Shurmur wants fast start, good finish

Posted Oct 8, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur wants the team to finish games like the way they started Sunday against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.

The Cleveland Browns jumped out to a 14-point lead in the first five minutes of Sunday’s game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium, but a three-minute stretch at the end of the first half led to a 41-27 loss to the reigning Super Bowl champions.

“A 14-0 start is pretty good,” Browns coach Pat Shurmur said. “We were running the football; we hit a couple of big passes; we caused a turnover; we created field position with the kicking game. We had a good start and I felt like, going into the second quarter, we were continuing to play that way. Then, we hit a three-minute period there that initially, changed the course of the game.”

The Browns faced a third-and-one from New York’s 25-yard line with four minutes left in the second quarter when quarterback Brandon Weeden threw a pass intended for rookie wide receiver Josh Gordon on the right side of the formation. Giants safety Stevie Brown intercepted Weeden’s pass and returned it 46 yards to the Browns’ 40-yard line.

On the ensuing play, Giants quarterback Eli Manning completed a 36-yard pass to wide receiver Reuben Randle. On first-and-goal from the four, Manning handed the ball off to running back Ahmad Bradshaw, who ran behind left guard and into the end zone.

Bradshaw’s score tied the game at 17 all and the Browns fumbled the football on the ensuing kickoff. That turnover led to another New York score, one that put the Giants in front for good.

The Giants added a field goal at the end of the first half and took a 10-point lead into the intermission.

“It’s safe to say when you talk about the opportunity lost and not scoring points, it was about a 21-point swing in my mind,” Shurmur said. “The challenge there is going in at halftime and restarting your motor. We came out and I thought we were playing hard. We just didn’t overcome it. That’s what happens in the game. It’s very important, no matter how hard you play, the results are important and that’s winning.

“We can’t let a three-minute period wreck a performance against the Super Bowl champs. They took advantage of what we gave them and we didn’t overcome it. We’re moving forward, looking forward to playing the Bengals this week. We’re playing a team that we know pretty well. They’re coming off of a tough loss and we’re looking forward to playing them at home.”


In addition to Dimitri Patterson’s injury, the Browns played part of Sunday’s game without the services of defensive captain D’Qwell Jackson. Defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin also missed the end of the game due to injury.

Despite the injuries, Shurmur plans on making no excuses.

“I’m not wired that way,” Shurmur said. “We’re going to put 46 guys active in orange helmets with white and brown stripes and we’re going to play. That’s it and that’s the mindset of everybody in that locker room. We’re just going to do that. There’s no excuses. We’ve got a very proud team and you just keep pushing.”


Weeden just missed the third 300-yard passing game of his career on Sunday afternoon. He completed 22 of 35 attempts for 291 yards with two touchdowns -- both to Josh Gordon -- and two interceptions.

On the year, Weeden has completed 112 of 202 attempts for 1,288 yards and five touchdowns against nine interceptions.

“I think he made progress yesterday,” Shurmur said. “I think he stood in the pocket yesterday and threw the ball to No. 2 and No. 3 in the progression sometimes. He hit on a deep ball early in the game to a receiver he’s just been working with for a few weeks. There was some general efficiency there and there were a couple bad plays that he’d love to have back. How he responds to all that, that’s this week’s challenge as we get ready to play the Bengals.”

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