The Cleveland Browns Pulled out a Tough One
As expected, this was a close contest and came down to the last play of the game. The special teams frankly got it done in the fourth quarter and survived a pair of Josh Lambo field goal attempts late in the contest. I’m not going overboard, but I am extremely relieved that the team was finally able to pull out a win in this treacherous season. What can be taken away from this victory?
A Little Bit of Each
The Browns’ offense was not stellar, but was gritty enough to move the football and (more importantly) put points on the scoreboard. Likewise, the defense did not shut down the Chargers – however, they prevented the opponent from finding the end zone on a few occasions (which was the difference in the outcome). Obviously, the special teams were good enough as well in this game. The Browns got it done in all three phases in this matchup. I would like to think that with improved talent, and complementary football – the Browns will win games with more regularity this season.
What this Means
If anyone has seen the video from the locker room after the victory, it is easy to see why this was a critical win. The locker room got a bit tighter and the players showed their continued support for coach Hue Jackson. I hope this is a turning point for the franchise, but we can not have this argument until they had their first victory of the season. I am pulling for this being a rally cry for the changed culture which will improve with more talented athletes and wins.
Protection Remains Alarming
The Chargers sacked the Browns quarterbacks nine times, meanwhile the home squad did not put up a single sack on Saturday afternoon. If the Browns ever want to be a consistent winner, they need to level the playing field in this department. I believe they will bolster their pass rush in the draft, but the offense still has work to do. The signal caller must get the ball out quickly, and the offensive line must hold up their end of the bargain.
Conclusion: The Browns won a game and still maintained their overall first draft pick status – not a bad day for the Cleveland Browns organization. I am eager for their building in the offseason, but clearly making the right choices (by personnel department) is what is important.