Browns 0-10, And A Corner Has Been Turned
(photo by Joshua Gunter, cleveland.com, and used without permission)
The Browns have turned the corner. Even the most optimistic Browns fan now must admit that they have made the long awaited move from “unlikely to win” to “no fucking way” on their outlook before each game. I felt sorry for the NFL Network broadcast team having to deep dive to try and find reasons for optimism on the Browns. “Well they sure were excited about Corey Coleman before he broke his hand.” There is almost nothing they can say to try and pretend that the Browns offer more than a slight resistance to whoever they happen to be playing. It is glaringly obvious that the lack of talent on the team provides no chance for the team to stay in games with legit opponents. They have made the move to become the Harlem Globetrotter’s nightly opponents, the Washington Generals, doomed to their Groundhog Day existence of being the prop for the other team’s highlight reel.
While most teams have a draft board meticulously listing each position with potential targeted college players, the Browns board was recently dry erased clean except for the word “anybody”. Jaime Collins has to be looking around like I was after the election, in that dazed look of someone emerging from a horrifying car crash trying to make sense of the madness around him. In Baltimore he looked like one of the only NFL players on the Browns defense. Rumor had it that after the game Collins was seen crying into his iPhone “I don’t know what I did wrong, but I promise to never do it again! Just take me back! Please! I beg of you! I won’t do anything wrong again! Please! Please!” If I were him, the package for me to sign a deal to remain in Cleveland would include things like “gold rocket car, mink sink, diamond socks, and a small cadre of robot slaves”. And that would only be the signing bonus…
If the Browns were to put their attention in the off season and draft all defensive players while simultaneously signing defensive free agents, it would only move the defense from “maybe worst all time” to “slightly mediocre”. The Ravens, who haven’t been able to score on anyone all year, confidently trudged up and down the field in five-yard chunks. Browns tacklers bounced off ball carriers like the JV kids do the varsity in high school scrimmages. The secondary is completely outmatched. The front office might have not noticed a trend in the NFL as the Browns trot out little spindly d-backs to cover six foot five giant receivers. The Ravens seemed to recognize this and went to a “get the fuck out of the way” game plan where Flacco would throw the ball in his receiver’s general direction and they would shove the Browns away like children to get the ball. I think the New York Football Giants might notice that in film study next week.
All week I have been hearing tepid conversations debating the merits of Cody Kessler. People sort of want to believe in him, but come on. When you are a first year QB and already have your largest positive being noted as being a “game manager”, I would suggest that your long term career prospects in the NFL are limited at best. Kessler cannot get the ball past 10 yards. Teams can now defend the Browns as a 15 yard concern whereas in the rest of the league there is the fear that the receivers might streak past you, score a 60 yard passing TD, and then dance around dry humping the goal post while the Jumbotron tells drunk fans to “make noise”. You might have noticed that teams have figured this out, as the Browns offense is no longer able to do something important for the offensive side of the ball, that is, score points.
After years of watching football I have discovered when your team’s inability to score points is combined with your team being unable to stop the other team from scoring points, this leads to losses. This is the kind of expert analysis readers expect here at Defend Cleveland, and I am happy to provide it. Allow me to suggest to you, dear reader, that there is no reason to expect this team to begin scoring points anytime soon. The bewildering move to McCown in the second half makes almost no difference. I would also suggest that when Kelly Hogan comes in, the other team might be thinking, “Here comes that kid they use to run the ball”. This was evident when Terrell Suggs almost killed Hogan on that ‘trick play” in the first half. If I was Kelly Hogan in the future and they call my number to trot in there for a QB option play, I would say “You sure coach?”.
The team is 0-10. They look exactly like I’d hoped they would look at this point in the season. Unless the league swaps out the 49ers for one of their remaining opponents, the Browns will be completely outclassed the rest of the way. Being the Browns, I expect them to crush my dream of The Magical Season somewhere with a win, but it’s hard to see how it is possible. This is a historically bad team, one that will be used to measure against all other bad teams in the future. Soak it in. It’s the culmination of years of Brownsy decision making laid out before your eyes. It is, in its own way, perfection.
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