The DEFEND Cleveland Show

Week 1: Did The Browns Just Look Like An Actual NFL Team?

Photo by John Kuntz for, used without permission

The Browns season started as all Browns seasons must, with total disaster.  A blocked punt resulting in a touchdown with Steelers special teams players doing The Robot in your end zone is not what one is looking for in your home opener.  Everyone’s social media feed in Northeast Ohio exploded with a variation of “…fucking Browns…”.  Then the strangest thing happened.  The Browns appeared to settle down and become an actual NFL football team.  Please note, I am not suggesting a Playoff caliber team but at least a team that isn’t embarrassing.  They looked like a team that other teams will have to prepare for or risk losing.  While a sales tag line of “Cleveland Browns Football.  We are almost mediocre.” isn’t ideal, it is better than what we are used to, and that’s something.

The Browns defense looked really good.  They were helped by the fact that in the first half it seemed like the Steelers had never met each other, much less practiced together.  The Steelers shot themselves in the foot over and over again with penalties and didn’t seem to have a grasp on pass route timing.  However, the Browns helped them look bad with a consistent push from the defensive front.  Bell was never able to get going, and the Steelers could not run the ball at all during the game.  The Browns defense appears to be a legitimate NFL defense.  Holding the Pittsburgh offense to less than 300 yards at 14 points (minus the special teams touchdown) is a great game.  Kudos.  If Garret ever gets out of a walking boot, these guys will give crappy offensive teams some real problems.

The Browns offense is a “work in progress” as they say.  There is a novel written by Karl Ove Knausgard which I highly recommend called “My Struggle”.  It is six volumes of translated Norwegian and clocks in at over 3600 pages.  The reason I mention this is I believe DeShone Kizer took enough time in pass attempts to read that novel.  If Kizer doesn’t learn to get rid of the ball more quickly, he is going to take a lot of sacks.  Like maybe 179 sacks.  There were a couple of pass attempts where Kizer took so much time that Joe Thomas retired, the team signed a new tackle, and then that guy ran out onto the field to takeover mid-play.  

Kizer is also going to have to pay attention to where the opposing safeties are in coverage.  He really hung a few of the receivers out to dry on passes.  I was concerned that when Ricardo Louis got crushed on the sideline route.  Team trainers rushed out to take him to that new league mandated blue tent with the type of expressions on your face normally reserved for turnpike car crash victims.  I was expecting the sideline reporter to say “We have just received word from the blue tent that Ricardo Louis has died.  There will be a brief memorial service in the fourth quarter.  Back up to you Trent!”

In the end the game went as all games with Pittsburgh always do.  Roethlisberger made a few dagger completions to Antonio Brown when they needed them.  The Browns couldn’t make a stop when they needed to.  The Steelers gave the Browns some borderline cheap shots along the way.  Mike Tomlin wore his aviator shades.  The Steelers jogged back to the tunnel with a win.  The Browns went to the postgame press conference and talked about the team making progress.  

Go Browns.


-Greg Miller

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Posted by on Sep 10 2017. Filed under Featured, Greg Miller on Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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