Just when you think it can’t possibly get any worse. Just when you think the Browns have hit the lowest of the low. Just when you think they’ve finally hit rock bottom… They go and take my already low expectations and still manage to fall well below the bar. Is this finally rock bottom? Is this finally the point where as Browns fans we look at one another with confidence and say, “It can’t possibly get any worse” and be right?
God, do I ever hope so because if not… I don’t see any way any of us survive the next 7 weeks of what is turning into a complete joke of a season for the 2011 Cleveland Browns.
Yesterday’s game was another nail in the coffin that is the dying fandom of the Cleveland Browns. After getting humiliated by the Texans 578-12 last week, one had to of thought they would come out with a better effort against the lowly 1-7 Rams. In a way, that was true. The game was close according to the score board (the Brown actually outperformed the Rams on offense… I know, I’m shocked too) and the Defense was able to keep Sam Bradford at bay. That’s not the story, however. The actual story is how the end of the game played out. It was that final series of plays that serves are the microcosm for the 2011 season.
Trailing by a score of 13-12 late in the fourth quarter, Colt McCoy and the Browns drove down the field and appeared to be within striking distance of taking the lead. They ultimately had two options. Go for it and get the ball in the end zone for the first time all day at all costs, or play it safe and take the field goal.
The Browns played for the field goal… and played not to lose.
Of course, they lost, but it was the manner in which it occurred that’s sparked the most outcry from the fans.
On second and goal from the Rams 9 yard line Colt McCoy handed the ball off to… Alex Smith. Yes, with the outcome of the game hanging in the balance Pat Shurmur called a play in which his quarterback handed the ball off to the team’s third string tight end. Smith promptly proceeded to fumble the ball, but thanks to Josh Cribbs the Browns were able to recover it, but the damage was done. Glad to see at the most important juncture of the game Pat Shurmur thought it would be a good idea to hand the ball off to a tight end that’s never taken a handoff before rather than oh, I don’t know… throwing the ball into the end zone. It was inexcusable…
The explanation would be even more inexcusable.
“Owen got dinged on the play before and had to come out; I don’t think Coach knew it,” Smith said. “I’ve never taken a handoff to the best of my recollection, but I’m a football player and I feel like that’s a basic thing to get an exchange and ram it up there for some yards.”
Seriously… you’re $hitting me with this $hit? Shurmur’s take on the situation…
“We tried to hand him the football and he dropped it, that’s the thinking. For the moment that it was in there, that’s what happened and we’ve got to do a better job. There are so many things that happened in that game. Missing the kick, dropping the (ball), there were a lot of things. There was a lot of good, there was a lot of bad. I promised everybody that I would be genuine from day one till the last day and I’m genuine right now in saying that. We can focus on what we want to focus on, but we lost the game. That’s genuine.”
What’s genuine is your play calling, Coach… It’s genuine crap.
Oh, but the Browns weren’t done there. Not by a long shot.
After failing to get the ball anywhere within the proximity of the end zone, the Browns marched Phil Dawson out onto the field for the 5th time looking to take a 15-12 lead. What unfolded is further proof that God, Allah, Mohammed, and possibly Satan all hate the city of Cleveland. Ryan Pontbriand’s snap grazed Alex Mack’s leg, skipped back to place holder Brad Maynard, threw off Phil Dawson’s timing, and he shanked the field goal. The Rams got a first down and then proceeded to kneel out the clock. Game over… Thanks for playing… Good night.
You can’t make this crap up.
So I ask Browns fans… can this possibly get any worse? Have we finally hit rock bottom with this team as is? In all honesty, it feels like it. I’m hesitant to commit thought because the second I do, they’ll find a new way to rip my heart out of my butt against the Jaguars next Sunday. It’s the one thing they do well. So well in fact that they continue to do it every week.
Seriously, how do you not take a shot at the end zone in that situation? How do you run the ball up the middle three consecutive times from the 9 yard line with your fourth string tight end and third string tight end/full back? How do you not get into the end zone at all when you rack up 335 total yards of offense? Are we at the point yet where we can officially say Pat Shurmur was an awful hire?
I think my head is about to explode.
Is it next year yet…