Why, oh why do I keep doing this to myself?
My brain is telling me to not watch the game today, but my heart is telling me to turn it on and sit through what will probably be one of the most unwatchable football games of the year. The Browns are awful, the Jaguars are awful, therefore… this game will be awful. I can’t wait.
With how things are going for the Browns, today’s game is looking like one of two remaining games they have a chance of winning, the other being against Arizona in week 15. If they can’t find a way to win today we’re probably looking at 4-12 or 3-13. That wouldn’t exactly be a bad thing. It would assure us of a top 5 pick and a chance to trade away another high first round pick so we can draft a lineman in the 20’s. Just looking at thing have played out does anyone really expect them to pull a victory out of their asses against the Bengals, Ravens, or Steelers. No, I didn’t think so either.
What will be interesting is to see what exactly the fan reaction will be today should the Browns get off to another bad start or lose. We’ve already begun seeing paper bags pop up on fans heads in the stands so I can only imagine what else they have in store. This should be a clear indication to Randy Lerner that the fans are growing tired of all of this losing on regular occasions. Then again, I’m assuming Randy Lerner is actually paying attention and not deciding on what color socks his soccer team should be wearing.
Anyways… Here are the five things the Browns need to do to win today’s game.
1. Stop Maurice Jones-Drew: Mojo Drew is a top 5 NFL back and the heart of the Jacksonville offense. With Blaine Gabbert at QB, it’s pretty apparent the Jags are going to try to get the ball in Mojo’s hands. The Browns know this. They should be able to stop it.
2. Put pressure on Blaine Gabbert: He’s a rookie QB that means he’s susceptible to making mistakes if you can put pressure on him. The Browns have shown an ability to put pressure on the QB and break down the pocket in past games so they should be able to put pressure on Gabbert today. If they can, hopefully he’ll make a few mistakes that the Browns can capitalize on.
3. Try and be creative on offense: We saw it last week against St. Louis and the trick plays were successful. Why not come out this week with a few more? There’s absolutely nothing to lose by throwing a few creative packages out on the field and seeing what happens. After all, the normal offense doesn’t ever move the ball so why not try something crazy. And oh yeah… THROW THE BALL DEEP TO GREG LITTLE! STOP RUNNING UP THE MIDDLE ON 1ST AND 10!
4. Give Colt McCoy the reigns to the offense: It appears that Shurmur doesn’t want to let Colt make audibles and put the offense into new formation or new plays once they get up to the line of scrimmage. That seems stupid, especially since Colt always seems to perform well calling plays on his own and calling audibles in the no huddle, two-minute offense. They should put some trust in McCoy and let him have some freedom back there. How else will they ever find out what the have in him?
5. Protect Colt McCoy: We saw last week that when the offensive line protects Colt he’s not that bad a quarterback. If they can keep him upright today he might be able to have some success against the Jags. Whether or not that means they can get the ball into the end zone remains to be seen, but there is a chance they could look like an NFL level offense.
So what happens… I think this is going to be another low scoring affair, but I think the Browns might actually win this one. It’ll be close and probably come down to the very end, but I’ll go out on a limb and say the Browns win 16-14… Yes, Browns fans… that means they score a touchdown!
Now, off to the factory of sadness…