The Aftermath: Browns vs. Bengals

Oye…

Just when you think things can’t get any worse… they do.  Should we even be surprised anymore?  I mean honestly… The Bengals… The 2=11 Cincinnati Bengals… The 10 game losing streak Cincinnati Bengals.

I reiterate… oye.

Once again the Browns played down to their competition.  The Bengals were a team on the ropes and the Browns couldn’t seal the deal.  The Browns came into the game supposedly as the better team.  They walked out of Cincinnati leaving us guessing as to where they really stand in the pecking order of the NFL.

Colt McCoy looked solid in his first game back from a high ankle sprain.  That was about all that went right.  Peyton Hillis was largely ineffective and quite honestly, the Browns play callers did little to try and help clear up the congestion along the line for him.  That’s just one of the many complaints we can have following what could be considered an embarrassment.

Both McCoy and Hillis have lashed out saying that guys on the teams were unmotivated, not hungry, and seemingly confused on the sidelines.  While it’s good to see McCoy and Hillis stepping up to take the role as the leaders of the team, it bring up more questions than answers regarding this team.

A few days ago I came to the support of Eric Mangini and his head coaching abilities.  Now I think I’d like to issue a retraction.  If what Hillis and McCoy are saying is true, then that is a direct result of leadership.  What is Mangini doing, or rather not doing that is causing the screws to come loose on this team?  I thought this team was turning the corner and coming together.  What happened in the course of a week to change all of that?  Were things worse than they let on and it just finally came to a head?  Whatever the causes I think it’s safe to say that Eric Mangini is probably a goner.

This is unfortunate.  I was excited about the hiring of Mangini before the start of last season.  Then my confidence shifted and I, like man, was calling for his head.  Then things turned around and I jumped on the bandwagon, fell back off, got back on, and have fallen off again.  Is this something we can expect moving forward should Holmgren elect to retain him?  We’ve all been looking for consistency but at this rate the only thing we’d be getting is something that is consistently inconsistent.

Whatever Holmgren decides for next year, one thing is clear… Change is needed.  Whether it be a new coach, a new offensive coordinator, or a new approach from Mangini something has to change.  Let’s just hope that whatever is decided that it’s the right decision.  The last thing the Browns need is another rebuilding project.

What Did We See:

 

  1. Can Colt McCoy play at the same level that he was prior to being injured?  Mobility will be a concern due to the high ankle sprain he suffered, but as long as he plays it smart in the pocket and the Browns dial up Peyton Hillis he should be fine.  McCoy handled himself exceptionally well.  He looked poised, made plays, and led the team.  He looks like the same McCoy we saw prior to his injury.  Despite the loss, it looks like we have something to be excited about moving forward.
  2. Can Carson Palmer continue to raise the bar for crap performances by a Pro-Bowl QB?  He’s been pretty bad and the Browns D of late has been pretty good.  I like the Browns chances in that match up.  Surprisingly, Palmer didn’t crap the bed.  Quite frankly, he didn’t have to.  Cedric Benson was an absolute beast running the ball yesterday.  So much so that Palmer didn’t have to try anything crazy.  In the end it was a winning recipe for the Bengals.
  3. Will the offense resemble what we saw against New Orleans and New England, or will it be more of the bland basics we’ve seen over the past few weeks?  Bland basics.  Actually it was more like pop warner.  Nothing exciting, nothing interesting.  As a result, the Browns didn’t do much of anything.  What happened to the team that annihilated the Patriots and the Saints?
  4. Chances are the weather will not cooperate.  Can the offense, and more specifically Peyton Hillis, hold on to the ball this week?  Fumbling has been an issue whenever the weather turns bad.  They held onto the ball, and the weather cooperated.  Unfortunately Hillis didn’t really do much.  Holes just didn’t open up for him.  Like I’ve said before, so goes Hillis, So goes the Browns.  Hillis sucked soooo… The Browns sucked.
  5. Will the Browns once again play down to their opponent, or will they pounce all over a team that’s just looking to end the season without anyone dying?  The Browns just didn’t play down to their opponent, the played well below their opponent.  The Bengals have been a disappointing team that had no business winning this game.  But of course, that’s why they play the games.  They played alright and I wish I hadn’t watched it.
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