Behold, the Seneca Wallace era of 2011 Cleveland Browns football. With Colt McCoy still waiting for the numbers 9 and 2 to disappear from his forehead, the Browns lackluster offense will be under the watch of the versatile veteran, Mr. West Coast offense himself, Seneca Isayha Wallace.
Wallace will take an offense that will be without tight end Ben Watson and fullback Owen Marecic (also out with head-related injuries) and attempt to rectify it from the dust of the three-point Thursday night outing against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Many will point to the play which provided the Browns with a first-and-goal at the five yard line and romance the fact that it was a perfectly thrown pass from the hands of Sir Wallace. Others will scream from the mountaintops, pointing that Wallace should have been given the chance to play well before the nationally televised decapitation of McCoy. Either way, you’ll get your chance at redemption as Wallace will face off against the NFL’s 23rd-ranked pass defense. On the road. Opposite of something called a John Skelton.
The Browns Will Win If…
Editor’s note: Similar to the past weeks, we have started things off with sharing some takes with our audience over at Still WFNY – please feel free to head over to Cleveland.com to partake. Also, we will lead things off, once again, with a take from Daniel Wolf from National Football Authority.
Dan: …Colt McCoy or Seneca Wallace (whomever starts at QB) can continue throwing the ball downfield to Evan Moore, Greg Little (if he doesn’t drop it) and any other receiver who wants to get open and catch the football—just like what was seen on the first drive against the Steelers. The Cardinals are giving up 242 yards in the air and their pass defense is weaker than their rush defense. Maybe the Browns get lucky and the Cards stack the box against Peyton Hillis and can get some passes completed over 10 yards down the field. Just watch out for rookie Patrick Peterson and don’t throw it his way please. Speaking of Peterson, don’t kick to him on special teams (EVER) or he will single-handedly beat the Browns.
Finally, how about stopping a running back and holding him under 100 yards for once this season? Beanie Wells is a beast of the running back but he is not shifty or super fast, just hit him hard and wrap him up the first time and Cleveland could squeak out a win against a Cards team that may be emotionally and physically spent after upsetting the 49ers last Sunday.
Rick: …they play a lot better than they have been? That sounds really basic and maybe even sarcastic, but it is really the only way that they are going to get any W’s the rest of the season. They will have to step up and stop the run, especially against a Cardinals team that is suddenly relying more on the running game than the passing game. Offensively, the line will have to block better (which is possible) the backs will have to run hard without getting injured (which may or may not be possible) and Wallace is going to have to be on target with his throws. Arizona is not a push-over, but it is a winnable game. If they were to win, it would be the best team this year Cleveland will have beaten.
Andrew: …Seneca Wallace is a much better QB than Colt McCoy is? I mean, I don’t know, I think the Browns match up much better with teams who struggle running the ball. At 23rd in the NFL, Arizona falls into that category. When you factor in how mediocre Arizona’s defense has been, you have to look at this game as a somewhat win-able one, don’t you? Well, you probably would if you hadn’t watched the Browns play football this year. But since pretty much everyone reading this has watched every Browns game this year, we all know the truth. The Browns are terrible, they are seemingly getting worse, and unrest among fans is higher than I can recall since the team came back. This hasn’t been a fun year, and a win against the Cardinals isn’t going to make anyone feel better. Having said all that, though, I still believe that if Seneca Wallace plays pretty well (not too conservative, but doesn’t turn the ball over), I think the Browns will have a chance to win this game. The Browns just have to somehow (SOMEHOW) figure out how to show improvement on the offensive side of the ball. Here’s to hoping Seneca can be that spark.
Kirk: … they want to ruin their chance at a Top 5 draft pick. Yep, I said it. For that reason and the fact that Seneca Wallace is starting, I would actually be surprised if the Browns didn’t manage to win. While Seneca does not have the long term potential that the Browns have been trying to confirm or deny from McCoy, he is everything you want a backup to be. He’s a veteran presence with play-making ability and knowledge of the offensive system. If he avoids the painful interception, he’s got a good chance to win. One of his best weapons, tight end Ben Watson, won’t be playing, but the Browns haven’t been targeting him much lately anyway. Maybe this is a week for Evan Moore to break out. How about a good running game from Chris Ogbonnaya? I’m tired of waiting for Hillis and Hardesty to put up a good game. Obie has been the only one to rush for 100 yards this season, and he’s been effective on third down. Defensively, if the Browns exhibit that first half pressure on Kolb and/or force turnovers like they did against the Steelers, they’ll blow the Cardinals away. Joe Haden has had some rough breaks late in games recently. He can send quite a message if he shuts down Fitzgerald. If they don’t shut down Beanie (or Stephens-Howling), though, none of the other stuff matters.
TD: … Wow. I don’t even know what to say anymore on these. Sure, you need to stop Larry Fitzgerald and you can’t let Beanie Wells beat you, but offensively, lets see what Seneca Wallace does with his first chance to lead the team for four quarters. He certainly couldn’t do any worse than what Colt McCoy has been doing. The problem is, Wallace has the same lack of weapons that McCoy has. Im actually not happy considering the Tebow/Brady game is on at the same time and we can’t see it in Cleveland now.
But wait…that’s not all.
With a take from the Internet’s most-read Arizona Cardinals fan, we have NYMagazine’s Will Leitch; creator and former editor of Deadspin, author of various sports-related books such as God Save the Fan and the recently released Are We Winning: Fathers and Sons in the New Golden Age of Baseball. He’s the man behind one of the best sports profiles of 2011 and the reason AJ Daulerio has a Cardinals-based buzzsaw tattooed on his ass. His thoughts can be found below.
“During my lifetime as a fan of the St. Louis/Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, the following men have played quarterback for my beloved Big Red: Cliff Stoudt, Stan Gelbaugh, Tony Sacca, Chris Griesen, John Navarre and Tim Rattay. For several years, the primary quarterback option was Tom Tupa, who is a punter. So are you telling me I am supposed to be worried that John Skelton is the starter for the foreseeable future? (Because our team actually tries to HELP people with concussions, unlike SOME teams.) Please. The Arizona Cardinals barely even need a quarterback. Just let Larry Fitzgerald play every position. By the way, it is not for nothing that the Cardinals finally found some success after years of pain once they changed the design of their helmet. Have you considered the Cleveland Mauves?
As DP would say…What say ye, fuzzy britches?