After scuffling the last two games, Trent Richardson bounced back with authority today. TRich ran for a career high 122 yards and the only touchdown in the game. In miserable cold, windy, and rainy weather conditions, the Cleveland Browns battled the San Diego Chargers to the very end for a 7-6 victory.
Bouncing back from injured rib cartilage, Richardson carried the ball 24 times for another career high. Today’s game was the first time that he had 20 or more carries all season. TRich has now found the end zone six out of the eight games the Browns have played. The rookie back carried the Cleveland offense and averaged 5.1 yards per carry. This was a much needed effort.
On a cold and wet day that Brandon Weeden was not great (11 for 27 & 129 yards) but did enough to win, Cleveland scuffled on offense for much of the game. On the Browns’ final possession while backed up behind their own 20 yard line, Weeden found Richardson out of the backfield for 12 yards on a huge third down conversion. That play alone changed the complexion of the contest by chewing up clock and changing field position. The drive did eventually stall out and the Browns would have to punt for the ninth straight time.
With an eager and focused Jimmy Haslam watching from the outside part of his suite, the day belonged to Richardson. With all the speculation about Richardson’s injured ribs, no. 33 proved all the doubters wrong. If his ribs were hurting, it sure didn’t show. You have to admire the kids’ toughness and determination.
Despite TRich’s efforts, a veteran Philip Rivers and the Chargers’ offense had one last shot with a little over two minutes to go. If you’re a faithful Browns fan, you couldn’t help but think, “Oh no, here we go again.” All the signs were pointing to a Nick Novak game winning field goal and in the final seconds, a 9-7 victory for the Chargers. But, a focused and determined Cleveland defense dug deep and made a play on 4th and 10. Buster Skrine broke up the Rivers’ pass to seal the victory. Even in terrible playing conditions, for once the football Gods shined on the Browns and their loyal fans.
Next up, the 2-6 Browns host the Baltimore Ravens this coming Sunday. Much work and preparation needs to done.
Ryan Ruiz – Cleveland Browns Writer
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