Brady Quinn's breakout game provides a glimmer of hope to the Browns offense.
Prior to Sunday's loss in Detroit, the Browns had scored five offensive touchdowns in 16 games. But in the first quarter alone in Detroit, Quinn threw three touchdowns.
He looked much better in part because the Browns let Quinn be a quarterback. They did not shackle him with a conservative game plan, and Quinn and the offense responded.
"I thought that Brady and the entire offense did a really nice job operating the no-huddle," coach Eric Mangini said. "Getting the shifts, getting the motions, getting the spacing against the calls that they had. Identifying the pressures, picking those up, because they had quite a few different packages that they ran, and then when we had those chances, capitalizing on them."
Quinn probably didn't erase every question about his future, but his 304-yard, four-touchdown game -- those are good numbers no matter the opponent -- should allow the Browns to breathe easier about him if he can follow with more good games.
If the Browns come out of nothing else from this disaster of a season, they should at least have an idea of Quinn's abilities.
--QB Brady Quinn needs to follow up the game against Detroit with more strong efforts. If Quinn can't finish strong the final six games of the season, then the criticism will be leveled that he only did it against weak competition. Quinn needs a good game against a good team.
--RB Jamal Lewis continues to play hard in what he has said will be his final season. Lewis ran 24 times for 75 yards in Detroit. Though he didn't gain a lot, he ran hard and picked up some tough yards.
--WR Mohamed Massaquoi showed better against Detroit than any other game since Braylon Edwards was traded. Massaquoi topped 100 yards receiving and got into the end zone once. But he did it against one of the worst secondaries in the league. Like Brady Quinn, he needs a good game against a good team.
--WR Chansi Stuckey returned from mothballs -- i.e. the inactive list -- and caught five passes for 76 yards and a touchdown. Stuckey benefitted from a weak opponent, but he still played well in his return to the lineup.
--TE Michael Gaines had a very impressive 2-yard touchdown reception. Gaines had to outfight a linebacker for the ball, then fight his way into the end zone. He was successful on what appeared to be the game-winning play. His pass-catching abilities should earn him more playing time.
--WR Brian Robiskie returned to the inactive list in a surprising move by coach Eric Mangini. Robiskie has never been able to establish himself this season because he's been moving between the active and inactive list on a regular basis.
--KR Josh Cribbs played after being carted off the field on the final play of the previous game against Baltimore. Cribbs had his best game as a receiver, with a touchdown and an outstanding run after catch on a quick screen. Like the rest of the offense, Cribbs benefitted from playing the Lions defense.
--S Brodney Pool would have had two fourth-quarter interceptions were it not for a pass-interference penalty on Hank Poteat on the second. Pool comes up with big plays, but he and Abram Elam also tend to jump too quickly on play-action fakes, which allows teams to get big plays.