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Tony Grossi's Take: Pat Shurmur wasn't shy in having Brandon Weeden wing it on a wet day

Dec 02, 2012 -- 10:04pm

By Tony Grossi



Tony Grossi’s take on Browns’ 20-17 win over the Oakland Raiders

Offense: Brandon Weeden overcame two first-half interceptions to complete his finest day as a pro – 25 of 36 for 364 yards. He scrambled a couple times and attempted three QB sneaks. Afterwards, he said he got hit more than any game in his life. Josh Gordon had his best day – six catches for 116 yards and a 44-yard TD. Ben Watson (80 yards), Greg Little (48 and one huge block) and Mohamed Massaquoi (60) also posted big catches. Overall, 475 yards offense was the most for a Browns team since 2007. Bottom line: Very daring, considering the wet field.

Defense:  It adjusted when Carson Palmer was effective in a slow-paced no-huddle format. Although Marcel Reece (36 yards, 7 rushes) and Jeremey Stewart (46 on 9) each averaged 5.1 yards a carry, they couldn’t wrest control of the game. The only big play allowed was a 64-yard scoring pass to Rod Streater. Cornerback Sheldon Brown had a big day with an interception in the fourth quarter at the Browns’ 6 and four total breakups. Bottom line: Always in control.

Special teams: Phil Dawson’s 28-yard field goal miss was caused by a deflection by Desmond Bryant when he got penetration on a mushy portion of the field. Skrine’s fair-catch interference penalty was one of only two penalties the whole day by the Browns. Reggie Hodges had to punt only two times. Bottom line: Lonesome Phil’s streak is over.

Coaching: Pat Shurmur wasn’t shy dialing up the pass, even deep in his own end. Brandon Weeden made it the right call by leading a 94-yard TD drive in the fourth quarter. Shurmur didn’t challenge a third-down spot on the drive, but burned a timeout to discuss what alignment to use on fourth down. He spread the defense with three wideouts and Weeden converted the key play on a sneak. Bottom line: Two wins in a row, four of last seven … it’s getting interesting.

Tony Grossi covers the Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR, ESPN 1540 KNR2 and

He has covered the Browns with distinction since 1984 and is one of 44 voters for the National Football League Hall of Fame. Email your “Hey Tony” questions to

Follow Tony on Twitter @tonygrossi


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