There were some impressive upsets in the NFL this past weekend – none more surprising, perhaps, than the Cleveland Browns’ 26-24 win over the New Orleans Saints.
Cleveland kicker Billy Cundiff hit a 29-yard field goal with three ticks on the clock to win the game, but several other Browns played key roles as well, including defensive back Tashaun Gipson, whose 62-yard, pick-six gave the Browns a 16-3 lead late in the first half.
“We know that that’s a great offense that’s generated by Drew Brees,” Gipson said on The MoJo Show. “We just wanted to go out there and just make sure that we (followed) our game plan (and did) everything that we set out to do. Anytime you’re dealing with (Brees) – who I believe is one of the top three quarterbacks in the NFL – you just got to be poised and understand that he’s going to make plays. But if you can withstand a blow and rely on your technique and the defensive game plan, (you’ll) have success.”
The Browns held Brees to 237 yards on 40 passing attempts. Jimmy Graham went off (10 catches, 118 yards, two touchdowns), but no other Saint had more than three catches or 40 yards.
“We had a lot of pressure from our front seven,” said Gipson, who finished with eight tackles. “Those guys came and they played. The defense came to play.”
And, as we continue to learn each week in the NFL, every game is an adventure. It doesn’t matter what jersey you’re wearing; you are capable of winning – and losing – every week in the NFL.
“Oh, without a shadow of a doubt,” said Gipson, 24. “As cliche as it may sound, any given Sunday – I think that pretty much hit the nail on the head. I’m sure we was huge underdogs coming in against the Saints. I think we probably was one of the teams who was chosen definitely not to win. I think (that’s) a testament (to) those guys in the locker room that I play with – offense, defense and special teams. We knew it wasn’t going to be an easy game, but we was able to get the win.
“I think that was definitely a stepping stone for us (as a team, as an organization and as a city),” Gipson continued. “Hopefully we continue to move forward and get ready for Baltimore coming up this week.”
Cleveland (1-1) hosts the Ravens (1-1) in a pivotal AFC North showdown this Sunday at 1 pm. ET.
Of course, we’d be remiss not to credit Brian Hoyer for his contributions this past weekend. Hoyer went 24-of-40 for 204 yards and a touchdown and also engineered a 14-play, 85-yard drive with less than three minutes to go to set up Cundiff’s game-winner.
“I think that Brian Hoyer just showed a lot of poise,” Gipson said. “He’s definitely a passionate guy. Anytime he plays out there, you see him coming to the sideline. He’s very passionate about what he does. Anytime I have a guy like that, I definitely support him 110 (percent). Brian Hoyer definitely is a competitor. I can’t say enough great things about him. He’s a consummate pro. He’s a good dude. He’s just going out there and playing football. He’s playing carefree – and it’s showing. He’s running the offense the way that it’s supposed to be ran. The offense is clicking right now.
“Not comparing it to past years,” Gipson continued, “but when you got an offense that can keep you off the field and (convert third downs), you love those. Anytime you get an offense that can give you 17 or 20 points, the rest of the game should be in the defense’s hands. Brian Hoyer has been operating at a high level. I can’t say enough great things about him.”