Break up the Browns

ROB LONGLEY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:01 AM ET

The Brady Quinn watch was put on hold as stunned Cleveland Browns fans were left to digest yesterday's tidal wave of scoring on the shores of Lake Erie.

For one day at least, the Cleveland Browns were anything but a mistake by the lake, upsetting the heavily favoured Cincinnati Bengals, 51-45.

Long-suffering Browns fans came to Cleveland Stadium expecting to start chanting for the arrival of rookie quarterback Brady Quinn.

Instead, they watched Derek Anderson throw for five touchdowns and the two teams combine for more than 1,000 yards in total offence.

For shock value, the Browns' bust-out was the most spectacular on a wild second Sunday of the NFL season in which:

- The defending Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts barely held off the Tennessee Titans, who fell 22-20 at home.

- The Detroit Lions moved to 2-0 and have a share of first in the NFC North with the Green Bay Packers.

- The New Orleans Saints, touted by many as a glamorous Super Bowl favourite after their breakthrough 2006 season, fell to 0-2 after losing to the Tampa Bay Bucs.

- The Houston Texans moved to 2-0 for the first time in their miserable franchise history with a 34-21 trouncing of the Carolina Panthers.

- For company amongst the surprising 2-0 squads in this young but suddenly most intriguing season, add the Pack (35-13 winners over the Giants) and San Francisco (17-16 upset winners over St. Louis.)

The stunning afternoon clearly started in Cleveland, however, where the Browns seemed resigned to merely be putting in time until Quinn was given the call at quarterback.

That prospect received momentum earlier this week when opening day starter Charlie Frye was shipped to Seattle.

But when fans filed into the Dawg Pound ready to rip into Bengals receiver Chad Johnson and his touchdown celebrations, instead they saw an offensive juggernaut wearing Brown.

What could you say if you were Carson Palmer and threw a career-best six touchdown passes and still lost?

"I don't think anybody expected this game to shake out like this," said Palmer, whose team is in for a long season if it doesn't soon find a way to cover opposing receivers. Or tackle anyone, for that matter."

After losing to the Colts on opening night, the Saints fell to 0-2 after a 31-14 blowout loss to Tampa. The Saints have been outscored 72-24 and are about as adept at tackling to this point as the Bengals.

"I'm very surprised," Saints quarterback Drew Brees said. "We really need to take a deep look at ourselves, identify the problems and figure out how to fix it."

The Bucs, meanwhile, seemed to respond to a play CFL fans are well familiar with. Quarterback Jeff Garcia scrambled and dove head first on a seven-yard run on their first touchdown drive to fire up his teammates.

"He went in head first, trying to get a first down," Bucs coach Jon Gruden said. "It sends a message. It's a healthy, exciting change."

When they wake up and read the standings to confirm it is real, fans in Cleveland, San Francisco, Detroit and Houston will share that feeling.


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