post game press conference saying, “Jake is the ultimate team guy.”
Even if he threw thirty touchdowns, Delhomme still doesn’t factor into Browns future. And even if the Browns won this game 100-0, they still aren’t making the playoffs this year. Thus, despite Delhomme’s solid play, Browns fans are hoping that rookie Colt McCoy will be back under center next week when the Browns face the Bills. Experience is such a key factor for young quarterbacks, it will be crucial for the Browns’ long term success for McCoy to get as many snaps as he can going forward. Delhomme can end his Browns career with a solid win, and assume the role of veteran mentor the rest of the way. Again, that’s assuming that McCoy will be healthy enough to play next week.
About the Author
Written by Fran Berkman
Francis (Fran) Berkman is a graduate of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY with a BS in Human Development. He is currently working towards a master's degree in journalism at Hofstra University. He lives in Massapequa, NY.