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The Cleveland Browns Aren't that Bad - Fan's Take

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Though I'm not a fan of the Cleveland Browns, I am a fan of the Cincinnati Bengals so I tend to be aware of how things are going in Cleveland. Not only are the Bengals and Browns in the same the division, but the two teams have been in-state rivals since before I was born, facing off twice every year in the Battle of Ohio.

The first Bengals versus Browns matchup of the year took place this past Sunday in Cincinnati. As a Bengals fan, I had this one already chalked up as a much needed win having lost our first game of the season on the road versus the Baltimore Ravens. The so-called experts had the Cleveland Browns in the basement of the Power Rankings in absolute last place - if we couldn't beat the Browns then we were really going to be in trouble this year.

And yet as I watched the game, it became very clear that the Cleveland Browns are not a bad football team. Sure, they have been abysmal for many years, but this is a different Cleveland Browns.

In Week 1 the Browns faced a tough opponent in the Philadelphia Eagles led by Michael Vick - and yet they played the Eagles close and almost came out on top. Versus my Bengals in Week 2, rookie Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden and rookie running back Trent Richardson were nothing short of awesome.

Brandon Weeden threw for 322 yards without a single interception, which was better than New England Patriots Tom Brady (316 yard, one interception) and Pittsburgh Steelers Ben Roethlisberger (275 yards).

Running back Trent Richardson had 109 yards rushing, 36 yards receiving, and two touchdowns. But if you watched the game, you know the stats don't tell the whole story on Richardson. He broke through and tossed off tacklers with an ease rarely witnessed.

The Cincinnati Bengals managed to edge out the Cleveland Browns by seven in the end, but this game could have gone either way if not for an 81 yard punt return for a touchdown by Bengals Adam (formerly Pacman) Jones.

So as a Cincinnati Bengals fan who knows what it is like to suffer through seasons with an embarrassment a football team, allow me to speak to fans of the Cleveland Browns and say your team looked pretty darn good this week. I certainly won't be taking a win against the Browns for granted again anytime soon.

As far as those so-called experts and Power Rankings go, you've got it wrong if you have the Cleveland Browns as the worst team in the league. But then again, I guess it is clear the ranking are more for fun than fact. Just ask the 27th ranked Arizona Cardinals, or the number one ranked New England Patriots, who they beat.

Brian Billick, "NFL Power Rankings Week 2," msn.foxsports.com

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Lisa Stewart is a married mother of two who lives in the suburbs of Cincinnati, Ohio. She is a die-hard Bengals fan and looks forward to the day when they will finally win it all.

Follow Lisa on Twitter: @lisa0606

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