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Recent posts by Mike Wilkening
In their 30-17 defeat of New Orleans in Week Seven, the Browns pulled off a fake punt and a throw-back lateral on a punt return on special teams and kept a fourth-quarter drive going with a third-down pass from RB Peyton Hiillis to QB Colt McCoy.
Those plays set up nine points. Factor in the confusion created by the Browns' defense, which scored two of Cleveland's three TD returns, both by LB David Bowens, and it was hard not to escape the feeling that Cleveland had outfoxed New Orleans.
The question then became: What would Cleveland do for an encore vs. New England? Would the Browns play it straight, or with an extra week of preparation, would they unveil another memorable look or two?
The answer: The Browns executed one of the memorable runs of the season in the second quarter of their 34-14 win vs. New England. On 1st-and-10 from the New England 11 with 3:30 left in the half and the Browns holding a 10-7 lead, WR Joshua Cribbs lined up under center. QB Colt McCoy lined up wide right. RB Peyton Hillis was the tailback. The Browns had seven men on the line, with WR Chansi Stuckey lined up behind ORG Billy Yates. Cribbs took the snap and handed to Stuckey. Cribbs, a quarterback at Kent State, disguised his handoff well, and Stuckey, who was bent over at the waist so as to hide behind the linemen, sprinted off left end. TE Benjamin Watson made a key block, and Stuckey scored the touchdown to give Cleveland a 17-7 lead.
"Well, it's kind of a confusion play," Stuckey told reporters Sunday. "I go up quickly behind the linemen and try to hide. Josh comes in and snaps it quickly. You know the threat that he is, so guys are going to run to him and once everything clears out, I give a 'go' call to the linemen and they go. Ben (Watson) did a great job of blocking and I just squeezed in the corner at the endzone."
The Browns' play-calling creativity, and the excellent execution of those unique plays, is an edge for Cleveland, and it's played a key role in their last two wins. What will they unveil vs. the Jets? You have to think the Jets are wondering the same thing right now.