Finishing Dead Last
Congratulations Cleveland Browns, you did it! They completed their horrific campaign not only ending with the worst record in all of the NFL (first time since 1999 in doing that), but also ending with the worst regular season record in franchise history. It wasn’t easy, but the Browns managed to lose a contest that was easily winnable. Let’s look at a few reasons why the Browns blew it.
Fumblerooski in the Fourth
Driving for the go ahead score in this contest (tied game with just over one minute to play), the Browns gave the ball to Isaiah Crowell inside the five yard line. The running back coughed it up and the Steelers avoided a defeat. It’s hard to fault the play call, as Crowell had a long gainer earlier in the contest and was doing exceptionally all game. Nonetheless, the back put the ball on the ground and a game winning field goal never materialized.
First and Goal
In overtime, the Browns reached the two yard line following a facemask penalty on a pass play to Corey Coleman. Instead of utilizing their workhorse to run for two yards (and win the game), the offense threw three passes and did not score a touchdown. The end result was a missed block by Terrelle Pryor, a huge loss, and a field goal. We all know what happened when the Steelers got the ball in overtime.
One Yard Away
Briean Boddy-Calhoun had a tough day in the cornerback position. The rookie got torched a few times in this game (both in regulation and in overtime), but what hurt most was his costly mistake. Boddy-Calhoun intercepted Landry Jones and retuned the football over sixty yards and was running it in for a touchdown. Instead of getting tackled at the one yard line, the cornerback stretched the ball out for a touchdown – only to fumble it back to the opponent. Instead of having a fourteen point lead, the Steelers would take advantage of the gift and score the game-tying touchdown.
Conclusion: I have never been happier for a Browns season to conclude. I cannot count how many times they got in their own way to avoid any sort of success. At least they defeated one squad to avoid a winless season, but outside of that it was awful and embarrassing. I hope the front office can make the right decisions and drastically improve over the next few months.