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Officially the Worst – The Cleveland Browns

Officially the Worst – The Cleveland Browns

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.

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Posted by on January 1, 2017 in NFL Season, Players

 

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Browns @ Pittsburgh – Game #16

Browns @ Pittsburgh – Game #16

The Last Game of the Season – Cleveland Browns

Well, the Browns finally broke though and pulled out a win last week; thankfully there will not be a parade to celebrate losing.  Their game at Pittsburgh marks the last contest this campaign but not one where the team in orange and brown is expected to win.   Nonetheless, let’s review a few key aspects of this matchup.

Little to Gain

Once again, the Steelers have already clinched a playoff berth and are locked in their spot as a divisional winner.  Thus, there is not a ton to play for in this matchup (as they cannot obtain a first round bye) – at least on their end.  I would expect Big Ben, Antonio Brown, and Le’Veon Bell (to name a few) to participate in this matchup but not for the entire contest.  Will their backups be able to overtake the Browns’ starters?  Outside of Landry Jones – I would not be surprised to see other reserves still making plays.

Any Sort of Confidence?

The Browns are coming off a victory; something that was over a year in the making.  That said, will the taste of a win carry over into this contest?  It is unlikely as they are facing a sound football team; however the Browns have not been in this spot under Hue Jackson.  I am interested to see how the athletes respond and come out on Sunday.  I feel this could be a close contest at Heinz Field.

Kessler Under Center

The concussion of Robert Griffin in last week’s contest paved the way for Cody Kessler to return to the lineup.  The rookie will more than likely get the nod in this contest.  In my estimation, he is the only signal caller on the roster who will be returning onto the 2017 squad.  To what capacity might be determined by how he fares in this game.  I expect Cody to revert back to his conservative style, in order to limit his potential mistakes.  Perhaps he can come out throwing and hitting his targets in stride.

Conclusion:  For the first time all season, the Browns were winners while I predicted them to lose.  I would love for a repeat scenario on Sunday, but still expect the black and yellow to propel to victory.  They appear to be an organization that wants to have positive momentum for the playoffs.  Meanwhile, the Browns’ draft (and free agency) talk will continue to heat up in the coming months.

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2016 in NFL Season, Players

 

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Browns Vs. Chargers

San Diego at Cleveland 

Well the Browns will trot out on the field yet again this week.  However, they will be playing on a Saturday (and Christmas Eve).  I am fortunate there are other things going on except watching the putrid team.  Nonetheless, what is going on in this game?

Hunting the Browns

Rookie tight end Hunter Henry figures to have a solid outing against the Browns.  Philip Rivers should find the weapon multiple times, including in the red zone.  The Browns will not be able to limit the tight end.

The Running Back Spot

It will likely be Kenneth Farrow, but there’s a chance that Melvin Gordon could return from injury in this matchup.  At this point, it doesn’t really matter who is in the back field – he will be successful against the orange and brown.

Griffins Last Chance?

For some odd reason, Hue Jackson is sticking with Robert Griffin as his quarterback in this game.  The veteran has no business playing, as rookie Cody Kessler looks like an upgrade at this point. I do not have high hopes for the Browns’ offense.

Conclusion:  Outside of a mammoth outing by Isaiah Crowell and a turnover-filled day by the Chargers’ offense, there are few scenarios where I could witness a Browns victory.  The team will fall at home and will be one defeat from embarrassment.  If those idiots actually do put on a parade, then that would be a bigger embarrassment.  Go Browns!

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2016 in Cleveland Browns Fans, NFL Season

 

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Another Team’s Practice

Another Team’s Practice

Browns Physically Dominated on Sunday

Once again, the Cleveland Browns were beaten up at the line of scrimmage, as LeSean McCoy, Mike Gillislee, and Tyrod Taylor ran up and down the field against the orange and brown.  I understand the Bill have the best rushing offense in the league, but they showed why in this contest.  What else can be taken away from this outing?

Not a Protective Unit

Robert Griffin was taken down five times in the pocket, it has become obvious that the line is failing to keep the signal caller clean.  It continues to be obvious that this part of the Browns’ team must be upgraded this offseason.  I know that there have been multiple injuries to key guys (i.e. Joel Bitonio and John Greco) but the guys filling in have nowhere replicated the performance of an adequate unit.

Defending the Tight End?

The defense (early in the season) had a problem defending the opposing tight end in coverage.  Unfortunately, that reared its ugly head once again in this matchup as Charles Clay hauled in seven receptions and was the leading receiver (while also securing a touchdown).  It’s rather frustrating and disappointing trying to watch this unit, but the other two aspects of the team are not much better.

Let’s Talk about the Run Again

I know I touched on it earlier, but that performance by the Browns’ defense against the run was embarrassing and unacceptable.  The Bills amassed 280 yards on the ground and were picking up five to seven yards easily on each carry.  Changes must also be made in the offseason to rectify this porous part of the franchise.

Conclusion:  And then there were two – this refers to the number of games remaining in the season to finally earn a victory.  If the Browns play the way they did today then they will be defeated soundly.  At least the Browns will not lose next Sunday, as they play on a Saturday.

 

 
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Posted by on December 18, 2016 in NFL Season, Players

 

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Three Losses Away – The Browns Did Not Win Today

Three Losses Away – The Browns Did Not Win Today

Browns Almost Win Again 

At a point early in the fourth quarter, I felt the Browns had an opportunity to come back and pull this one out. However, that was not the case and the orange and brown were defeated once again at home.

Can We See Some Improvement (at Center)?

He was far from perfect, but center Cameron Erving actually pushed back defenders a time or two on Sunday. Worst-case scenario is that he has shown an ability to play in this league. Hopefully, he will actually prove that he is worth of being a starter in the NFL. His remaining three contests will be huge for his future with this franchise; if he makes plays the way he did against the Bengals, perhaps the Browns will keep him.

How About a Pass Rusher?

Rookie Emmanuel Ogbah has had his issues this season, however the defender was solid at putting pressure on Andy Dalton – including notching several sacks. Everyone has been stating that the second round selection is improving, but it is finally showing on the field. I hope this production continues, as he can be a key figure for the Browns’ defense for years to come.

Rust is Obvious

It was glaringly apparent that Robert Griffin was out of synch in the first half of this contest. Looking at his timing and rhythm, he was unable to connect with his targets. Griffin improved in the second half, but it was not enough to garner a victory. I sure hope that he will be much better in the final three contests as the team has to make a decision about his future in the near future.

Still Can’t Stop the Run 

I will give the Brown credit, as they were not gashed the same way in the first meeting against the Bengals. However, the opponent ran whenever they needed to pick up easy yards on Sunday. Yes, the Browns appear to be better in this area but still cannot be a force in stopping the run. NFL teams will continue to exploit this until the Browns can change.

Conclusion: It was another defeat for the Cleveland Browns and no one was surprised. If they continue to improve, maybe they will actually win a game – but today was not that day.

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2016 in NFL Season, Players

 

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Browns vs. Giants Preview

Browns vs. Giants Preview

Browns – Giants Matchup

It’s another contest for the orange and brown and the red-hot Giants come to town.  Once again, expectations for success should be low – but let’s review why.

Locker Room Chatter

Following last week’s horrid performance, Browns players finally sounded off about the state of the franchise.  I can’t imagine everyone shaking that off and coming together for a victory.  What is more likely is continued frustration and finger pointing at others.

McCown Back

Again, I respect Josh McCown and the type of guy he is, but he will not win a game for the Browns.  Anticipate a costly turnover or two – maybe with a touchdown in there too.  Bottom line is that it will not be good enough for the orange and brown.

The Giants are Good

Let’s not forget who the Cleveland Browns are facing.  Eli Manning does have a history of throwing multiple interceptions, while the opponent does not feature a stout rushing attack.  However, Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard will likely see handfuls of attempts, yardage, and possibly touchdowns.

That Offensive Line

Let’s not forget about the unit upfront who has been ill-equipped to either run block or not kill the guy under center.  Jason Pierre-Paul and company should feast on their counterparts at First Energy Stadium.

Conclusion:  I’m predicting the Browns to lose again on Sunday – by at least two touchdowns.  The good news is that the team finally hits their bye week after this matchup.

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2016 in NFL Season, Players, Uncategorized

 

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Looking Back at Another Defeat

Looking Back at Another Defeat

The Browns Lost to Dallas – What Does it Mean?

This contest between the Cleveland Browns and the Dallas Cowboys was a brutal one (which was to be expected).  The home squad got physically dominated at the point of attack all game long.  The orange and brown were in no way competitive in this matchup, outside of two respectable drives.  Let’s delve a little bit further into the takeaways.

#1 – Another Strike for Erving

Outside of not playing too terrifically well, there is not a whole lot that can be said about second year veteran Cameron Erving.  He got ejected during the first offensive drive in this contest – surely that will not help his standing on the team with coach Jackson (who does not take kindly to those sort of actions).  I am not sure where he goes from here, but unless he performs magnificently the rest of the campaign – the Browns might be shipping him out of town next spring.

#2 – Awful Defense

I understand that Ray Horton’s defense got walled off and could not stop Ezekiel Elliot – as that appears to be the norm against the rookie of the year candidate.  However, witnessing defenders lining offsides on multiple occasions is unacceptable in the NFL.  I don’t have a reasonable excuse as to why these issues are present, but they still remain.  It would be nice if they can somewhat turn it around, but I do not see that happening any time soon.

#3 – What’s so Special?

I’m pretty sure the Browns committed a penalty on each and every return in this contest.  With an offense that is vertically challenged, they can ill afford to start deep in their own territory for most of contests.  It should be easy to not block an opponent in the back or hold during a run back, however the home squad still fell into pitfalls.  Like the defense, this must be cleaned up as soon as possible – but I am realistic.

#4 – Leaning about Kessler

Right now, Cody Kessler is a better signal caller than Josh McCown; he is refraining from making the big mistakes during contests.  However, he is not finding his targets on deeper tosses – which was a knock against him coming out of college.  Kessler is staring to show signs that he might not be the franchise quarterback many had hoped.  I’m not ready to give up hope just yet, but a signal caller might be chosen by the team early in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Conclusion:  This was just another pathetic output by a downtrodden football team.  I’m not seeing the weekly improvement that coach Jackson has been mentioning; maybe they can put it all together in the near future.  Now, it’s time for a short week and a trip to Baltimore.

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2016 in NFL Season, Players

 

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