Trent Richardson spent Sunday answering his critics and making peace with one of them.
The Cleveland Browns running back pounded away at the San Diego Chargers for 122 yards on the ground. He was the difference in Cleveland's second win of the season, a 7-6 affair that resembled something out of 1937.
It wasn't pretty, but the Browns aren't complaining. Neither was Hall of Fame back Jim Brown, who waited by Richardson's locker after the game. Brown made waves during the offseason when he called Richardson an "ordinary" back. He's singing a different tune eight games into the season.
"That's my partner, man," Brown told Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland after the game. "He never took anything I said the wrong way. He's interested in his family. He's interested in his team. And he's willing to make sacrifices because really, he's hurt more than you think he is right now."
If Richardson was in pain, nobody knew about it. He faced a Chargers run defense that came into the game ranked second in the NFL. In weather conditions that reduced both quarterbacks to handoff robots, everyone in the stadium knew Richardson was the key to the game for the Browns. The Chargers had no answers.
"Great running backs break tackles," Brown said. "You do that, you are in control. You keep the ball. The other team is disheartened. That's football."
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.