The Cleveland Browns authored the greatest comeback in franchise history – and one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history – against Tennessee this past Sunday, overcoming a 28-3 deficit and winning 29-28.
“It was a blessing to be out there on the field and be a part of that,” Browns linebacker Karlos Dansby said on The Doug Gottlieb Show.
What the heck happened in the first half? The Browns allowed two touchdowns (one pass, one rush) to Jake Locker and two touchdowns to Charlie Whitehurst. At one point, Tennessee was on pace to score 60+ points. What was the issue?
“Lack of communication, not executing and finishing plays – that’s just what it was,” Dansby said. “In the second half, we out-executed them, we was communicating, and as you see, we finished the game.”
Johnny Manziel came under fire a bit earlier this week, as he was seen laughing on the sideline during Cleveland’s abysmal first half. Browns coach Mike Pettine, however, didn’t think it was a big deal and called his team’s play laughable.
“Yeah man, we was all stunned,” Dansby said. “We were laughing like, ‘How are we letting (this happen) and not playing the ball we know we can play?’ We had to laugh at ourselves.”
Cleveland encountered a similar situation in Pittsburgh in Week 1. The Browns trailed 27-3 at halftime, rallied back to tie the game but lost 30-27 as time expired.
“It was the same,” Dansby said. “It was the same type situation. We never dropped our heads or said this is over. We was like, ‘Man, we been here before.’ Have we grown from this situation is the question. We had to look at it man to man, look the guy next to you in the eye and say, ‘Have you grown from that situation? If you have, let’s go finish.’ And we went out and we finished the game.”
Brian Hoyer keyed the comeback, throwing for three touchdowns, including two in the final seven minutes of the fourth quarter. Hoyer is on pace for a 4,000-yard season and has six touchdowns to just one interception.
“He’s meant a lot (to this team),” Dansby said. “His toughness, his will to win, his grittiness – he’s the definition of everybody in this locker room. Everybody is the same way. We all go to work hard. We all go out and we want to be the best. He’s a great example of what the Browns are.”
The Browns (2-2) host Pittsburgh (3-2) this Sunday. All four of their games have been decided by three points or fewer, and both of their losses came on last-second field goals.
The Browns could easily be 4-0 (then again, they could also easily be 0-4). Still, Dansby likes where this team is headed.
“Man, I think we’re real good,” he said. “I think we got what it takes to go all the way, go the long haul. We got it, man. We got the talent here. We got the togetherness. It’s all coming together. We got a couple learning curves to get over, and once we do, it’s going to be a beautiful thing in Cleveland.”