635 days later

It has been 635 days since the Cleveland Browns last won a regular season football game. On Thursday night the Browns played the Jets and ended that streak by beating the Jets 21-17. For much of the first two games fans and critics have said that they need to start rookie QB and the first pick the draft, Baker Mayfield. However, I disagreed with that argument because I believed that by him sitting until he was needed, it gave him a chance to learn from the sidelines. The NFL is a lot different than college football and by rushing a QB in to early it could ruin him. Perfect example is Johnny Manziel, had he sat and learned the offense and the speed of the game he may have turned out differently. Another example is Aaron Rodgers; he sat for years behind Brett Favre. Now, I realize that Tyrod Taylor is no Brett Favre; however, Taylor was still performing well enough to put the team in a good spot to win the first two games.

Tyrod Taylor’s first game he went 15-40 for 197 yards a touchdown and an interception and 77 rushing yards on 8 carries against the Steelers, a game that they ended in a tie. Game 2 against the Saints he went 22-30 for 246 yards one touchdown and one interception along with 26 rushing yards on 4 carries. The game ended in a loss but because of missed attempts by the kicker, who was then released the next day. These numbers show that Taylor was not to blame for the 0-1-1 start; rather he should be praised for keeping the Browns in the games. However, on Thursday, Taylor started the game in terrible fashion and it seemed like the clock was ticking for the Baker Mayfield era. Taylor took a hit late in the 2nd quarter and was ruled out for the remainder of the game, and it was at that time Cleveland got a look at the future.

Baker comes in down by 14 points and on his first drive goes 3-4 for 47 yards and gets the Browns in field goal range to begin chipping away at the Jets lead.  Baker comes out of the half and picked up right where he left off.  The Browns went on to score 18 points in the second half while holding the Jets to only 3 points.  The Browns broke the winless streak and their QB of the future finished 17-23 for 201 yards and a receiving touchdown.

The Browns finally won a game but the key is not only that Baker looks the QB of the future for the Browns but the fact that if the Browns had a competent kicker they are sitting at 3-0 and are shocking the world.  This team has started to put all the pieces together and is beginning to look like an actual NFL team right now.  The Cleveland fans went crazy on Thursday night and from the videos seen of all the fans celebrating in bars and in their homes and how social media exploded some could have believed the Browns just won the Super Bowl. There is a lot to be excited about right now if you are a Browns fan and there is a lot of energy on this team. This being said, to all the NFL fans that have laughed and joked at the Browns expense, hold on because this team might not be the mistake on the lake for much longer.

Gruden is getting PAID

The Oakland Raiders have announced that Jon Gruden is set to become their new head coach. Furthermore, Gruden is going to now be the highest paid coach in NFL history with a 10 year, 100-million-dollar contract with possible ownership stakes. Gruden has not coached in the NFL since 2009, however he was still involved with the NFL, he was a commentator on Monday Night Football as well as having his own show Grudens QB Camp where he worked with soon to be drafted QB’s.

I like the move by the Raiders. This is a guy who knows the game and has been around the game even when he was not coaching. Gruden worked with his now starting QB Derek Carr when he was about to go pro so he already knows how to elevate his game. Gruden also knows the strengths and weakness of other young QB’s since he has worked with most of them. Which will give him the advantage when working with his Defense.

Many people might not like the amount of money Gruden is going to get, let alone the fact that it is a 10-year deal but it seems like every year when there is a coaching job open, sports networks always throw in Gruden’s name as a possibility because they know that this is a guy who not only knows the game, but also is a coach that can win games and elevate his team’s performance.

USC vs Texas

On Saturday college football fans everywhere watched as USC played Texas. A game with so much history behind it followed by an 11 year wait to see it happen again. This game was full of hype and everyone was talking about the last time when these teams played each other in the National Championship. For those who may not remember or are too young and did not have the chance to witness one of the classic games of all time. USC and Texas played each other in the National Championship game in 2006 and it was full of hype and stars. The game had three Heisman candidates playing in it and two of them ended up winning the award while in college. Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush lead the way for the Trojans and Vince Young lead the Longhorns. The game was close and there were so questionable calls made by the referees but in the end Young ran it into the end zone with seconds left to beat the Trojans and end their historic run.

Fast forward 11 years and the feeling around college football is the same when talking about these two teams. Almost anyone you talk to will remember that game and talk about how exciting it was to watch. Now USC was ranked #4 going into this game and Texas had a new coach so everyone was excited to see what happened. The result, a double overtime thriller. The game was back and forth and in the fourth quarter within the final minute Texas scores to take the lead the stadium was stunned and USC fans everywhere were thinking “no, not again we were so close to redemption”. But here is where it got wild, Heisman hopeful Sam Darnold marched the Trojans down the field in the final 45 seconds and got into field goal range. Freshman walk on Chase McGrath nailed the 31 yard field goal to send it into overtime. Suddenly USC fans had hope and Texas was not sure what just happened.

Overtime was just as exciting, USC went on to score and touchdown and make the PAT all the defense needed was a stop. Texas ended up countering and scored to tie it up again forcing a double overtime. Texas QB Sam Ehlinger attempted a QB sneak near the goal line and ended up getting the ball stripped and USC recovered. USC was able to get the ball back into range for their young kicker and as the ball went 43 yards through the uprights the USC fans could finally breathe a sigh of relief. Another instant classic between these two teams the only difference was that now the Trojans were victorious.

In the end, it really does not matter if you were shouting “hook em horns” or “Fight on Trojans” because this game lived up to the hype and it was provided a sense of excitement that every college football fan across the nation loved. This game was exactly what everyone wanted and as the old saying goes “it isn’t over till it’s over” and this game reminded fans everywhere of not only that but how sports can make you forget about all that is wrong in the world.