The Cleveland Football Team Stumbles
It was the first and only time the orange and brown got to play in front of a national audience and the fared the way they have all season long – poorly. Outside of collecting a pair of interceptions and witnessing a late touchdown, the Browns were completely embarrassing. There were a few things I took away in this matchup.
#1 – QB Replacement
I was very surprised the Browns moved away from rookie signal caller Cody Kessler to veteran Josh McCown. The starter managed the game well and did not make any mistakes, while the backup tossed a pair of interceptions in the second half. To think that this move would have sparked a win is silly, but the performance was even worse. The Browns must stick with Kessler the rest of the way – no matter the score.
#2 – What Collins Can Do
The insertion of Jamie Collins was apparent in this defensive performance. Not only did the linebacker make plays both up the middle and from the edge (against both the run and pass), but he elevated the play of his teammates. I thought Danny Shelton, Jamie Meder, Demario Davis, and Chris Kirksey all had their moments – they are far from great but I was glad to see them starting to get a bit more consistent in their play.
#3 – Offensive Line
The guys upfront did not do their jobs last night, especially when trying to protect Cody Kessler during drop backs. The quarterback was hurried or sacked from blitzers blowing past Cameron Erving, Spencer Drango, Joe Thomas, etc. This has pretty much been status quo for the season and the team must upgrade severely. The Browns are not running the ball well, cannot protect the quarterback, and are not winning at the point of attack.
Conclusion: Honestly, this game was what I expected – a bad outing by a young team. The stride to 0 – 16 is very real and no victories seem to be on the horizon. At least Browns’ fans have an open Sunday afternoon, enjoy it for once!