The Cleveland Browns Postgame Week 3: The Game They Gave Away

 browns-vs-ravensFor the second time this season, the Cleveland Browns were beaten by an AFC North opponent with a field goal as time expired.

The first game was against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and while a letdown, it came at the end of a frantic comeback.

This second game, against the Baltimore Ravens, it came at the end of a game that the Browns gave away.

Special teams, which used to be the strength of this team, had two missed field goals and a questionable decision not to field a punt at the end of the game.

Defense looks like it’s making no progress over 3 games. They still over-pursue, they still give up big passing plays. I have no idea who to blame for that, but these guys not being able to contain seems like coaching.

They also had an issue with substitution packages, as twice they had to burn time-outs to get the right personnel on the field. Again, that sounds like a coaching issue to me. Get your guys up and get them ready to go.

I said this morning that a loss would mean that this is the “same old Browns”. I don’t think I feel that way, but it was really disappointing to see them give this game away. The offense looked good, enough to make me a believer that we won’t be watching game after game of three-and-outs.

But that defense needs to pick it up. They made some big plays in this game – such as stuffing Baltimore on 4th down – but too many times they gave up big chunks of yards at a time.

I hope that this is something they can fix during the bye week, because if they don’t, teams will exploit it more and more as the weeks roll along. That defense, not a really good one to begin with, looked really sloppy today. I won’t say they’re regressing, but that was certainly an ugly one today.

Alright, we get two weeks to digest this one. I hope it’s left the same bad taste in the mouths of the organization as it did in mine because I don’t want to watch this all season. Most of this is fixable, though some of it is personnel.

Justin Gilbert is killing me. Sammy Watkins would have looked so good on this team. Gilbert looks lost. Rookie or not, playing cornerback shouldn’t be that difficult, not for the guy we bypassed Watkins for. He played okay last week, but too many times of him getting burned. That pass interference at the end of the game was horrific. Johnny Manziel looked better as a wide receiver than Gilbert did as a cornerback.

Sorry, Browns fans. Your team gave away a game they seemed in control of. They’re now 1-2 overall, 0-2 in the division. They’re next game in two weeks is on the road against the Tennessee Titans.

There’s a lot of season left to play, but if the Browns don’t fix their mistakes, it’s going to be a long one.

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