Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/17/12

I was able to take in the Browns at Bengals game this afternoon from the 30-yard line at Paul Brown Stadium, and despite a tough division loss, the Browns looked better than I thought they would.

Defensively, Cleveland took a step backwards, giving up 27 points (the other Bengals TD was a punt return).  This was to be expected with star cornerback Joe Haden out due to a suspension.

There are some issues out there in the secondary.  The front seven did a good job slowing down the run all day, but the corners were playing too far off the receivers, even with safety help over the top. 

Offensively, I was pleasantly surprised with the play of Trent Richardson.  He ran hard, and took a screen pass 23 yards for a TD breaking four tackles in the process.  Richardson ended up with 109 yards rushing on 19 carries.

Brandon Weeden looked like a different QB compared to last week's performance.  He completed over 70% of his passes for 322 yards and 2 TDs, but most importantly, had zero turnovers.

Weeden will continue to grow and become a better QB.  He missed a wide open Josh Gordon in the end zone because he checked down too early, but this will all improve with time.  Weeden now has a good performance and an awful performance on his resume.  It will be interesting to see how he builds off of this game going into next week.

Overall, I was happy with the performance by the two big rookies on the offensive side of the ball.  I do have to say that Cincinnati is a wonderful city and the Bengals fans were very gracious to us the entire weekend.  I will definitely attend more games at Paul Brown Stadium in the future.



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