The Cleveland Browns won a football game yesterday.
It’s also possible that Franklin Roosevelt was re-elected president, My female family members donated their nylons to the war effort, and prohibition was finally overturned.
Was I magically teleported to the pre-1950 United States? I don’t think so, because I was able to watch the Browns game yesterday in color on this fancy doohickey called a computer thanks to something all the kids are calling the internet. The other more obvious proof that I was still in the year 2011 was Seattle’s uniforms. Seriously, they’re still rolling out onto the field each week with those greenish/blue monstrosities? Regardless, what I watched bore no resemblance to football in the year 2011 and probably set professional football back 60 years… at least. Knute Rockne, inventor and first implementor of a forward passing offense, is rolling over in his grave as we speak.
There are no words in the English language that adequately describe what we witnesses from the Browns offense on Sunday. There are 60 minutes in an NFL game. The Browns held possession of the football for 42 minutes and 52 seconds. They managed to put 6 points on the board. Yes, they put together 298 total yards worth of offense and 20 first downs, but that 6 is most glaring.
(After watching the Browns on Sunday afternoon and then the Saints on Sunday night, it’s startling how far away the Browns are from being a good football team. The Saints have so many weapons and so many different ways of scoring that going 80 yards for a touchdown comes across as effortless. Meanwhile, the Browns make it painstakingly difficult to simply get 10 yards for a first down. It’s depressing to think about how wide that gap really is. Anyone who thought the Browns could compete in 2011 is a fool.)
Colt McCoy looked below average yet again. It marks the third game in a row where he has been unable to do much of anything in terms of leading the offense down the field for a prolonged period of time to point points on the board. For the game, McCoy was 20 of 35 for 178 yards with a yards per attempt of 5.1. For those of you paying attention, or who are able to draw simple conclusions, this probably helps explain a lot. No wonder the Browns collected 20 first downs, but only 6 points. Every pass was about 5 yards. Combine that with Montario Hardesty’s 2.9 yards per carry and it’s easy to see why the offense repeatedly sputtered to a stand still and never made any progress down the field.
Where are the big plays? What happened to being creative and taking chances? The Browns offense has been so boring and unimaginative these first 6 games that it’s hard to believe this is the same group of guys that gave us so much hope in the preseaon. I don’t know whether or not to place the blame on the playcalling of Pat Shurmur or the execution by the players, but something is seriously lacking. You aren’t going to get anywhere or score many points with a 2 yard run, 1 yard run, 5 yards pass and punt everytime you get your hands on the ball. Yesterday was proof of that.
Want a silver lining? Well, I don’t have one. I guess you could say it was encouraging to see Hardesty be able to handle the load as the main running back thanks to Peyton Hillis’ sore hamstring, but the 2.9 yards per carry was nothing to write home about. Give any other back in the league 30 carries and it’s a monster day. Hardesty couldn’t even crack the 100 yard mark. Can you imagine what Adrian Peterson, Matt Forte, or Arian Foster would do with that work load? Yeah, I don’t want to think about it either. If anything, Greg Little had another solid game, but the Browns still refuse to send him deep. They continue to throw him passes over the middle for 5 to 10 yard gains. This has to get better moving forward.
SEND HIM DEEP!
Not to be outdone, the Seahawks put on their own offensive offensive display. For as bas as the Browns were yesterday, the Seahawks were even worse. They only racked up 137 total yards of offense and 3 points. Leon Washington was their “top performer” for the day and he only tallied 39 yards on 7 carries. The fact that Seattle was still in this game speaks volumes for just how terrible a game it was. Charlies Whitehurst… 12 of 30 for 97 yards. Pardon my French, but are you $hitting me? Is Seattle’s third string QB that bad that it warranted leaving Whitehurst in? Tavaris Jackson and his bum pectoral muscles couldn’t have done better? Ugh…
Here’s more salt in the wound regardless of which team you rooted for yesterday. The Browns should have lost… The Seahawks should have won. If not for a bogus block to the back, Leon Washington’s punt return for a touchdown would have counted and Seattle would have secured a 7-6 victory. Instead, the Browns MVP’s for the day… the referees… came through in the clutch, called that “penalty,” and gave the Browns a victory.
Of course, had the Browns not blown their blocking assignments on two separate occurrences, maybe Phil Dawson doesn’t get two field goals blocked and maybe the Browns score 12 points instead of 6 and had enough to be beat Seattle regardless of the referees. I guess we’ll never know, will we?
Seriously, I’m trying not to be overly sarcastic about yesterday’s game, but how can I not? It was possibly the worst football game I have ever had the displeasure of watching. The only thing worse is having to relive it by writing about it.
In the end, a win is a win in the NFL and you’ll take them however you can get them. Beating Seattle put the Browns record at 3-3 and keeps them in the thick of things in the AFC North. I guess we can all be happy about that considering how much worse it probably could be given how the Browns have played thus far, at least on offense. The defense has been great and that’s something we can hang our hat on. Let’s just hope the Browns can figure everything out this week because things are about to get a whole hell of a lot harder.
With the 49ers and Texans in back to back weeks on the road, this is a real make or break stretch for the Browns. In all honesty, it’ll probably break any shot we have at winning the division, but I don’t believe anyone thinks we have a legit shot at it any how. The most important thing moving forward is figuring out what is wrong with the offense and finding a way to fix it. If Browns fans, myself included can see some form of progress moving forward, that may be enough to extinguish the torches and put the pitch forks away.
If not… well then it might be time to storm the castle like it’s 1399… you know, the year the Browns offense was created.