During the last two years of Brady Quinn’s Notre Dame career, the only chance the Irish had to win big games was to simply outscore teams because the Irish defense was prone to big play after big play. One game into his Cleveland Browns starting career and Quinn is still looking for a defense to back him up.
In Quinn’s first start of his professional career Thursday night, he was extremely efficient and lead the Browns offense to 30 points, but the Browns defense allowed 21 fourth quarter points and 447 yards passing to Jay Cutler in a 34-30 loss. Quinn tossed two first half touchdowns to Browns tight end Kellen Winslow to put the Browns up 13, but Winslow would end up helping the Broncos back in the game.
With the Browns up 23-13, Brown hit Braylon Edwards for what appeared to be a 20 yard gain on 3rd down, but Winslow was flagged for offensive pass interference and the drive stalled. It took Denver one play to go 93 yards for a touchdown on a Cutler to Eddie Royal long bomb to cut the lead to 23-20. On the next Browns drive, Quinn hit Winslow for a first down only to see Winslow fumble the ball away with Denver recovering. The Broncos would go on to score another touchdown to take the lead.
Quinn would bring the Browns back with a touchdown drive of his own, but after Denver marched down the field one more time for their third touchdown of the quarter, Quinn couldn’t let his team for another score. On 4th and 1 the Browns called a pass with Winslow dropping a routine catch to cap off his forgettable 4th quarter.
Quinn ended the game completing 23 of 35 passes for 239 yards with 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Not bad for a quarterback who has taken 1 or 2 snaps with the first team offense each week before being named the starter Monday. The playbook definitely appeared to be scaled back a lot for Quinn who had just 1 full practice since this was a short week for the Browns.
Congrats to Brady for a strong debut, but come on Cleveland. Get your defense in order.